With New York hotel occupancies running in the record mid-80% range
for the past several years -- a trend that's projected to continue
for 1999 -- the city has been unveiling new hotels and renovating
and expanding existing ones at a rapid clip. The following is a
summary of the latest hotel developments:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which encompasses
both Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts,
has emerged in recent years as a major player on the global hotel
scene, nowhere more so than in New York City.
Sheraton recently announced it will manage a new 562-room Planet
Hollywood Hotel scheduled to open in Times Square in time for the
millennium celebrations. Meanwhile, Westin will operate a new $300
million, 860-room luxury property, The Westin New York at Times
Square, slated to open in the spring of 2002. Westin also acquired
two properties -- the former Ritz-Carlton, now the Westin Central
Park South, and the Essex House, now officially known as the Essex
House, A Westin Hotel.
In addition, Starwood's new W Hotels inaugurated its first New
York property, the W Hotel New York, last fall. The hotel, the
former Doral Inn, is one of three former Doral properties that will
eventually fly the W Hotels banner.
Starwood has also expressed interest in building a hotel at
Kennedy airport, though details were not available at press
For more information on Starwood's New York City hotels, call
(877) STARWOOD, or access Starwood's Web site: www.starwoodhotels.com.
Last month Manhattan East Suite Hotels debuted The Benjamin, the
group's first Executive Suite Hotel, a new brand designed for the
traveling senior executive. Located in midtown on the East Side, on
the site of the former Beverly Hotel, the 209-unit property
features spacious accommodations, each with three two-line
speakerphones and one cordless; voicemail and direct international
dialing private-line service; fax/scanner/printer/copier equipment
and kitchen galleys equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and
Facilities include the upscale Woodstock Spa and Wellness Center
and three function rooms accommodating from 10 to 110 people. This
month, renowned chef Larry Forgione will relocate An American
Place, one of New York's most acclaimed restaurants, to the
The 138-room, boutique-sized Holiday Inn Wall Street will open
this month. With only eight rooms and one executive suite per
floor, the hotel will cater to business travelers midweek. Each
guest room is equipped with T-1 Internet connectivity and an
eight-foot work desk, task lighting, a desktop dataport and
electrical outlet and desk supplies. For reservations call(212)
232-7800 or (800) HOLIDAY.
Courtyard by Marriott has opened its first two Manhattan
properties -- the 308-room Courtyard by Marriott Midtown East and
the 244-room Courtyard by Marriott Times Square South. The new
hotels appeal to mid-level business travelers with such features as
functional rooms with work desks and two two-line phones; informal
restaurants; fitness facilities; business services and function
The new 155-room Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel, the third New
York hotel to carry the name of the Fitzpatrick Family Group of
Hotels, combines such amenities as in-room two-line phones with
voicemail and dataport and private fax machines, with such
reminders of the company's roots as an Old World Irish pub and
rooms with Irish linens and towels.
The 120-room Premier by Millennium Broadway opened near the
theater district in February, just a couple of doors from its
sister hotel, the Millennium Broadway & Conference Center. The
two hotels are connected by the historic Hudson Theatre, which is
used for upscale social events, fashion shows and other private
functions and presentations. The new property has a lounge serving
guests free continental breakfast and beverages.
The Amsterdam Hospitality Group's newest member, the 21-story,
197-room Bentley Hotel, which was converted from an office building
on East 62nd Street, offers rooms with soundproof windows, a
rooftop restaurant (which can also be used for private functions)
with views of the East River, a wraparound terrace open in summer,
and a wood-paneled library with a complimentary cappuccino bar.
The 532-room Holiday Inn Broadway (on the site of the former
Hotel Martinique), offers state-of-the-art facilities in a
historic, turn-of-the-century French Renaissance-style building at
Broadway and 32nd Street. Facilities include rooms with individual
climate control, dual-line speaker phones/dataport, minibar,
in-room safe and coffeemaker, as well as a fitness center,
restaurant, bar and lounge.
