The Lotte New York Palace, one of New York City's most iconic luxury hotels, claims to be the oldest operating luxury hotel in the city.
Staying there doesn't come cheap. Nightly rates start at about $349 and can run up to $25,000 to stay in one of the hotel's twin penthouse suites.
The Champagne Suite and the Jewel Suite each spans three floors and 5,000 square feet. The two suites are commonly booked by diplomats and heads of state, Middle Eastern monarchs and royal family members, and business leaders, according to David Shenman, the hotel's director of sales and marketing.
I recently got a tour of the two suites. Here's what they look like.
The Lotte New York Palace hotel is one of New York City's most iconic luxury hotels.
The hotel comprises two sections: the original 140-year-old mansion, and the 55-story skyscraper addition built about 40 years ago.
The hotel's courtyard, which has a rear view of the ornate St. Patrick's Cathedral, used to be used as a horse and buggy turnaround area, according to Shenman.
On a recent afternoon, I got a tour of the Lotte New York Palace and its two $25,000 penthouse suites with David Shenman.
The lobby was bustling with people checking in and out.
The Towers, however, has its own separate lobby, which was much quieter.
We took the elevator up to the top of the towers and stepped into the Champagne Suite. The formal living room features floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of Manhattan, including the Empire State Building.
The Champagne Suite claims to be Champagne-inspired. While I can't say that being in the room quite conveyed that (whatever it means) to me, the fridge was prepared to deliver on the premise: The suite comes with a fully stocked Champagne fridge and a fully stocked cocktail bar.
The formal dining room seats 10 people.
Past a 29-foot-wide mural by French artists Alex et Marine is a grand curving staircase that leads up to the next floor, although the suite also has its own private elevator.
The master bedroom suite includes a king bed with luxury imported linens and a pillow menu.
In the master bathroom is a jetted bathtub, microfiber robes and slippers, a bidet, and Molton Brown bath products.
The master bedroom views face north toward the skinny, supertall skyscrapers rising on Billionaires' Row along the southern edge of Central Park.
Outside the master suite is a second living area with an additional dining table that seats six people.
There's also a second bedroom with two queen beds, meaning the suite can sleep at least six guests.
Upstairs is a third living room ...
... which opens up to a landscaped and furnished outdoor terrace ...
... that includes a "waterfall spa."
We moved on to the Jewel Suite, which was designed in collaboration with jewelry designer Martin Katz.
The first thing I noticed was an over-the-top, two-story "cascading crystal" chandelier just inside the entryway.
The suite was designed to evoke the feeling of "living in a jewel box," Shenman said.
Indeed, glass display cases next to the chandelier contain more than $1.5 million of Martin Katz jewels.
The Jewel Suite had a much more romantic vibe than the Champagne Suite. The master bedroom was decorated in warm neutral tones with lavender highlights.
The bathroom features plenty of sleek white marble.
Guests staying at the Jewel Suite can book a private consultation with Martin Katz or an associate, which would take place in this room just off the master bedroom.
The suite even comes with a complimentary Martin Katz diamond microband ring.
Like the Champagne Suite, the Jewel Suite includes a second bedroom with two queen beds.
Like the Champagne Suite, the Jewel Suite comes with a kitchenette, but a much larger one than in the Champagne Suite, which was so small that I didn't even bother to take a photo.
The Jewel Suite has its own expansive terrace and hot tub, but unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to look at it, as a guest was about to check in to the suite.
In addition to the tour of the penthouse suites, I got a peek into the hotel's Gold Room, a lavish cocktail bar with original guilt ceilings from 1882.
Down the hall is an opulent ballroom that holds special events such as the hotel's weekend magic shows.
I got a look inside Rarities, a 25-seat lounge that's typically only open to a small group of members and their guests.
As the name suggests, Rarities offers some of the world's most rare and expensive liquors and wines.
And a two-ounce glass of a rare Macallan scotch whiskey goes for about $3,000.
In August, the hotel hosts its annual Palace Invitational in its iconic courtyard, a sort of pre-party for the US Open where some of the world's top tennis stars compete in a playful badminton tournament.
After my tour of the Lotte New York Palace and its $25,000-a-night penthouse suites, it was clear why the hotel is a New York City institution.