|St. Regis New York's New Era.|
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 16th October 2013
Exclusive Feature: Have you stopped by the St Regis New York? It's the talk of the town, and a few fashion magazines.
The iconic hotel at 55th and Fifth Avenue in New York is unveiling its $90 million renovation and with the help of a new multimedia ad campaign, the whole world will soon see grand dame's new digs.
The New York Times reported the campaign will feature vintage advertising and fashion photography in various October issues of lifestyle magazines. This is the first advertising by the hotel since 2011. The last time the St. Regis advertised itself, it was with the help of Bentley to promote the hotel's new Bentley suite.
The Times reports the first full-page print ad features a woman looking out on Central Park from a window in the refurbished Grand Suite. Doesn't seem so grand? Think again. The woman, who is stylishly dressed in designer clothes, captures the essence of various decades - and generations - of St. Regis guests, according to the Paul James, global brand leader for St. Regis.
In my opinion, however, there's more to this renovation than a fancy new ad campaign.
The St. Regis New York isn't just an iconic hotel, shown in various movies and serving as a backdrop in some of the most photographed New York scenes. It's a bucket-list hotel - one people aspire to visit and when they do, wish they never have leave.
The hotel opened in 1904 and has seen its share of changes. It survived decades of demographics, and welcomed heads of states, kings of nations, presidents, peace makers and celebrities. If you've never stayed at the hotel, you've likely visited its bar, the King Cole Bar and Salon – also famous for its debut in major motion pictures including "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Hannah and Her Sisters."
The renovation of the hotel includes some changes to the iconic bar, as well a new restaurant opening in November, refurbished suites and redecorated guest rooms; a renovated lobby, a bigger spa and a new gym. The rooms and suites are already complete, and the other renovations will be complete next year.
As far as renovations go, I admit I was skeptical. I've watched some historical hotels lose their grand allure when they renovate. Over the last year, I've walked past the St. Regis New York as the renovations were taking place and watched as scaffolding went up and came down, each time revealing something new.
I wondered if the $90 million face lift would fracture the historical beauty so steeped in its walls, or if guests would still be able to run their hands along the
centuries-old life lines that hold secrets and stories from the past.
Last week when I was in New York, I walked into the hotel and - with the understanding that the lobby and public areas still haven't really been touched - was still pleasantly surprised by how all the buzzing that was going around the rooms on the first floor.
The St. Regis New York is the flagship of Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ luxury brand, which today consists of 31 hotels in 14 countries. Starwood has reported that there are an additional 13 new St. Regis' planned in the coming years.
As each new hotel opens, one thing will remain the same: the beauty of the original St. Regis New York. Mr. James explained it best to the New York Times, "There’s a new era of glamour," coming to the hotel. You can check it out in some of the November fashion magazines, but in my opinion, the hotel is best experienced in person.
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Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com