New York City would not be the same city without the hotels that have stood tall through the decades. New York hotels are not just places to rent a room for a night. They are majestic, thriving cities within the city. They offer visitors, and the people living in New York, entertainment, fine dining, and memories of times past. One of the grand hotels that is synonymous with the city is closing for renovations after 86 years of service. The Waldorf Astoria has hosted kings, queens, foreign dignitaries, movie stars, and presidents for more than eight decades. But for the next three years, the Waldorf is out of service. No one will be able to book a room at the Waldorf. The hotel closed the doors on February 28, 2017, for a major facelift and room update. Many of the rooms will be apartments when the hotel opens again, according to an article published by cnn.com.
The Waldorf got new owners in 2014, and that group plans to turn most of the 1,400 rooms into upscale apartments. Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, and the Duke of Windsor are just some of the people that lived at the Waldorf through the years. The hotel has always been an exclusive address. Ronald Reagan visited on several occasions. American presidents stayed in the presidential suite, and Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., and other celebrities were headliners at the Waldorf Astoria’s Empire Club.
Usually, a hotel closing is not big news. Hotels close all the time for renovations, but the Waldorf Astoria is more than a hotel. The hotel is a functioning organ in the body of New York City. Waldorf lovers know what charm, sophistication, and excellence service really means. Anyone who has been a part of the hotel knows what functioning grandeur looks like.
The owners say the Waldorf will be a grander version of itself when it opens again. The China Ambang Insurance Group bought the hotel for $1.95 billion, and they are sinking millions more into the renovation project. It’s not every day an icon of New York closes, but the good news is the Waldorf closing is temporary.