The hotel industry is thriving, with new properties popping up all over the USA. As a result, existing properties are renovating to keep up. This month, USA TODAY takes a look at notable hotel renovations.
JW Marriott Essex New York
The iconic JW Marriott Essex House New York on Central Park South in Manhattan has completed a $38 million renovation of its 426 guest rooms, 101 suites, and corridors.
The restoration maintained the building’s art deco style and decor, a nod to the 1930s period, when the hotel opened.
Carpet patterns are geometric but have been muted with a more modern charcoal and cream palette. Furniture finishes are simple. Think dark oak, polished chrome, bronze, and white lacquer. Bathrooms have glossy black vanities.
“Our newly designed guest rooms and suites reflect our long history on Central Park South, with a transformation to a fresh modern style,” says John Rieman, the hotel’s general manager.
The hotel also has a newly designed Executive Lounge, a 24-hour Fitness Center, and Southgate, a restaurant and bar overlooking the park. It features 16 meeting rooms and executive boardrooms, a Beaux Arts-inspired 3,800-square-foot Grand Salon and an art deco suite for up to 125 people.
Open since 1931, the property has played host to numerous dignitaries and celebrities. Marriott International first managed the hotel from 1969 to 1984. It became the first JW Marriott brand hotel in New York City in September 2012.
The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland
The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland has completed an 18-month renovation of its 206 guestrooms and public spaces, including the addition of a new restaurant and lounge, TURN Bar + Kitchen.
Guestrooms and suites now have a color palette of clean blues, taupes and greys to complement Lake Erie, which is visible from many parts of the property.
A rotating roster of local artists will display their work in a seventh-floor gallery. But all public spaces will feature artwork by locals.
The public spaces have been reconfigured with a new street level arrival and a sixth-floor lobby that also serves as a gathering spot and nightlife area.
The CORE Fitness Center has the most up-to-date equipment, such as bikes from Technogym and Peloton and a Fitness-on-Demand Wall that provides virtual workout classes. Personal trainers are available. There is also a smoothie bar.
As for dining, TURN has an open design with leather and fabric seating, and illuminated onyx bar and a wall of windows looking out into the Downtown area.
LINKS is another venue that serves as a culinary meeting space with a kitchen for groups, bridal parties and cooking show fans.
The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge has gotten a makeover. And guestroom bathrooms have showers with bench seating as well as tubs with shower wands.
Hilton updates properties in Boston and New York
The 344-room Hilton Boston/Woburn has completed a $16 million transformation, including a new Spanish tapas bar called Matadora.
The design drew inspiration from the region’s historic shoe and leather-making industries. For instance, the lobby has check-in desks that display artifacts and accent walls inspired by a Brannock shoe measuring device.
Matadora has a custom wood-fired grill to produce dishes such as Vermont-raised NY Strip, a Spanish-inspired grass fed burger and a rare yellowfin tuna. It also has a selection of Spanish meats, cheese and olives and tapas such as Basque street corn. The restaurant has a patio with fire pits and lounge sofas. Other seating includes leather banquettes and stools at the Chef’s Counter.
The property also has the Rivet room with billiards tables and leather armchairs overlooking an indoor swimming pool. It has 18,000 square feet of newly renovated event space.
“The property has been completely transformed and is effectively a new hotel that should appeal to business and leisure travelers and the community seeking a stylish, tech-forward experience in a great location,” says Marc Gordon, principal of The Rubicon Companies, which re-developed the property along with The Davis Companies.
Meanwhile, the 1,907-room New York Hilton Midtown has completed three new types of premium suites overlooking Central Park on the 40th and 41st floors.
The 3,700-square-foot Presidential Suite is the size of about 10 guest rooms. It has a gallery and foyer, living and lounge area, media room, game room with a custom-made billiard table, dining room, bar and kitchen area, master bedroom and bathroom.
The Corner Suite varies between 1,820 square feet and 2,180 square feet. It includes a foyer, living room, dining room, bar and master bedroom with a master bath including a black claw-foot tub, marble walls and porcelain tiles. There are three iterations of this suite.
The Linear Suite, which is 1,600 square feet, is inspired by the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art. There is geometric art throughout. The suite consists of a foyer, living room, media room, dining area and bar, and master bedroom with a master bath featuring hexagon porcelain tiles.
The Cavalier in Virginia Beach
The Cavalier, a historic hotel in Virginia Beach, is set to complete a $75 million-plus restoration.
Built in 1927, the design of the hotel was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It played host to 10 U.S. presidents and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Muhammad Ali, and Frank Sinatra. It was also a venue for performances by Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller of the Big Band era.
The renovated hotel will have 85 standard rooms and suites. That is actually fewer than the original design, which had 195 guestrooms. The rooms have been reconfigured to provide larger guests quarters.
Architects from the Norfolk-based firm Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas wanted to maintain the original neo-classical features. They also set out to keep the original windows on the first floor and in public spaces. The effort took several hundred men hours because most of it had to be done by hand.
“All of the careful restoration work we are doing will certainly bring back the property to its original charm and stateliness,” says Greg Rutledge, lead architect on the project. “But, we’ve thrown some modern twists into the design as well that we feel will make The Cavalier a sought out, modern vacation destination once again.”
The property will also have new public meeting spaces and a full-service spa. It will have an on-site distillery with a tasting room, tours, and a selection of The Cavalier’s signature bourbon, gin and vodka, which are made at the property. The historic Raleigh Room will feature billiards, game tables, and drink carts. Becca, will be the on-site restaurant with a garden.
Reservations are being accepted for early next year.
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