Regent International Hotels, a member of the Carlson family,
will inaugurate a 140-room hotel on Wall Street before the end of
summer. The Regent Wall Street will feature spacious rooms and
suites and several meeting and banquet rooms, including a
New Extended-Stay Hotels
Located in a former luxury condominium building on Manhattan's
Upper East Side, the new 100-suite Marmara-Manhattan provides such
residential-style touches as a Japanese courtyard garden to appeal
to its long-stay guests. Accommodations in studios and one- to
three-bedroom suites are equipped with multifunction fax machines,
Web-TV, cordless phones, VCR and stereo systems, a personal safe
large enough to store laptops and fully equipped kitchens. The two-
and three-bedroom units also have washer/dryers.
Convenient to famous museums and art galleries, the hotel has
on-site laundry facilities, a fitness room, guest privileges at a
nearby health club, daily breakfast buffet, valet service and daily
New York's first of three planned Envoy Clubs, the Envoy Club at
Eastbridge Landing, offers 58 well-furnished alcove studios and
one- and two-bedroom suites. Located at First Avenue and 33rd
Street, the property occupies five floors of a new building called
Eastbridge Landing, and offers 24-hour concierge service, business
services, daily housekeeping, on-site parking and laundry and
dry-cleaning services. The extended-stay hotel welcomes pets.
Homestead Village Lodging, a developer, owner and operator of
mid-priced extended lodging facilities, plans to open three
properties in midtown Manhattan. According to industry sources, the
group has tentatively chosen sites on East 45th Street, West 40th
Street and East 55th Street.
The SoHo Grand Hotel, in the heart of Lower Manhattan's trendy
SoHo district, will soon have a sister hotel, the Tribeca Grand, to
open next spring in nearby Tribeca. Like the SoHo Grand, the
210-room Tribeca property is being developed by Hartz Mountain
Industries. The hotel has been designed to blend with the area's
famous cast-iron architecture. Facilities will include a business
center, fitness center, restaurant, bar/lounge, a 100-seat room
that can be used as a screening room for movies or for private
functions, two meeting rooms and 24-hour room service.
Also in Lower Manhattan, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. will manage
a new property in Battery Park City. The property is set to begin
construction by the end of this year, and will occupy part of a new
tower being built by developers Millennium Partners. In addition to
the 250- to 300-room hotel, the complex will house 150 condo units
and the new Skyscraper Museum.
The New Yorker Hotel, on 34th Street, a few steps from Madison
Square Garden, will complete a phased renovation, upgrading and
expansion this fall. The hotel has already added a business center
and fitness facility and has created three levels of Tower
Recent improvements at Swissotel New York -- The Drake are
geared toward business travelers. The hotel, on Park Avenue at 56th
Street, boasts an 8,000-square-foot business center with private
conference rooms, computer workstations with laser printers and
color copiers. Additional features include access to Bloomberg
Business News on-line, cell phones and pagers for rental.
The Peninsula New York reopened late last year after completing
a major renovation and restoration project that included the
addition of 14 suites, bringing the total to 55, and the upgrading
of guest rooms.
The Phillips Club, a 100-unit extended-stay property near
Lincoln Center, will unveil 87 additional suites this July. The
accommodations will be located in an adjacent building now under
Apple Core Hotels recently completed a $1.5 million renovation
of the Comfort Inn Midtown and refurbished the Best Western Hotel
& Conference Center in Hempstead, Long Island. The Best Western
project included improvements to the 16,000-square-foot conference
center, and such additional facilities for business travelers as
new business and fitness centers.
The Carlton Hotel at Madison Avenue and 29th Street recently
completed a $10 million repositioning project that upgraded the
hotel from a budget property to a first-class business hotel.
Improvements included redecorated guest rooms, the creation of two
executive levels and the addition of a business center.
The New York Hilton & Towers has installed state-of-the-art
electronic SmartLocks in its guest room doors. The locking system
operates in conjunction with the hotel's SmartKeys as well as
guests' Smartcards -- i.e., credit cards, such as the American
Express Corporate Card, the Hilton Optima Card and the Hilton
HHonors Worldwide Diamond VIP Card.
