The views from our suite at the New York Palace–my new favorite Big Apple Hotel.
It was an eventful week away. All came up roses until our Avis rental car was stolen. But let’s start with the good stuff first.
We flew Virgin America to JFK–our first time on this carrier. It was okay. Seats a bit cramped in main cabin (really coach) but didn’t look much better in “main cabin select” or “first class”. Had to buy food–opted for chicken wraps which were pretty good for $9 each. Anyhow it got us there on time.
First stop the New York Palace–now operated by the prestigious Dorchester Collection, the architecturally-stunning, 805-room, 88 suite-hotel–formerly the Helmsley Palace (you remember Leona don’t you?)– sports one of the most accommodating staff’s in town (at least they treated us well). The decor reflects the neo-Italian Renaissance style originally commissioned by Henry Villard in 1882 when the regal mansion was built. Each public area exudes an old world charm with ornate touches like bronze dore moldings, intricate mosaics, gilded capitals and stained glass windows. But even with all that jazz it’s hardly stuffy. Sophisticated, yes, but accommodating.
We had a massive suite on the 41st floor in the “Towers” which offers private check-in and privileges. We also opted for the executive lounge add on and were thrilled we did.
The suite life: huge living room WiFi, views, two baths, one big one with tub, shower, two sinks, luscious Acqua di Parma toiletries, comfy bed covered in divine, upscale linens; flat screen tvs, robes, slippers and of course hair dryer etc. .t even has a kitchen. There’s a great workout room included in the 7,000 square foot Spa & Fitness Center with a full complements of equipment–almost unheard number of treadmills, weight machines and options and it’s free for guests including a locker room with steam bath and showers, workout clothes to borrow, toiletries and best of all it’s free for hotel guests. The Spa is gorgeous and offers head to toe treatments in a peaceful, luxurious environment.
We needed the gym to counteract all the tasty food, we could have used a massage but alas two days weren’t long enough to fit everything in, next time. We did get lots of exercise walking around the city. We even did museums. We were actually in town during Restaurant Week and had a price fixed three course lunch at Alto, nearby for $24 each, unheard of here. We did the museums, took out Mexican one night from Chipotle nearby and even watched a Yankee game on the flat screen.
To the left is the Executive Club Lounge–we made good use of this elegant spot for breakfast, lunch and evening drinks and snacks.
And a glorious dinner at Gilt……..the piece de resistance
Where we had a romantic table with a view of the knock down gorgeous room. Richard (my mate) sipped a Martini while I started on a bottle of mighty fine Talbot
Chardonnay. We dined on a truly amazing English pea ravioli–delicate and delicious, perfectly prepared halibut with poached oysters and baby veggies, Tangy Ono ceviche, moist and delicious black cod, authentic NY cheesecake (man it was good) and Strawberry short cake. Since we just flew in from the west coast and were guarding against jet lag we skipped coffee but I sure was jonesing for a cup.
SomeGilt-toids: two Michelin star rating, housed in Landmark Villard Mansion. New American cuisine created by executive chef Justin Bogle. Gorgeous appointments 8,000 bottle wine cellar, artisanal breads, real 14 K Gold bar.
NY Palace FAQs: The gracious courtyard provides the perfect intro to this old-world hotel with designs reminiscent of 15th century Italian .
455 Madison Ave., NY 10022; www.newyorkpalace.com; www.dorchestercollection.com
–So as heretofore mentioned, we flew to NY on Virgin America. The price was right–no matter what cabin class you select you get to choose any seat(a nice touch). We arrived on time. The pilot carefully avoided turbulent skies and it was quite smooth over the country (I watched his maneuvers on the video screen, at one point he flew over Canada to avoid bumps). We flew coach, something your Diva doesn’t do eagerly but made an exception since we flew back in style on American Airlines in Business/First–sat in two center seats that reclined comfortably with big fluffy comforters to keep us warm, actually top quality wines and pretty good food for an airline meal. The flight crew was tops and kept on their toes making sure we were well tended to. Tip is to make sure you book a flight that comes in from Europe because it’s usually a bigger jet with a better First and Business Class section.
Okay the stolen car put a damper on an otherwise super trip. It happened in a town called Ronkonkoma, Long Island, at the train station where the car was parked from 9:30 AM to well we don’t know when the theives made of f with it,but it was gone at 5:30 PM the same day when we returned to the train station. Never happened to the Diva on the go in all her years of travel. Guess there’s a first time for everything.
Memories of the NY Palace stil dance in our heads.
Stay tuned I’m not finished, come back for more….and I tell you all about our stolen rental car.