New York City Hotels Update

The Big Apple is keeping up with record tourism numbers by opening new hotels and renovating old favorites in every corner of the city.

View from the Penthouse Suite of Hotel Mela in New York City

Hotel 373 Fifth Avenue, opened in February under the ownership of Magna Hospitality and switched ownership to Hersha Hospitality in June. On the corner of

Fifth Avenue
and
35th Street
, the hotel has 70 contemporary guest rooms with views of the EmpireStateBuilding and the Manhattan skyline. The best room to book is the Contemporary Queen, which is on the 9th floor and has the best views of the EmpireStateBuilding. Room number 907 faces tony
Fifth Avenue
, as well as the EmpireStateBuilding. Those visiting the Big Apple can bring Fido along as well, as Hotel 373 Fifth Avenue is pet friendly. Travel agents sending their clients should contact the Director of Sales Nicole Allegra at 212-329-2301.

On

East Third Street
, The Bowery Hotel opened in February. The best rooms to book are the Bowery One Bedrooms, which have a separate living room and bedroom as well as an outdoor terrace. Two are on the top floor with one facing north and the other south. Travel agents booking these rooms can contact Director of Operations Meredith Morgan at [email protected]. Those booking other rooms can contact reservationist Debbie Goldstein at [email protected].

Mandarin Oriental New York Inc. sold half of its 50 percent investment in Mandarin Oriental, New York this year. Favorite accommodations are the Central Park View and Premier Central Park View rooms and suites. Agents can contact Sales Manager Holly Rosenblum at 212-805-8817or [email protected].

The reigning jewel of Old New York, The Plaza, will open its doors again in October with 282 hotel rooms and 152 condo hotel units.Travel agents can call reservations at 1-888-850-0909.

The Bowery Hotel

After much anticipation, LXR Luxury Resorts unveiled The London, NYC this past fall. Formerly the RIHGA Royal Hotel, this revamped property underwent a comprehensive redesign by David Collins and has the first U.S. restaurant by famed chef Gordon Ramsay. Rooms underwent renovation as well. Specialty suites will open in August and the penthouse will be available at the end of the year.

Near Times Square, Hotel Mela, which means "apple" in Italian, opened in January. At 300 square feet, the Executive Room is the best to book. Travel agents should call the reservations department and then ask for the Desires Agent, who can help with all requests.

Essex House is now operated by Jumeirah and has undergoing a renovation, which is slated for completion by mid-August. The most popular rooms for leisure travelers are the Park View rooms, which offer great views of Central Park. The most in demand for business travelers are the interior City View rooms, which are very quiet. Travel agents scan contact the on-site reservations department at 888-645-5697.

Pierre Hotel was taken over by Taj Hotels in July 2005. The first phase of renovations, which has been completed, includes the second floor banquet space. The second phase will encompass a renovation of all guest rooms. About one-third of the rooms at the Pierre are suites, and many have large terraces overlooking the city. Travel agents can contact Antonietta Tardugno, reservations manager at 212-940-8156 or [email protected].

The 90-room 6 Columbus Circle is slated to open this summer on

58th Street
between Eighth and Ninth avenues. A pair of penthouses top off this hotel boast 1,000 square feet of space each. Famished guests can unwind at The Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill on the first floor.

The Lamb's Club will open in fall 2008. A Vikram Chatwal Hotels Haitel Couture venture, the hotel will have an intimate 80 guest rooms.

In other Chatwal hotel news, The Time Hotel is changing its restaurant and the downstairs bar of Dream Hotel, Room Fifty5, was renovated in May.

Also in the Works

Intercontinental Hotel Group is poised to introduce its Indigo brand to the Chelsea neighborhood. The Hilton Garden Inn New York Chelsea is opening this month.

The Allen Street Hotel is opening this year on the Lower East Side. The Downtown Hotel, which is also scheduled to open this year, is a partnership between award-winning actor Robert DeNiro and partner Ira Drukier. The $43 million, six-story hotel will be in TriBeCa. The Standard is set to open on in the midst of the hopping downtown Meatpacking District.

The Fitzpatrick Grand Central recently underwent renovations, including extension of the Wheeltapper Restaurant to include an exposed-brick patio, an expansion of the lobby with a spacious sitting area and a modern redesign of the state-of-the-art boardroom. The Fitzpatrick Hotel Group's Fitzpatrick Manhattan will soon undergo a refurbishment that will include the hotel's facade, lobby, restaurant, lounge, tea room and meeting room.

One of the hottest properties in town is the Gramercy Park Hotel, which Ian Schrager launched this past August after a renovation.

The convention and visitors bureau for New York City, NYC & Company, has a Tourism Department to assist travel agents and tour operators. Contact Fred Dixon, Vice President, Tourism Development at 212-484-1245.

New Appointments

Mark Briskin has joined the New York Helmsley Hotel as general manager. He had previously been the general manager at Top of the Rock, The Muse and Amsterdam Hospitality.

Jeffrey Felshaw has joined the Hotel on Rivington as general manager. For the past two years, he had been the general manager of the City Club Hotel of New York. Travel agents sending their clients to the Hotel on Rivington can contact Head of Sales Katy Horne ([email protected]) or General Manager Jeffrey Felshaw at [email protected].

David Chase has been named hotel manager at The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park. He was most recently the Area Director of Catering and Conference Services for Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New York. He previously held a catering position at the St. Regis New York. Travel agents can contact [email protected].

David Chu has joined the Dylan Hotel as director of sales and marketing. Prior to joining the Dylan, Chu worked for Kimpton in New York and was previously at the InterContinental The Barclay. Travel agents sending clients can contact Revenue Manager Rachel Rodriguez at [email protected].