Etiquette expert William Hanson evaluates The Lowell hotel in New York City

America has always had a funny relationship with the British: they definitely don't want to be British all the time, but they, so-called in secret, look at our standards, taste and heritage as inspiration for their own standards.

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This is very true for the Lowell hotel in New York City, which has an ankle cross between Madison and Park Avenue and has done so since 1926. For America this is a historic building. (For Brits, we have milk in the fridge that has been around for some time.)

As with many place names in Britain (just to keep the riff away), the Lowell is its own shibbolet: it is pronounced to reconcile with bowl of non-owl.

The Lowell hotel in New York City, & # 39; that is, with ankle faintly crossed, between Madison and Park Avenue & # 39;

The Lowell hotel in New York City, & # 39; that is, with ankle faintly crossed, between Madison and Park Avenue & # 39;

However, nobody in the hotel seems to know where the name came from.

There is no town or village in Britain of that name and a quick thumb through the Burke archives reveals no family with that surname. I suspect that a smart thing in the 1920s chose it because it sounds pretty high-pitched and overtones British superiority.

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It is a name that fits you well: a certain level of quality and sophistication is expected before arrival.

Today, the hotel has 74 rooms – 47 of which are suites – and manages to attract CEOs and their families, celebrities and wealthy, statesman-like jet-setters.

Golden oldie: The Lowell dates from 1926. For America this is a historic building

Golden oldie: The Lowell dates from 1926. For America this is a historic building

Golden oldie: The Lowell dates from 1926. For America this is a historic building

Being a nearly 100-year-old, 17-storey New York building, each bedroom is unique in design and shape, many with original wood-burning fireplaces: a nice reminder that it was incredibly smart not long ago, and an important selling point , for hotels to have a fireplace in the room. (The Ritz in London, opened in 1906, was the first to have it in all bedrooms.)

The luxury continues, with marble bathrooms with underfloor heating, toilet paper wrapped in fabric, Frette sheets and orchids decorating the room.

There are moments in the bedrooms that need some love and TLC – just two years ago the public areas of the hotel had a $ 25 million renovation – and some well-worn parts of the bedrooms, often hidden behind chairs and tasteful objects, could a bit of renovating too.

The hotel has 74 rooms - of which 47 are suites - and manages to attract CEOs and their families, celebrities and wealthy, statesman-like jet-setters
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The hotel has 74 rooms - of which 47 are suites - and manages to attract CEOs and their families, celebrities and wealthy, statesman-like jet-setters

The hotel has 74 rooms – of which 47 are suites – and manages to attract CEOs and their families, celebrities and wealthy, statesman-like jet-setters

Charles Masson guides around the Majorelle restaurant (pictured) during the service & # 39; as a gastronomic theater director & # 39;

Charles Masson guides around the Majorelle restaurant (pictured) during the service & # 39; as a gastronomic theater director & # 39;

Charles Masson guides around the Majorelle restaurant (pictured) during the service & # 39; as a gastronomic theater director & # 39;

Hanson was impressed by the marble bathrooms, but found traces of wear in his bedroom

Hanson was impressed by the marble bathrooms, but found traces of wear in his bedroom

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Hanson was impressed by the marble bathrooms, but found traces of wear in his bedroom

Continuing his love affair with all things British, the hotel's Pembroke room plays host not only to breakfast but also to the afternoon tea ceremony.

Once seated, you will be dressed away from the dirty, rustling streets of the city and presented with silver teapots that came directly from Garrard & Co in London – silversmiths to the Prince of Wales and designers of five of the eight crowns in the Tower of London .

The Lowell gets the afternoon tea service more correctly than many London institutions, but with lots of nods to American mores and ideas of refinement (Garrard's beautiful pots are placed on tealight-lit warmers – and while they keep the pots warm, they stew also the tea leaves inside).

Unfortunately, there is no clotted cream for sale – only the similar-sounding & # 39; Devonshire cream & # 39 ;. We can forgive the Pembroke Room because clotted cream is so hard to export and not too expensive.

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The tea service is complemented by waiters with a white coat and coated who will tell you warmly in conversation and background story about each of the teas, as well as discuss their own experiences of tea houses and hotels during their trips to England.

& # 39; Because it is an almost 100-year-old, 17-storey New York building & # 39 ;, Hanson writes, & # 39; each bedroom is unique in design and shape, many with original wood-burning fireplaces & # 39 ;. Depicted is the living room in one of the two-bedroom suites

& # 39; Because it is an almost 100-year-old, 17-storey New York building & # 39 ;, Hanson writes, & # 39; each bedroom is unique in design and shape, many with original wood-burning fireplaces & # 39 ;. Depicted is the living room in one of the two-bedroom suites

& # 39; Because it is an almost 100-year-old, 17-storey New York building & # 39 ;, Hanson writes, & # 39; each bedroom is unique in design and shape, many with original wood-burning fireplaces & # 39; Depicted is the living room in one of the two-bedroom suites

De Lowell gets the afternoon tea service more correctly than many other London institutions, Mr. Hanson writes

De Lowell gets the afternoon tea service more correctly than many other London institutions, Mr. Hanson writes

De Lowell gets the afternoon tea service more correctly than many other London institutions, Mr. Hanson writes

The Lowell distinguishes itself from a few recent hotel openings in New York City, such as Public
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The Lowell distinguishes itself from a few recent hotel openings in New York City, such as Public

The Lowell distinguishes itself from a few recent hotel openings in New York City, such as Public

Cocoon: The Lowell is perfect for those who crave & # 39; a break in the madness of the city & # 39;

Cocoon: The Lowell is perfect for those who crave & # 39; a break in the madness of the city & # 39;

Cocoon: The Lowell is perfect for those who crave & # 39; a break in the madness of the city & # 39;

For those for whom tea is too much, their lunch and dinner in the Majorelle restaurant is probably more in line with their wishes. Classical French cooking with a Moroccan twist, under the supervision of Charles Masson, who during his ministry floats around as a gourmet theater director and oversees every detail of the experience of each table.

The vaulted, dramatic setting of the restaurant is decorated with even more dramatic flower presentations, each made by Masson, who uses the restaurant's closure on a Monday to visit the flower markets and choose everything that will pick his stage for the rest of the week. . A good piece of work if the flowers compliment the food perfectly, but not upstage: the cheese soufflé with velouté is a special hit.

De Lowell distinguishes itself from some recent hotel openings in New York City, such as Public, but I suspect it will have a longer legacy and will survive the newer, fady accommodations in the city.

For those who crave a break from the madness of the city and the country as a whole, and those who appreciate quality, discreet, subtle service and environment, this is unparalleled portal to the Upper East Side for them – and for me.

TRAVEL FACTS

Rates start from $ 885 (£ 700) per night. Visit for more information www.lowellhotel.com.

Rating:

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Assessment code: one star – poor; two stars – ok; three stars – good; four stars – very good; five stars – exceptional.

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