If you’ve never checked out of a hotel wishing you could take up residence à la Eloise, then you’ve never stayed in the Ultimate Sleep Suite at the Lotte New York Palace. It may not be “pink, pink, pink,” but I can bet that Eloise herself would pack up all of her Dior and demand a change of address after one look inside this impeccably appointed space.
Despite having lived in Manhattan for more than six years, I never tire of doing touristy things—especially taking trips to iconic New York hotels. Even pre-pandemic, I always had a fondness for staycations: When the city wears you down, there is nothing better than abandoning your tiny apartment for the weekend to live in the lap of luxury. And the Palace has long been at the top of my staycation list. I’m also a self-confessed devotee of all things Gossip Girl—the cheesy but equally addictive drama series chronicling the lives of privileged Upper East Side teens, many of whom had apartments in said hotel—and so I could hardly contain my excitement upon being invited to try out their most lavish suite for the night. Little did I know, the Hästens Ultimate Sleep Suite would put Serena van der Woodsen’s living quarters to shame.
So I zipped up to the 43rd floor and headed down a corridor covered in bold greek key carpet; Room 4310 opens into a glossy all-white entryway, with the main living area ahead of me and a second bedroom and bath down a hall to my left. Through large windows spanning the length of the suite, there are pristine views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the heart of Midtown.
A sleek kitchen equipped with every appliance you’d need overlooks a formal dining area; adjacent to that are two sofas around a brass-and-marble cocktail table, all sitting atop a plush, high-pile rug. The library space has floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves carefully curated with avant-garde objets and books. And then finally, around a corner and through a mahogany door, lies a blue-and-white Hästens Vividus bed with a steely taupe velvet headboard, topped with crisp white linens and the fluffiest pillows you could ever imagine.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the family-owned Swedish luxury brand known for its checked mattresses, the Vividus is its top-of-the-line offering. It requires 350 hours of labor at their atelier in Köping, Sweden, to make just one. And only nine of the company’s artisans are properly trained and qualified to craft it—hence the hefty $200,000 price tag. Cost aside, this bed truly commands the room. And did I mention the complimentary matching blue-and-white eye masks on each nightstand?
For Part Two of nirvana, I made my way down the adjoining hall, past the en-suite black-and-white marble bath, to the pre-stocked walk-in-closets, where I found keepsake Hästens pajamas and slippers, tailored to my size. (It’s no wonder that there’s a fully functioning kitchen in this suite—once you’ve checked in, who would want to go anywhere else?)
Needless to say, my sleep expectations were high—after all, there had to be some serious science behind the painstaking construction of this mattress. And between the perfectly fluffed down comforter and those crisp checked pajamas, I couldn’t wait for bedtime. Rest assured, the bed did not disappoint. In lieu of latex or foam, the Hästens Vividus is intricately hand-layered using all-natural, ethically sourced horsetail hair, flax, wool, and cotton batting. This sits atop a boxspring of steel springs and additional flax, which all rests on a frame carved from rare Swedish pine.
One thing you won’t find here? Nails or screws. Instead, everything is sewn together using a step-stitching technique that requires a special 18-inch needle. The wool, cotton, and horsehair-filled mattress topper is made to work in unison with the firm mattress, creating an equal measure of support and comfort. Once I settled in, I felt hugged at every joint, but without a sinking sensation.
And while my morning bliss the next day was partially due to the fact that my now-fiancé pulled off the most romantic courtyard proposal during our stay, thanks to the hotel’s incredibly thoughtful and accommodating staff, I can also attest to the magical powers of this mattress. For your next staycation or vacation—or just the ultimate sleep experience—this suite most certainly lives up to its name.
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