Review: The New York Palace Hotel and Towers. A modern hotel with an historical facade.

Review:  The New York Palace Hotel and Towers.   A modern hotel with an historical facade.

The New York Palace possesses a prestigious heritage. More than a century ago, Henry Villard, one of the nation’s most prominent financiers, commissioned McKim, Mead & White to create a residence of singular style.  Villard  was president of the Northern Pacific Railway.  When his railroad empire began to crumble, ownership of the building changed through many hands throughout the century.  In 1968, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the complex an historical landmark. Restoration and construction for a new hotel complex was proposed by real estate developer Harry B. Helmsley who constructed the 51-story New York Palace Hotel tower directly behind the original building. The project was designed by architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1977 and completed in 1980.  The original building was restored in 2003 and office space was furnished for city preservation group The Municipal Art Society, as part of an agreement to save the building from demolition.

As the building appears today.   This is the front of the New York Palace Hotel and Towers.

(Left: Suite in the Palace Towers) After an early January trans-Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria, I stayed last week at the New York Palace Hotel in the Towers.

Cunard Line should immediately higher the staff/management at New York Palace Hotel and Towers to completely overhaul their rather grim cruise operation.

As for New York Palace Towers, the hotel within a hotel is a sanctuary truly above it all.  The hotel is a first class oasis in Manhattan with views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the New York skyline.

The rooms and suites are elegant – resulting in a chic experience with Manhattan sophistication the order of the day.  The views are breathtaking.

The on-site concierge sees that guests have exactly what they need, in the lounge, in the hotel, or anywhere in the city.

(Left: The lounge) In the spacious 3,800 square foot club guests can relax and indulge in food presentations throughout the day, including breakfast, a light lunch, day-long refreshments, and evening cocktails and canapés.

The New York Palace Towers has to be one of the finest boutique hotels in America. I can’t recommend the Palace Hotel enough and without reservations.  The business services were terrific. The location can’t be beat.

The Towers Club amenities and services:

Stunning panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows on the 39th floor

Complimentary food offerings throughout the day, including:

* American breakfast bar

* Afternoon presentation of savories and sweets

* Evening cocktails & canapés and cordials & desserts

* Day-long refreshments

* Dedicated concierge

* Complimentary Wireless Internet access throughout the Club

Private meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art presentation technology

* Complimentary Business services include iPads, computer terminals as well as fax, photocopying and printing services

* A variety of periodicals, including daily newspapers as well as weekly and monthly magazines.

Click here for a link to the New York Palace Hotel and Towers.

History of The New York Palace

The New York Palace possesses a prestigious heritage. More than a century ago, Henry Villard, one of the nation’s most prominent financiers, commissioned McKim, Mead & White to create a residence of singular style. Constructed in 1882, that residence became known as The Villard Houses. Over the next century, the residence would change from private homes to offices for the Archdiocese and later, corporate offices for internationally known companies.

In the mid-1970s, the Archdiocese of New York, owners of the land, cleared the way for a hotel development that would incorporate this unique property, gracefully blending the landmark 1882 Villard Houses with a contemporary 55-story tower. The hotel opened in 1980 as The Helmsley Palace. In 1993, the hotel changed ownership and again underwent a comprehensive multi-million dollar restoration and refurbishment program.

Today, The New York Palace is proud to have joined Dorchester Collection’s impressive roster of outstanding hotels. The legendary Villard Houses, now The Villard Mansion, provides a stunning venue for business and social occasions with the elegant Villard Ballroom and Two Michelin Star GILT Restaurant and Lounge, as well as Palace Gate, an outdoor lounge set in the Hotel’s charming courtyard. Through this perfect blend of past and present, the legacy of the New York Palace continues, providing guests with a distinctive experience at a truly iconic New York hotel.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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