In the interest of full disclosure: You will definitely notice the construction activity if you stay here. It’s a full-scale renovation, to the tune of $135 million dollars. The rooms in the main house and lower floors of the Towers get some noise and all the F&B components are shut down through summer. Before you make a booking, here’s a rundown of what will remain open throughout, what’s affected, and what you can still see if you look beyond the dust curtains.
All the Towers rooms and suites will be completed by June. Many are already completed and look fantastic. Even the standard rooms are so spacious they make an average Manhattan residential studio seem puny in comparison. Complimentary wireless access, touch-screen room technology, iPod docking stations, and two flat-screens per room bring these rooms into the modern era. Meanwhile, classic elements like complimentary shoe shine and marble baths retain the elegance of a bygone era.
The fitness center is open, as is the spa, and hotel guests receive complimentary access to the fitness center. The Palace has already adopted one of our favorite new guest services: loaning out exercise clothes and sneakers to those who either forgot theirs or didn’t want to pack them.
All the event space is completed and fully functional, including the street-level courtyard. While the hotel F&B offerings are under construction, eatery Maloney & Porcelli, located adjacent to the hotel on 50th Street, is doing breakfast for Palace guests.
The main lobby is undergoing a thorough redesign and currently offers only a modest entrance through a door nearly hidden by scaffolding; instead of the jaw-dropping, gold-and-marble spectacle of yore. Renovations will bring the lobby back up to its former standards, but with a more restrained approach. If you want to see what it will look like, there’s a rendering on the wall. Check-in for the Towers is currently located just outside the fitness center.
Le Cirque, the most famous restaurant of the 80s, is no more, but all of the historical landmark aspects of the space will be preserved in its new incarnation. The south part of the courtyard, which was the Palace Gate terrace bar last year, will not be open this summer. It may reopen under different management along with the new restaurant.
September is the grand unveil. Most of the rooms in the main house of the hotel should be fully renovated by then. The scaffolding will come down and most of the F&B spaces will be ready for business, including a brand-new restaurant by the fabulous Michel Richard.
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Lena Katz is the author of the Travel Temptations series (SIP, SUN, SNOW), published by Globe Pequot Press in 2009. Lena is also a travel expert for Celebrations/1800FLOWERS and WEtv (online and on-air). She contributes to the South China Morning Post and ABC News online. Lena is a former Orbitz Travel blogger and former columnist for the LA Times. She's been published in Brides Magazine, Robb Rep...(Read More)