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Rihga Royal Now London NYC

November 2, 2006 By: David Eisen Travel Agent

Reflagged Manhattan hotel near Central Park has this country's first Gordon Ramsay restaurant

The London NYC officially opened its doors in midtown Manhattan last week, and while the property's innards are brand new, the hotel's address is not. The luxury property is a reflag of the Rihga Royal, a trendy all-suites hotel located just below Central Park. This is a savvy move by developers to redesign an existing property, rather than build from the ground up, which is costly—especially in space-handicapped New York.

The 562-room London NYC, which remained open under the Rihga
Royal flag during the renovations, is notable for the names attached to the
project, specifically, two renowned Europeans: Irish interior designer David
Collins and Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay. Collins, who counts Madonna as one of
his clients, appointed guest rooms at the 54-floor hotel with oversized beds,
advanced audiovisual capabilities, functional work stations, limed oak parquet
flooring and custom embossed leather accessories. "We have reinvented the
existing architecture of the rooms to create a certain Anglo-European attitude,"
says Collins. "Everything from the furniture to the lighting will create
an entirely new spin on the hotel that speaks to the ultimate wish list of the
very discerning traveler." Of the 562 guest rooms, there are 40 studios
and 10 specialty suites, some of which offer sweeping views of Central Park. These are in addition to a
2,400-square-foot duplex-penthouse suite to be finished in 2007.

No luxury guest room, however, is complete without a lavish
bathroom. A collaboration with the bath purveyor Waterworks resulted in the
implementation of elements such as hand-cut glass tiles, sandblasted glass,
double-rain showerheads, marble surfaces, porcelain fixtures and stainless
steel fittings.

Jean-Jacques Pergant, co-president of the LXR Luxury Resorts
and Hotels collection, with which the London NYC is affiliated, says the hotel
is seeking to fill a niche of modern luxury that exudes splendor, but in a
manner that steers clear of pretense. "A premier hotel experience must
provide the very finest location, amenities and experience in a way that is
luxurious, yet not overwhelming," he says.

Yet perhaps the biggest star is Ramsay, known already in the
United States
for his reality TV show Hell's Kitchen on the Fox network. However, it
is his cooking that he is most celebrated for, and which may prove to be a
great windfall for the London NYC. Ramsay is one of only three chefs in the United Kingdom to maintain three Michelin stars
for his eponymous London
restaurant, Gordon Ramsay. The 45-seat Gordon Ramsay at the London, his first Stateside eatery, is
located just off of the hotel's lobby, and will offer modern French cuisine.
For a less formal dining experience, the hotel also has unveiled the London
Bar, which is a 92-seat British-accoutered restaurant for casual dining. The
hotel will also offer an in-room dining service for exclusive guests with its
Gordon Ramsay 24-hour private dining menu.

While the amenities and design of the property hope to
capture the imagination of guests, the hotel is also making sure that each
guest's needs are taken care of as well. The London NYC employs the services of
Quintessentially, a global concierge service that handles all guests' requests
in a similar manner to Starwood's W Hotels' Whatever/Whenever service. This
includes procuring tough-to-get show tickets and making reservations at
oft-filled restaurants. "Quintessentially will provide guests with
unrivaled access to New York City
through its extensive global network and proactive around-the-clock
service," says Ben Elliot, co-founder of Quintessentially.

The hotel is also installing a state-of-the-art fitness
center called The London Club, which should be ready for use by spring 2007.

Travel agents can book the London NYC with the GDS code, XO.
The hotel's travel agent liaison is Jeanette Diaz (212-698-8116). Call
866-690-2029 or visit

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