People visit New York City for a variety of reasons. Theater, culture, shopping and nightlife as well as work opportunities are typical responses. Exploring landmarks and the history is also a popular draw for the millions flying into the city each year from all over the world.
While history's an enticing topic, the general rule is it’s better to tour an old hotel than to stay there. Gorgeous buildings are often dated, lack modern conveniences with grand lobbies but confining rooms. However, at one of the city’s most storied landmarks the best of both worlds is reality.
The New York Palace courtyard and exterior — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Bryan Barbieri
History and Location
The New York Palace has evolved from estate to an elegant hotel and residence. Over changing centuries and owners, it’s experienced fascinating transitions. But, in the last year, the most impressive since the original construction in the late 1800’s has been leaving travel professionals speechless. A jaw-dropping $140 million dollar renovation has completely modernized the property while keeping significant elements from the past in tact.
The central lobby provides a grand entrance for visitors at New York Palace — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
This side of Madison Avenue is a coveted address. Enjoying an affordable, expansive room with close proximity to some of the best cultural sites in this part of Manhattan isn't common. For this reason and dozens of others, The New York Palace is now the toast of the neighborhood, attracting discriminating visitors with an endless list of attributes, both new and old.
The interior of the fine dining restaurant features exquisite covered ceilings and woodwork original to the Villard estate. — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
The open wine wall centers the dining room in Villard — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
Architectural details are abundant, with most original installations of carvings, precious metals, marble and crafted woodwork remaining in pristine condition. There are conversational inclusions such as the dimly lit Trouble’s Trust lounge. This craft cocktail hideaway is just one of many places at the hotel to sit back and enjoy the scenery over food and drink. Casual offerings like Tavern on 51 share the address with the unforgettable Villard Michel Richard fine dining room and adjacent Gallery culinary experience.
A fantastic take home is the lovely sweet oriented book from Michel Richard — Photo courtesy of Stacie Standifer
Pomme Palias by Michel Richard is a hot spot for breakfast, coffee and sweet treats. This onsite café serves gourmet lunches to enjoy in the courtyard during summer. Art lovers will want to stop to view metal sculptures by the acclaimed David Kracov exhibited in the courtyard throughout the season.
Theater buffs flock to the hotel for the concierge team’s inside track on sought after tickets and restaurant tables pre-show. In fact, the entire team is full of helpful information on the neighborhood. One of the most enjoyable insider experiences is scoring a cozy table for authentic Italian alongside in-the-know locals at the nearby Sant Ambroeus. It’s a noted favorite of nearby residents, where lingering is encouraged and enjoyed often.
Sant Ambroeus Italian fare is always a treat when shopping Madison Avenue — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
The Best Rooms
Sweet endings are often shared at Sant Ambroeus — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
The best rooms are in The Towers. They might be the nicest in the city for the price, and definitely the roomiest. It’s also surprising that everything from lights to drapes operates via bedside remote, a rarity for older buildings. Modernized accommodations are luxurious but functional.
The living room of the Jewel Suite draws celebrity clientele — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Bryan Barbieri
If splurging for a special occasion or gathering, consider one of the unique specialty suites. The Champagne Suite is a stunner, while the sweeping views of the multi-level Jewel Suite designed by Martin Katz is 5000 square feet of glamour and glass.
Each suite has a distinct style and residential feel — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Bryan Barbieri
St. Patrick's Cathedral in renovation process — Photo courtesy of Tim Nichols
Even basic tower rooms overlook St Patricks’ Cathedral next door. It’s currently under a 3-year renovation, but views from the tower are not hindered, and it remains open to the public. One of the most loved and most lovely structures in the US, the cathedral is a true architectural gem that compliments The New York Palace perfectly.
The land that the hotel sits on is owned by the Catholic Church, and always has been.
St. Patrick's Cathedral originated in the late 1800's with almost 50 years of constructon prior to completion. It has been under renovation since 2012 with predicted expenditures of $175+ million by the end of year 3.
Oprah's noted interview with Chiwetel Fioifor was the first public use of the complete Jewel Suite, with sweeping views of Manhattan in the background. Shortly afterwards, Vanity Fair chose the same suite to shoot Scarlett Johanson's cover for the April 2014 issue.
The hotel was originally 6 different brownstones and a courtyard/carriage house; This made up Stanford White Villard Houses in late 1800's.