The New York Palace Hotel

The New York Palace Hotel


The Palace's 55-story tower offers views of the New York City skyline, as well as 805 guest-rooms, 88 suites, a convert|7000|sqft|m2|sing=on Spa & Fitness Center, contemporary dining at Istana, fine dining at Gilt, convert|34000|sqft|m2 of banquet and meeting space, a business center, and four Triplex Penthouse suites with roof-top terraces and panoramic views. The New York Palace offers three different levels of guest room accommodations. The Main House is located on floors 9-29, and the Executive Level rooms are located on floors 30-39 and feature access to the Executive Lounge with complimentary daily breakfast buffet, afternoon snacks, and evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The Towers Rooms occupy the top of the hotel on floors 40-54 and feature Classical or Art Deco style rooms and suites, and Maitre d'Etage Butler Service. The Towers guests enter through a private reception area.


In 1882, Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier, hired McKim, Mead, and White to create six private brownstone townhouses surrounding a courtyard on Madison Avenue. The prominent architectural firm created the houses in the neo-Italian Renaissance tradition, after the Palazzo della Cancellaria in Rome.

In the spring of 1974, the developer Harry Helmsley proposed a 55-story hotel for the site of the Villard Houses called The Helmsley Palace Hotel. To construct his hotel tower, Helmsley hired Emery Roth & Sons, who created its design of dark bronze reflective glass and anodized aluminum to blend with the Villard Houses and its surrounding skyline.

In 1981, The Helmsley Palace Hotel opened, and Helmsley operated this hotel until 1992, when the hotel name changed to The New York Palace Hotel and came under the management of a private New York limited partnership.

During Helmsley's ownership Harry's wife Leona Helmsley maintained a strict and intolerant management style which involved her firing staff members for trivial mistakes, an act which gave her the nickname, "Queen of Mean".

Historical Spaces

The Courtyard

What was once The Villard Mansion carriage entrance on Madison Avenue is now the New York Palace’s famed Courtyard. During the restoration, it was redesigned to incorporate motifs from the flooring of several 15th-century Italian cathedrals.

The Lobby

The two-story marble lobby unites The Villard Mansion with the hotel. As you enter the lobby from the Courtyard, you will encounter a grand staircase that takes you down to the lower level lobby and a pair of staircases on either side of the foyer will take you up to the second floor. The red Verona fireplace, an original feature taken from the south wing of the Villard Mansion, is located on the second floor.


Gilt is the new 52-seat restaurant that opened in August 2006, which replaced the former Le Cirque 2000. One of France’s new interior designers, Parick Jouin, redesigned the historic landmark’s interior. At the helm of Gilt’s 21st Century New American cuisine is the Executive Chef, Christopher Lee. As the Executive Chef of the Striped Bass in Philadelphia, Christopher Lee received the James Beard “2005 Rising Star Chef of the Year” award. He has also been named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs for 2006, as well as Philadelphia Magazine’s “2005 Chef of the Year” and Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Four Star Rating” in 2006. The Gilt Bar features a unique architectural design and a 59-page wine list created by Sommelier Jason Ferris, the Director of Wine and Spirits.

Istana Restaurant

Restaurant Istana is located in the hotel lobby, which is adjacent to the hotel's 51st Street entrance. The dining area is positioned on both sides of the hotel’s lobby walkway and serves a Bistro style cuisine.

Cultural References

*In the television series, Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen and her family reside in The New York Palace Hotel.


*The New York Palace Hotel: the history behind a new york icon Press Release
*Streetscapes/Madison Avenue Between 50th and 51st Streets; A Landmark 6-Home Complex in Dark Brownstone Gray, Christopher. New York Times. (December 21 2003).

External links

* [ The New York Palace Official Website]
* [ Smart Splurge: New York Palace Hotel Travel Video]

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