Barbizon now a Melrose Hotel

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NEW YORK -- The 80-year-old Barbizon Hotel, located on Lexington Avenue at 63rd Street, is getting a new name to go along with its $40 million face-lift.

The 306-room property, which opened in 1921 as a hotel for women, will be renamed the Melrose Hotel, New York, on June 1.

The name change and renovation are part of Melrose Hotel Co.'s plans to create a portfolio of four-star hotels.

The Barbizon was purchased by Melrose parent Berwind Property Group, based in Philadelphia, in May 2001 for $96 million.

The property is the fourth hotel purchased by the group during the last three years; the company also owns and operates hotels in Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; and Washington.

Melrose said its U.S. hotel portfolio is valued at more than $200 million. The company plans to add another five hotels to its portfolio within the next 18 months.

"We are thrilled to be entering the New York market," said John DePaul, president and chief executive officer of Melrose Hotel Co. "With the conversion of the Barbizon, a legendary New York property in a great location for business, shopping and sightseeing, we are making a classic hotel even better."

Like all Melrose properties, the Melrose Hotel, New York, will house a signature Landmark Restaurant and Library Bar.

The additions are part of the $40 million renovation that pared down the Barbizon's room count from 700 to 306, but made the rooms much larger.

As part of the refit, the hotel created 21 suites, including 12 Tower Suites with terrace balconies.

One amenity that wasn't changed was the 34,000-square-foot Equinox Fitness Club and Spa. Hotel guests have signing privileges at the Equinox.

Rates range from $260 per room, single or double, for a regular room to $1,200 for a Tower Suite. Commission is 10%.

For information or to book the New York hotel, call (800) 223-1020 or visit the Web site at http://melrosehotel.com.

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