Ritz-Carlton returns to New York

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NEW YORK -- Ritz-Carlton will mark its return to New York after a four-year absence when it opens the 298-room Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park in October.

Situated at 2 West St. at the tip of Manhattan's Battery Park, the hotel occupies the first 14 floors of a 39-story, $200 million mixed-use building that will include 114 luxury condominiums on the upper floors.

Ritz-Carlton had been trying to find a way back into New York since August 1997, when it severed its management ties to the famed hotel on Central Park South.

Since announcing the Battery Park hotel, Ritz-Carlton said it would manage a second property in the city, signing an agreement to operate the former St. Moritz Hotel on Central Park South. It is scheduled to open sometime in December.

Ritz-Carlton said the Battery Park hotel's decor combine art deco elements with modern technology and signature Ritz-Carlton amenities.

Forty-four of the hotel's 298 rooms are suites. All rooms are equipped with multiline telephones with voice mail and data ports, and the suites will feature DVD players. Guest rooms and suites facing the waterfront are equipped with high-powered telescopes.

The hotel will feature a Club Level of higher-priced rooms with extras such as a private lounge offering meals and beverages, a dedicated concierge, separate check-in/checkout area, CD and DVD library and upgraded bathroom amenities.

The new Ritz will have two restaurants -- an Asian-influenced 100-seat eatery on the 14th floor called Merger, and a 96-seat lobby lounge called Vue with views of New York Harbor. Also at lobby level will be the Bar & Lounge for cocktails and afternoon tea.

Clients can work off their meals at a 2,500-square-foot fitness center equipped with the latest weight training and exercise equipment. Massage and spa treatments also will be offered.

For clients on business, the hotel will offer a business center with secretarial, faxing, photocopying and courier services. The center will have a dedicated "technology butler" to help clients experiencing computer problems.

For conferences, the hotel will offer 11,000 square feet of function space, including a 4,500-square-foot ballroom, two function rooms and a boardroom.

Daily rack rates will start at $375 for a standard room and peak at $4,500 for the Ritz-Carlton Suite. For details, call (800) 241-3333 or visit the Web site at www.ritzcarlton.com.

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