Midtown Manhattan's exclusive enclave
822 Rooms / 87 Suites
Sitting behind grand iron gates on Madison Avenue, Lotte New York Palace has quite the profile, serving as the backdrop for shows like Gossip Girl. But the real star is the mansion’s exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel, The Towers at Lotte New York Palace Hotel. Not only did Gossip Girl main character Serena van der Woodsen live in a Corner Suite in The Towers, this portion of the hotel also was the setting for other television series, such as CSI: NY, Law & Order and White Collar. Yet the hotel's Hollywood résumé isn't the main reason to stay there — it's the exclusivity: Enter at the private 50th Street lobby, waltz into the dedicated concierge area, then head right up to your calm room and take in a fantastic view of the city.
Renovated in September 2013, the prestigious Towers — which occupies the top 14 floors of the Palace — offers even more luxury with 176 rooms that include executive suites, one-bedroom suites, and grand triplex apartments. From every room, you get vistas of historical landmarks, including Rockefeller Center, the eye-catching General Electric Building, the Empire State Building and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Opened in 1981, The Towers used to host long-term guests, but with the $140 million redesign and $25 million makeover by San Francisco design firm Bamo, now anyone can relax in one of the neutral-colored rooms for a night, one week, a month or forever. Because of the space’s past as a long-term residence, many of the larger accommodations come with kitchens, powder rooms and foyers, an unusual facet in a New York hotel. For example, the executive suites have a separate bedroom with area that you can section off as a living room, a luxurious walk-in closet, a vestibule with a hall closet, and a Molton Brown-equipped full bath with shower, tub and bidet. If you want more room, any of the spaces can be conjoined with another suite, save for the four top-floor triplexes. Size wise, a step up from the executive suite is the corner suite, a huge apartment with a living room, a dining room, an open kitchen, an L-shaped couch, rust-colored marble tables and an overall 1960s, Mad Men-era vibe about it.
While all these rooms prove chic and comfortable, the real stunners to come out of the renovation are the four, three-level specialty rooms on the 52nd floor. Two of these have a theme: The Jewel Suite has the stamp of celebrity jewelry designer Martin Katz, and the Champaign Suite was inspired by Dom Pérignon. For the dazzling Jewel Suite, Katz designed all the settings, from the dangling crystal chandelier to floating showcases of his work to large prints of certain pieces. In the Champaign Suite, you will find a mock wine cave on the first level filled with bottles of bubbles, a subject that plays out in the décor, art and even the reading material around the apartment. Both of these suites have a rooftop deck complete with tables, a couch, a wet bar and a hot tub.
One of the top perks of staying at The Towers is that you get access to the prestigious, invite-only Rarities club, a dark and sexy secret room in the lobby that serves the best of the best wines, champagne, single malts and whiskey. Other amenities of the hotel include a gym, spa, lounge and the newly constructed Trouble’s Trust, a cocktail bar named after past owner Leona Helmsley’s dog Trouble, a pooch who inherited a $12 million trust fund after the scandalous hotelier died in 2007. For something light, opt for the Parisian-style coffee shop dishing out modern French pastries, beverages and food to go from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Or hole up in your room, order room service and enjoy breakfast with a killer view.