How can some hotels achieve astronomical room rates even when they have a miniscule lobby, the two elevators seem to take forever – even though the 74-room property is only on 17 floors – and there is no proper restaurant or bar at the moment? The Lowell, New York, has an average rate that is well into four-figures (US dollars rather than bolivares or pesos), and it has over 75% repeat factor. On top of all of this, this luxury hotel seems to be full, nonstop. The gal needed to find out. The first thing that impresses are the rooms, or rather suites. 12-A is a pale cream haven of a Manhattan apartment, with the latest iMac to show that this is a pad for the eternally curious as well as lovers of luxury. See the video, below.
This is a hotel for those who appreciate service: everyone working here seems to think of the customer (and hotel staff, like the guests, seem to stay). It is also for the senses. The displays of lilies down in the bijou lobby are just short of overpowering – their perfume delights, every time you go in or out (and the lobby just has room, too, for a concierge, at a proper sit-down desk, and bowls of fabulous-taste apples and flavoured waters). Up in 12-A, I had a wide selection of reading material, from books on Wood, and also on Wisdom, and Egyptian Games, plus Mrs Astor’s New York, and Ian Rankin’s The Complaints, and much-thumbed, and obviously used, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Taking my eyes away from a page and looking around the suite, I admired the proper fireplace, with a reed basket of wood logs at the ready, and big black and white Manhattan photos on the walls.
Outside, on my two brick-floor balconies, I had big green plants, and wrought-iron seating. Actually, back down at ground level I had the delight of being taken outside, to E-63rd Street, and in through the closed neighbouring door. What was the hotel’s symbiotic Post House restaurant, now shuttered for many months, will open later this fall as Majorelle. Inside what is honestly a building site I met Charles Masson, who will manage it: amazingly, surrounded by hard-hats and all that dust, he was immaculate, Savile Row at its best and not one spot of dust on his mirror-polished shoes. This will obviously be his territory, which he will run alongside the chef, Christian Delouvrier.
The Lowell GM, once again the passionate Heiko Künstle, has assembled a dream team for Majorelle. Architect Mark Pinney and designer Michael Smith have knocked through to the rear courtyard, which will become a year-round dining extension, with a living wall. Everything already oozes space, and quality, and there will be entrances directly to the hotel at ground level – thus enlarging the current lobby – and also, via a new staircase, up to the current upper-floor Pembroke Room (this, lightened and brightened a bit, will continue to serve breakfast and afternoon tea, but it will also, at lunch and dinner, become a private dining room for Majorelle). I cannot wait to return to this luxury hotel when all the enhancements are finished, and by that time, not surprisingly, the average rate will have risen even further. NOW WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW