NEW YORK -- A
landmark hotel in Manhattan, noted for its edgy take on the Art
Deco architectural style and handy location smack in the middle of
the Big Apple, is handing out cookies these days to everyone who
With new owners
and a $40 million facelift, the Metropolitan Hotel is now operated
by Doubletree -- naturally.
The property, at
Lexington Avenue and 51st Street, was built by the Tisch family in
1961, but the site was already famous -- after a fashion. The Loews
Theater previously stood there, and Marilyn Monroes flying-skirt
scene for the 1955 Seven-Year Itch movie was shot in front of the
Then came the
hotel, designed by Modernist architect Morris Lapidus, already
known for the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc in Miamis South Beach.
When it opened as the Summit, playwright Noel Coward and actress
Judy Garland were among those in attendance.
Fast forward to
2005: Joint-venture partners Rockwood Capital, Goldman Sachs
Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, Highgate Holdings and Oxford
Capital Group/Oxford Lodging Group have purchased the property from
the Tisch family and organized a redesign meant to recapture the
architects sensitivities with a retro-chic look in the public
spaces and guest rooms.
Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel New York City, it has 755 rooms, more
than an observer might guess from across the street. Also, from the
outside, it doesnt look much like the average persons idea of Art
Deco either (the nearby Chrysler Building fills that
The front looks
like a wave standing on its side. That wasnt just for looks, said
Ron Drake, vice president of sales and marketing; the design
allowed space for two additional rooms per floor.
Now, those rooms
sport all-new amenities designed for the frequent business or
leisure traveler. These include wireless and wired high-speed
Internet access, 24-inch flat-screen Zenith LCD television,
cordless telephone -- plus an ergonomic chair and in-room safe that
accommodates the laptop.
lounges provide additional seating, and bathrooms were redesigned
in slate and limestone.
emphasized sleek lines, lots of wood and earth tones in the modern,
Next to the lobby on one side is the
new Met Grill, a 70-seat eatery serving three meals a day
(supplemented by room service 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Also off the
lobby is the Met, a new lounge and bar, every bit as cool and sleek
as the lobby, and more so; it serves continental breakfast and
afternoon tea, as well.
With only a
70-person dining space and the small bar, the Doubletree
Metropolitan is really a rooms hotel, not big on food and beverage,
The 14 meetings
and event spaces, totally remodeled in the recent upgrade, include
the penthouse with glass-enclosed atrium and outdoor terraces.
Facilities also include a fitness room and business
is Doubletrees largest hotel in Manhattan. For more information or
reservations, call (800) 222-TREE.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin
at [email protected].