Jolly Hotels upgrades property to 4-star level

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NEW YORK -- Jolly Hotels is easily one of the largest hotel chains in Italy, but there is only one place in the U.S. where a traveler can sample its hospitality.

Located here on Madison Avenue and 38th Street, the Jolly Hotel Madison Towers "is the only Jolly Hotel in the U.S.," Rosanna Coscia said. "We are the [U.S.] flagship."

Coscia, who has been general manager of the property for the past two years, said at one time the Valdagno, Italy-based Jolly Hotels considered expanding throughout the U.S.

"Before 2000, there was a plan to invest in management properties," Coscia said. "But back in 2001, that didn't look promising. Then we had 9/11, so we decided to wait. But I feel later on, maybe 2005 or 2006, there may be some interest again."

Instead, Jolly Hotels invested more than $30 million in renovating the Jolly Hotel Madison Towers, refurbishing the rooms, public spaces and just about every inch of the property, which was built in 1928.

Jolly Hotels "wanted to bring us to the level of a Master Hotel," Coscia said, referring to a special designation the chain uses for its select four-star properties.

Of the 50 hotels in the Jolly Hotel chain, only a handful are considered Master Hotels. They include the Jolly Hotel Carlton in Amsterdam, the Jolly Hotel St. Ermin's in London and the Jolly Hotel Lotti in Paris.

Coscia describes this incarnation of the Jolly Hotel Madison Towers as a "boutique, because of the European flavor. We don't want to be known as a mass-[market] hotel where everyone becomes a number. "

Nevertheless, with 243 rooms, the Jolly Hotel Madison is a large property.

The property, located a short walk from the Empire State Building and Fifth Avenue shopping, features Cinque Terre, an upscale Italian restaurant; Caffe Buongiorno, serving breakfast and lunch; the Whaler Bar; meeting facilities that can accommodate up to 120 meeting delegates; and a spa.

Rooms, including seven junior suites, feature such amenities as high-speed Internet access.

Coscia describes the furnishings in the deluxe rooms as "very modern, very linear," while superior rooms boast furnishings with a "more traditional" look.

Because the property was built in the 1920s, each room has a slightly different layout. And as part of the renovation, some rooms were made larger.

But although guests may find a lot new with the Jolly Hotel Madison Towers, they will also find much has not changed.

"When you come in, you have a feeling of home," Coscia said.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

Shop N.Y., get discounted stay

NEW YORK -- The Jolly Hotel Madison Towers is marketing a package that turns shopping and Broadway show receipts into discounts on stays.

The three-night package, available through March 31, provides guests who present a shopping or Broadway show receipt totaling at least $70 with a discount of $35 off their room rate. Only one ticket receipt is accepted per day. Or guests can opt for a half-day sightseeing tour.

Rates start at $340, single or double. The package includes continental breakfast.

To book, call the Jolly Hotel Madison Towers at (212) 802-0600 or visit www.jollymadison.com. -- M.M.

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