7,000-square-foot spa with organic products and a eucalyptus steam room
Fitness center with personal training (for a fee) and views of St. Patrick's Cathedral
24,000-square foot event space and business center
Free Mercedes car service, and free shuttle service to theater district
Free bottled water, daily newspaper, welcome gifts, and snacks
Free services: shoe-shine, packing/unpacking, and drawing baths
Concierge service available
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No full-service restaurant on-site
No swimming pool, sauna, or whirlpool
Lower category rooms have less-than-luxurious bathrooms
Consisting of 14 floors above the Lotte Palace Hotel, The Towers at Lotte is a five-pearl luxury property with an excellent Midtown location right by famed Fifth Avenue shops and landmarks. Its 176 richly appointed and spacious guest rooms have skyline views (some overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral), and some have kitchenettes and separate living and dining spaces. There are four specialty bars, a patisserie, a 7,000-square-foot spa, and a fitness center with stunning views on-site. But some luxury features are missing, such as a full restaurant or a pool. Still, little luxe perks abound, including free packing/unpacking, shoe shines, clothes pressings, drawn baths, shuttles to the Theater District, and car service in a Mercedes. For another luxury option that offers a pool, a restaurant, and Central Park views, travelers could try the Mandarin Oriental.
An opulent and exclusive luxury hotel with richly adorned public spaces
The Towers at Lotte makes a grand first impression. Guests reach the property by walking through a gated courtyard on Madison Avenue, which acts as the entry for the larger Lotte New York Palace hotel, originally built in 1886. Once inside the opulent two-story marble and gilt-accented foyer, they are whisked by private elevator to their rooms or suites in The Towers -- the 14 stories at the very top of the hotel, which was the focus of a $140 million renovation completed in 2013.
There are four places to drink on-site, including the Lobby Lounge with its red leather tub chairs and abstract canvases and the dark interiors of Trouble's Trust, that can fill up with a post-work crowd of Midtown financiers. Despite the abundance of bars, the hotel lacks a full restaurant. But other luxury features abound, and they maintain the property's ritzy atmosphere, such as the spa with glittering tile walls and soft lighting or the fitness center with floor-to-ceiling views of St. Patrick's Cathedral and the city beyond. A gilt-edged, cream-walled space with high ceilings and skylights houses the event space. Fabrics and carpets everywhere are plush, the furniture and finishes expensive, and the entire experience includes much pampering (and no doubt, tipping). Many guests are repeat customers from Asia and the western United States usually visiting on a lush vacation.
In Midtown Manhattan, walking distance to several top attractions
The Towers at Lotte are convenient to many well-known New York City tourist sights. The hotel overlooks St. Patrick's Cathedral and the hotel's entrance is one-minute walk to Saks Fifth Avenue. It's a four-minute walk to Rockefeller Center, and a seven-minute walk to the Museum of Modern Art. Fifth Avenue's famed luxury shopping -- with stores like Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, and Bergdorf Goodman -- is eight to 10 minutes away on foot. In the opposite direction, the New York Public Library with its grand reading room, is an 11-minute walk. Other sights will require a taxi or subway ride. A subway stop is three blocks away, about a six-minute walk from the hotel, and a bus line goes straight up Madison Avenue where the hotel is located. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a 14-minute drive away or a 21-minute subway ride. The 9/11 Memorial is 16 minutes by car or 26 minutes by subway. Yankees Stadium is a 19-minute drive or a 22-minute subway ride. For a peaceful oasis and a view of the Hudson, The Cloisters museum is a 23-minute drive or 42 minutes on public transportation. La Guardia Airport is 20 minutes in no traffic by car or 42 minutes by subway and bus. It takes 30 minutes without traffic to drive to JFK Airport or 63 minutes on public transportation.
Grand rooms with excellent views and the feel of a posh private residence
Guest rooms at The Towers range from single bedrooms to a three bedroom penthouse suite and other specialty suites with multiple living, dining, and sleeping areas and even boxwood-trimmed terraces. Views are excellent on the whole: West-facing rooms overlook St. Patrick's Cathedral, while others have skyline views that may include the Hudson River off in the distance. Furnishings are full of rich materials and ornate details that includes dining tables with inlaid wood, sofas with Greek-key nailhead trim, and objets coordinated to a theme, like the crystal sculpture in the "Jewelry Suite." Some doorways in the specialty suites are trimmed in grey marble, while other rooms have stained wood trim. And smaller rooms can lack some grandeur as they have relatively modest ceiling heights. Headboards are often sueded leather. Units with dining rooms are stocked with bone china, silver service, and crystal stemware with the table set and cleared by a butler. The Tower Triplex Room comes with a grand piano.
All rooms have climate control, including air conditioning, 42-inch plasma TVs, and minibars or mini-fridges and microwaves. Wi-Fi and a free daily newspaper. Coffeemakers, espresso machines, and electric kettles are included or available on request. Free bottles of water and chocolates are in each room, and warm, scented towels, drinks, snacks, and welcome gifts are presented to guests on their arrival. Service also includes packing and unpacking, drawing baths, a free shine of one pair of shoes, and a valet pressing of two clothing items.
Bathrooms overall are quite roomy and set with marble, some with intricate marble and tile designs. They're often outfitted with double sinks and deep soaking tubs with separate walk-in glass showers. But lower room categories just have a single sink and shower/tub combo. Hairdryers, magnifying mirrors, Molton Brown toiletries, and plush terry robes and slippers come standard.
Atmospheric bars, spa, fitness center with views, and loads of luxe perks
The Towers at Lotte aims for the highest level of luxury with its amenities, and for the most part it succeeds. There are four opulent, atmospheric bars and a patisserie, but no on-site restaurant. Room service, however, is available 24 hours a day. The hotel also has a 7,000-square-foot spa with Naturopathica products and massage treatments plus a eucalyptus-scented steam room. The fitness center overlooks St. Patrick's Cathedral and has equipment that includes LiteFit cardio machines, Cybex, BOSU, free weights, and yoga mats. Personal training is available for a fee as well, but the space lacks a pool. There is a 24,000-square foot event space and a full-service business center, but staff can also bring a fax and copy machine to use free of charge directly to guest rooms.
In a grand gesture, the hotel offers the use of a Mercedes and driver free of charge -- on a first come, first served basis -- within a 20 block radius of the hotel. It also runs a free shuttle service to the Theater District. Other luxury perks include welcome gifts, beverages, and snacks for every guest. And services included in the room rate cover packing and unpacking, drawing baths, shining a single pair of shoes, and pressing two articles of clothing. For a fee, the hotel also offers same-day laundry and dry cleaning. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, and a free newspaper is provided to rooms. Concierge service is available. And children under 12 stay free in their parents' rooms.
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