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XoXo, off to New York we go… for a night.
What a weekend we were about to embark upon: Fly from LA to NYC for a night to surprise a friend on her birthday, redeye to England to spend one evening celebrating a 40th anniversary, and then back to NYC for another night…where ultimately my girlfriend and I got engaged. It. was. insane. And so much fun.
The first stop on our crazy, whirlwind, weekend was New York. I had had my eyes on staying at the Lotte New York Palace for well over a decade, and as I looked at potential spots for us to stay for the night, I was shocked to see the New York Palace pricing in the mid 200s. Normally this is $400-600 a night hotel, but for whatever reason, Amoma was pricing it at roughly half off. If this hotel looks familiar…it’s because you probably wondered, like most of us with air in our lungs, whether Nate was going to end up with Blair or Serena, and who in the world was actually Gossip Girl ( *SPOILER ALERT* He’s now a serial killer on Netflix), and you saw the New York Palace featured constantly on Gossip Girl as Chuck Bass’s hotel prior to him owning the Empire on the upper west side.
Maybe I had too much coffee today? Anyways…
A little history on the New York Palace
- The iconic facade of the hotel is in fact a series of old townhouses originally built in 1882 by Henry Villard. It wasn’t until 1974, when Helmsley leased the property for 99 years from the Archdiocese of New York, that the 55 story hotel tower was built above it. It traded hands from Helmsley to the Sultan of Brunei, a group of investors, and now the South Korean based, Lotte, which owns and manages the hotel.
- When: April 2019
- Where: New York City
- Loyalty: None…booked via Amoma
- Points earned: 3x with Ink Business Preferred
Check-in was absolute mayhem
It was raining outside and we, apparently, arrived at the same exact time as everyone else. The lobby was sloshy, super crowded, and the staff were really trying to accommodate everyone best they could. We were given welcome bottles of water as waited, which ultimately ended up being roughly 10 minutes. Far better than I’d first expected. There are two areas of check-in depending on if you’re staying in the normal hotel, or the towers, which are more exclusive and occupy the higher floors of the hotel. If you’re looking for the nicer rooms…go with the Towers, but the price soars alongside the elevation. However, the standard room size is also significantly bigger ( 360sq in the traditional Palace vs 460 in the Towers – in fact, a normal Tower room is larger than a standard Jr Suite in the main hotel ).
If you were staying in the Towers…you’d have a totally different experience
Or…checking in at an off-peak time. The lobby is quite nice.
The best parts of the hotel are the common spaces
These can really be enjoyed by anyone, and I saw numerous people coming to take pictures. If you were to enter through the hotel’s courtyard, on Madison, underneath the Lotte New York Palace sign, you’d see this, which is also where you’d walk through after you check-in off 50th. It’s exactly what you’d hope to see inside an old beaut like the Lotte New York Palace.
The Gold Room is also stunning and, even if you aren’t staying here, is a no-brainer to brunch in. That’s right…in true Gossip Girl fashion we made brunch a verb.
Personally, if the weather was clear, and it was summer, the courtyard would be an outstanding area to sip some bubbly and lightly snack. You can see some random chairs, but M-F they deck it out and pour the fancy pink wine…can we say Brose all day?
A random and free upgrade to a better view room.
While it wasn’t a massive upgrade, it was given as just a “we’re crazy busy and you guys haven’t complained” perk. Ultimately, the room had a cool view of St. Patrick’s cathedral, but otherwise, certainly isn’t worth $4,5,600 a night. They’ve been recently updated, but if you compare the quality of this standard room with a view, it isn’t as nice as what you’d get at the Intercontinental Barclay which is just around the corner, and you could use points to stay at. It’s a little befuddling that they didn’t really amp up the renovations to be truly 5 star and on par with the legacy and reputation of the hotel. Maybe they went for in with the Tower rooms, which certainly look nicer, but they aren’t cheap rooms and competition is fierce. For mid $200s in Manhattan is was great, but double that…and you’ve got some problems.
Bathroom featured a single vanity, stone counters, and a shower that had ok pressure. All in all, I wasn’t romanticized by bath.
The best part of the room was the view. By far.
It was under construction, and while open, had people in it and who wants to be photographed while working out. I’m sure it’ll be nice after renovation, but not worth highlighting here.
I’m not itching to stay at the hotel again, but I’d certainly come and enjoy the hotel’s legacy in the Gold Room or outside in the courtyard. If you score a rate similar to what we did…you won’t feel disappointed. It’s a solid hotel with 5 star services, or if perhaps a good deal in one of the Towers rooms, but if you’re staying in the main Palace, and rates are high…I wouldn’t have an urge to splurge.
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