This Preferred Hotels & Resorts property is tucked between Lexington and Park Avenues and is a suitable base for exploring Midtown and beyond. This renowned co-op building is ideal for travellers on the hunt for a more local experience rather than the typical hotel.
Midtown East is energetic and rowdy by day, but calms down in the evenings. The location is close enough to all of Midtown’s attractions but removed just enough from the most touristy areas. Walk to Central Park in less than 10 minutes, and Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Grand Central Station in about 15 minutes. Find Fifth Avenue and Madison shopping five minutes away, and eight subway lines within four blocks.
Style & character
Built in 1926 by William Randolph Hearst for his then mistress, the Lombardy is an elegant pre-war high-rise of 22 floors. The structure boasts a classic sunken lobby that resembles an old Park Avenue apartment building and lacks the hubbub at check-in and check-out that’s often found in Manhattan hotels.
Polished stone floors, mirrors, two small seating groups and contemporary art decorate the space, which, though clean and comfortable, could stand an update. Hallways are quiet, traditional, and well lit.
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Service & facilities
Several courteous but lukewarm staffers man the lobby and reception desk. Luxuries such as a small fitness centre, a salon that provides haircuts, colour and some spa services, a coffee bar, restaurant, and nearby public parking at just $38 (£29) per day (a steal in Midtown), as well as a business centre are attractive and convenient, especially for longer bookings.
- Fitness centre
All 154 guest rooms feel more like private flats than hotel rooms because that’s exactly what they are. This storied apartment-building-slash-hotel has been a residential cooperative since the 1950s. In fact, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once lived here. The co-op allows owners to add their apartments to a rental pool; thus, travellers can book rooms for one night or extended stays.
Rooms range from about 300 square feet to three-bedroom suites that average 1500 square feet – considerably larger than the average Manhattan hotel room. For a splurge, there’s a two-storey penthouse on the 21st floor. Rooms include Wi-Fi, safes, irons and ironing boards, coffee-makers, microwaves, and bath products. Larger rooms offer kitchens and dining areas. Since each unit is individually owned, décor styles run the gamut.
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Food & drink
Marc Forgione’s American Cut is rooted in a dark and masculine Art-Deco-inspired space that overflows with atmosphere. Dishes are unique and well-prepared; portions are generous and some plates shareable. Signature starters such as the Chili Lobster and “OG 1924 Hotel Caesar are beautifully presented and worth trying. My NY strip steak was not as juicy as I would’ve liked and leaned toward medium instead of a preferred medium-rare, so perhaps the rib-eye would’ve been a better choice.
The stars of the evening were the everything biscuits with cream cheese and dessert: the cake of the day. The eight-layer chocolate creation with fresh strawberries and a chocolate buttercream icing was worth every calorie. The wine list here is impressive but pricey, however all pairings were spot-on. From a Chablis to a California Cabernet and a Nebbiolo, every wine was outstanding thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable team behind the bar.
A basic hotel breakfast buffet consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and toast is included in the nightly rate and served in the American Cut dining room.
Ninth Street Espresso, next door, is an excellent spot for a dose of caffeine.