The Lowell: The perfect hotel
PHOTO: Living room of one of The Lowell suites (c) Sery Kim
Along a hidden corridor, nestled within the sumptuous elegance of New York City’s Upper East Side, The Lowell simmers with a refined elegance and supercharged charm bursting forth from its tiny shell.
From the moment I entered The Lowell, I truly felt as if I had come to the most beautiful home I had ever owned. I was greeted kindly but not formally and swiftly escorted to my opulent suite where I could soak up Michael Smith’s interior design of muted palate with fusions of gilded Asian living. It provided the ideal canvas for the wood-burning fireplace, which is featured in each of the 74 rooms (47 suites and 27 deluxe rooms), a rare treat in the cookie-cutter New York City hotel environment. On a blustery cold and snowy night, the fire provided a relaxing escape as did the comfy bed and a long, soaking tub with its own personal television right in front.
PHOTO: Bedroom of The Lowell suite (c) Sery Kim
PHOTO: Fresh cut roses at The Lowell (c) Sery Kim
As much as I admired The Lowell for these beautiful details, for me the most important feature of any hotel for a relentless traveler like myself is kindness and The Lowell exploded my expectations.
It feels strange to commend a hotel for this emotive detail, but I no longer consider it extraordinary to find a super comfy bed with Pratesi sheets, a relaxing velvet couch, delicious treats, a flawless breakfast, super fast and free wi-fi, lovely wine and strong coffee. These things are to be expected at this price-point -- even if The Lowell outperforms others with their particular display of these details.
PHOTO: The view from The Lowell Penthouse (c) Sery Kim
What I did not expect is for the concierge to listen to my off-handed comment about forgetting contact solution and then going off to buy it himself. (The concierge did not know I was there to review the hotel.) He even called me from the local drugstore to make sure he got the exact brand I used right.
Or when I noticed The Lowell had a conveniently sweet idea of allowing guests to leave their keys at the front desk when venturing out, I casually mentioned how much I liked the adorable swag key chain attached to the key. When I returned from my day out, I opened my room only to find a gift box with a brand-new swag key chain inside. “Thank you for staying at our hotel. We hope you enjoy this little gift.”
PHOTO: My keychain gift at The Lowell (c) Sery Kim
This surprising degree of attention arrested me in my cynical tracks. Even if I am treated to an exceptional degree of attention as a member of the media, I have never been treated so kindly, with my needs being met for me even without me expressing them. Before, when I was told guests have actually lived at the hotel for years, I scoffed. But now, after experiencing The Lowell’s courtesy, it now seems unremarkable to me that several hotel guests actually live at this hotel.
PHOTO: Soaking tub with television at The Lowell (c) Sery Kim
PHOTO: Beauty products at The Lowell (c) Sery Kim
“No wonder,” I thought and dreamed to myself as I wandered through the pricier suites. Details and kindness -- being able to fix a need even before the need is realized -- heightened every starry detail. I began to dream of the day I too could live like Eloise at The Plaza but at The Lowell. Sery at The Lowell sounds like the perfect children’s book to me!
Until then, I will be sure to make The Lowell my hotel destination of choice each-and-every-time I venture to New York City, especially when I sojourn later this Spring to experience the newly revamped restaurant on the second floor. Be sure to experience it for yourself. You will not regret it.
PHOTO: Breakfast at The Lowell (c) Sery Kim