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
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
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.
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.
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.