The Park Central Hotel, in midtown on the West Side, underwent a
$60 million restoration and renovation. The project included the
creation of 250 executive guest rooms and an executive club lounge,
as well as the addition of a fitness/wellness center. In
recognition of the growing number of women business travelers, the
hotel also created a new in-house position, director of
Clients of The Mark, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, can now use
cordless phones during their stay. Guests pay only for usage --
$1.75 per minute for each incoming and outgoing call anywhere in
the world. The hotel also offers guests a 10% discount on one item
purchased at Bloomingdale's.
Manhattan East Suite Hotels has renovated all 128 suites at the
all-suite Southgate Tower, and launched a two-phase refurbishment
of the Shelburne Murray Hill, set for completion in September. The
project includes a renovation of all 263 suites and the addition of
cardiovascular equipment and men's and women's saunas in the
24-hour fitness center.
A welcome development for jet-lagged travelers who want to dine
well without leaving their hotel is the recent trend toward opening
gourmet eateries in hotels.
Chef-restaurateur Larry Forgione, whose American Place is
relocating to the Benjamin (see above), is negotiating to open
three restaurants at the new Embassy Suites Hotel (800-EMBASSY),
under construction in Battery Park City; celebrity chef
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the culinary star of a new restaurant
at The Mercer Hotel (212-966-6060); famed restaurateur Drew
Nieporent will head a new eatery at Starwood's new W New York Hotel
(212-755-1200); Troy Dupuy, former chef of the acclaimed
l'Espinasse, will preside over a French restaurant opening this
month in the Iroquois New York (800-525-4800), and Hawaii's
renowned Roy Yamaguchi has opened New York's first Roy's Restaurant
(212-266-6262) in the New York Marriott Financial Center Hotel
Agents can obtain additional information on New York hotels by
visiting the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau's Web site
(see below).Summer in New York: New York CVB Information
New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, 810 Seventh Ave., New
York 10019; (800) NYCVISIT to order material; (212) 484-1200 for
information and assistance (agents should ask for the tourism
department); fax (212) 246-6310; www.nycvisit.com, and www.newyork.citysearch.com.
The bureau also has offices in Chicago (312-372-2200) and
Washington (202-530-0222).Summer in New York: LodgingApple Core Hotels (Comfort Inn Midtown and Best Western Hotel
& Conference Center): (800) 567-7720, www.applecorehotels.com.The Benjamin: (888) 4BENJAMIN, www.thebenjamin.com.Bentley Hotel (Amsterdam Hospitality Group): (888) 66-HOTEL, www.nycitysearch.com.The Carlton: (212) 532-4100.Courtyard by Marriott (two hotels): (800) 321-2211, www.courtyard.com.Envoy Club at Eastbridge Landing: (212) 481-4600.Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel: (800) 367-7701, www.fitzpatrickhotels.com.Holiday Inn Broadway: (888) NYHOLIDAY.Homestead Village Lodging: (770) 303-2200.Manhattan East Suite Hotels (Southgate Tower and Shelburne
Murray Hill): (800) ME-SUITE, www.mesuite.com.The Mark: (800) THE MARK, www.themarkhotel.com.Marmara-Manhattan: (212) 427-3100, ext. 80207, www.marmara-manhattan.com.The New York Hilton & Towers: (800) HILTONS, www.newyorktowers.hilton.com.New York Marriott Brooklyn: (888) 436-3759, www.marriott.com.The New Yorker: (800) 764-4680.Park Central Hotel: (800) 346-1359.The Peninsula New York: (800) 262-9467, www.peninsula.com.The Phillips Club: (212) 834-8800.The Premier by Millennium Broadway and Millennium Broadway
& Conference Center: (800) 456-6486, www.millenniumbroadway.com.Regent International Hotels: (800) 545-4000.Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.: (800) 241-3333.Swissotel New York -- The Drake: (888) 73-SWISS, www.swissotel.com.Tribeca Grand: (800) 965-3000, www.hartzmountain.com.