The New York Palace wants to be more than it is. As a large-ish, business class hotel in a big city, its above average. As a luxurious oasis, which seems to be what it is striving for, it falls short.
The hotel itself went through major renovations. The public spaces are nice but smaller than I expected. We did encounter some lines at check in, but they moved quickly. The lounges and restaurants did not seem to be well utilized--likely overpriced. On the other hand, the Michael Richard bakery/cafe was not terribly overpriced and was a neat spot with some good stuff.
Staff was a very, very mixed bag. On initial check in, I found the clerk to be unfriendly, brusque and even slightly rude. On a subsequent visit, I encountered a much friendlier employee who was also a manager. A third visit was closer to the first. On the other hand, the bell team is a real standout. Unlike some other NYC hotels, this is an in-house operation, and the bellman managed to be helpful and ever-present without it seeming like they were trolling for tips as it often the case in these kinds of hotels. They were also friendly and efficient.
The room itself was also a mixed bag. I booked an upgraded room with a view, and our room was on a high floor and did indeed have a nice view of Rockefeller Center and the Cathedral. However, it seemed like the renovation was half done. Carpets, beds, tv and furniture are new. Toilets, HVAC and the electronic device the controls the lights are not new and in fact are quite dated. When we first came to our room, we noticed a very loud "clacking" sounds coming from the HVAC unit. We also had a problem issue (toilet would not stop running). I was told that moving to another room would mean losing the view, so I asked maintenance to come. The technician was polite and efficient, but he had to take apart the HVAC unit and install a replacement motor. He discovered that the fan itself had cracked and the broken piece was causing the noise. He did it as fast as possible, but he was still in our room for quite some time when we had planned on trying to rest. A plumber also eventually came out and was able to fix the toilet issue. The HVAC repair did work, but we lost a good hour and a half of what was supposed to be rest time during these repairs. I wasn't necessarily looking for anything in return, but it was never acknowledged at all by anyone. If this was the kind of hotel it is striving to be, it would have been, and someone would have followed up to see if the repairs actually worked. It wasn't our fault things weren't working in the room, and the repairs happened on my time.
Be aware also that there is some significant wind noise and flexing of the structure when the sun is on it. A little bit bothersome as well.
That said, rooms were quite large for New York. It was also quiet and seemingly well insulated--did not hear a lot of noise from other rooms. This hotel, as others have said, is also very well located in a lovely part of midtown. It is an easy walk to Central Park, to shopping, to Times Square and the subway.
Final thought--I feel like the iconic courtyard side could be better utilized. Its sort of just open seating, with random people having out--some hotel guests, some not. They should do something with it--put an outside coffee bar, spruce it up a little. It is a really nice space.
We received a very good rate--on par with the national chain hotels in the area. My bottom line--I wouldn't pay extra to stay here or go out of my way, but I would stay here again.