Review: The Lowell, New York

An expert review of The Lowell on New York's Upper East Side

Hotel

Originally built as a luxury apartment hotel in the 1920s, The Lowell has a long history as one of New York’s most exclusive residential-style properties. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, the property is privately owned by the Chartouni family, and perhaps for this reason retains a familiar, homey ambiance that is popular among its high-profile clientele (I saw two notable actors during my stay).

The property recently underwent a US$25 million (about A$32 million) renovation helmed by London-based architect Mark Pinney – who is known for his work on Apple, Armani and Burberry stores – and designer Michael S Smith, renowned for his work at the White House. The makeover saw the lobby revamped, restaurant Majorelle added and a new retractable roof placed over the adjacent terrace, filled with exotic plants and water fountains.

The Club Room

 

Locale

The Lowell is set between Park and Madison avenues on 63rd Street, in a mostly residential Upper East Side neighbourhood. Just a block away from Central Park and a short stroll to Museum of Modern Art, it’s close to everything yet still removed from the crowded sidewalks and chaos of this busy city.

 

Look & feel

Picture a beautiful, historic (circa 1927) brownstone on a leafy street in New York City and you’re close to what The Lowell offers today. Once you pass through the art deco, flamingo-pink façade it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time, to when Manhattan was classic both in décor and personal service. Offering just 47 suites and 27 deluxe rooms, the hotel feels intimate and homey – a vibe that is echoed in the large Club Room, a sophisticated hideaway with comfortable wingback chairs and an open fire in winter.

Garden Suite Terrace

 

Eat in

Breakfast in the Pembroke Room is as elegant as the hotel. Reinforced by the à la carte menu with everything cooked to order, it’s the kind of place that makes you want to relax and take your time.

The property’s new culinary addition is the ultra-exclusive Majorelle, under the direction of restaurateur Charles Masson. The restaurant’s décor is sophisticated, and the space is filled with light from the new garden area as well as plants and bouquets of flowers. Chefs Mario Fortuna and David Brower’s menu is focussed on classically French flavours with Mediterranean influences from the Riviera to Morocco – it’s considered cuisine served in a beautiful setting.

 

Treat yourself  

The hotel has an adequately sized gym outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. While there is no spa, the concierge can book an appointment for you outside of the hotel or treatments can be arranged in the privacy of your room.

 

Special touches

Having a wood-burning fireplace in your bedroom in New York is a rarity. What makes the experience even more special is the private butler service, on call 24 hours a day, to light your fire with a bundle of Pennsylvania applewood.

During Madonna's extended stay at The Lowell, the team converted a suite into a private gym for her. This suite is now the Manhattan Suite and can be booked by guests. 

 

Illustration by Taylor Conacher

The Checklist

  •  Free WiFi
  •  24-hour room service
  •  Complimentary newspapers
  •  Turndown service, twice daily
  •  Valet (US$58/A$73 per night)
  •  Packing/unpacking service
  •  Laundry, dry cleaning and pressing service

 

Stay here

Price: Suites from US$855 (A$1,080) per night

lowellhotel.com/

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Designed by Michael S Smith, the 17th floor Penthouse apartment occupies 279 square metres, and offers three bedrooms and four landscaped terraces.

 

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Weather to go

New York experiences its prime weather from May to October with warm, sunny days the result of a humid subtropical climate. New York in the springtime (March-May) is accompanied by light winds, rain and cool to very warm temperatures, while summer (Jun-Aug) is characterised by hot, sunny days and late sunsets. The gorgeous autumnal leaves of fall make it a popular time to visit with layers recommended to keep warm in cool and crisp temperatures. The first snows usually appear in December, with winter (Dec-Feb) temperatures below freezing. Occasional snowstorms, freezing rain and bitter cold winds mean heavyweight clothing is a necessity for travellers heading to NYC travel in winter. 

 

 

 

Best places to stay

The city that never sleeps, New York is home to world-famous nightlife, museums and galleries, shopping and international cuisine. Here we have curated a list of the best places to stay when visiting one of the most energetic metropolises in the world. 

 
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