From the moment you enter the gilded gates of these connected mansions, originally built in the 1880s by railroad baron Henry Villard, you know you’re somewhere special. There’s a reason this hotel is called the Palace--and it's because it literally looks like a palace. Seriously. Amenities are vast, including several restaurants and bars in historic spaces, plus there's a 7,000-square-foot health club with terrific views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Chic, inviting rooms have large windows and are decorated in soft grays and blues. Starting at 360-square feet, rooms are spacious by New York standards and have work desks plus separate seating areas. Complimentary shoeshine is a nice extra.
If you're feeling particularly fancy try the rooms in the towers, which occupies high floors. These have particularly luxe rooms and suites, a separate check-in, and a dedicated concierge.
Marble bathrooms have Molton Brown bath products, terrycloth robes, and spacious vanities.
The expansive lobby has the elegance of a bygone era with sweeping staircases, gold accents, and arched colonnades.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This hotel has over 900 rooms and the lobby can feel crowded during peak check-in and check-out times.
While dining options are primarily reserved for breakfast and lunch, there ambiance provides enough character to last you the whole day. Villard, which is named after the railroad magnate himself, is known for its power breakfast. Pomme Palais is a delightful bakery with to-go breakfast options and light lunches.
Trouble’s Trust is a dimly-lit cocktail bar set beneath the hotel’s Grand Staircase and Tavern on 51 is a cozy bar with an Old New York feel. Both are luxurious spaces for imbibing.
Located on Madison Avenue between East 50th and East 51st Street, this hotel is in a convenient location for guests looking to explore the sights of Midtown East. Central Park is within about a 10-minute walk. Subway service is a bit limited, with the 6 train at 51st Street and the E and M trains at 5th Ave/53rd Street. Taxis and Uber are widely available, but traffic congestion can be a common problem.
Fresh seafood is served in an elegant environment at Avra Estiatorio (7-minute walk), an upscale Greek restaurant. Chef April Bloomfield makes several of New York’s most acclaimed burgers--try the signature one with caramelized onions and taleggio cheese at Salvation Burger (8-minute walk). Italian classics from veal Milanese to spaghetti carbonara are served at Casa Lever (5-minute walk).
With its retro murals and big booths, The Monkey Bar (4-minute walk) is known as a great spot for oysters and a steak, but it also has a fun bar with a list of seasonal and classic cocktails. More than 150 wines are available by the glass at Morrell Wine Bar (5-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
History buffs will love a genuine glimpse into New York’s glamorous past. We love the over-the-top grandeur of the public spaces, including the cocktail bars and restaurant set in the Villard mansion. Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral views are a nice bonus.