The New York Palace—an iconic Manhattan hotel that combines the historic, opulent Villard Mansion with a contemporary 55-story tower—has opened an exclusive new lounge called Rarities as part of its recent $140 million renovation. With only 25 seats, it’s located in the landmarked, Renaissance-style Villard building and is designed in homage to the city’s legendary private gentleman’s clubs, the sort of place where Vanderbilts and Astors would meet for drinks.
Rarities marks the final reveal of the extensive renovations, which have completely transformed the property. The rich, dark, reservation-only venue serves some of the world’s rarest wines and spirits (hence the name). On offer are a number of exceptional Champagnes, Prohibition-style bottled spirits, modern classics and a comprehensive wine cellar to please any connoisseur.
Several of the wines on the list are almost never seen anywhere else in the world and selections range from a Fladgate Scion 1855 Vintage Port at $485 a glass to a 1985 Romanée-Conti Grand Cru at $27,000 a bottle. A custom-made glass vitrine showcasing the carefully curated selection of rare Scotches rises up through the center of the stairwell, connecting Rarities with the hotel’s cocktail bar Tavern on 51. Patrons can view each unique bottle and read about each whisky’s character as they ascend the staircase.
The décor of the restaurant was inspired by the “richness of whiskey” and features an eclectic mix of period-inspired furniture, ambient lighting, antiques and artwork to complement the historic elements including the original fireplace that the Villard Mansion—built by McKim, Mead & White in 1884— is famous for.