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From London To New York

Hilton Brings Luxury Conrad Brand To Midtown Manhattan With Conversion

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Dennis Nessler
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Hilton doubled the presence of its Conrad Hotels & Resorts brand in New York City with the recent opening of the Conrad New York Midtown while continuing the company’s unprecedented growth momentum in the luxury sector in 2019.

The 562-suite hotel, which is located on West 54 St., reopened last month following a complete renovation and conversion from The London NYC. The 54-floor building is some 30 years old and originally opened as the Rihga Royal before transitioning to other hotels.

General manager Robert Rechtermann commented on the transformation of the all-suites hotel during an event to celebrate the opening last week.

“It’s been an incredible journey over the last two years. Hilton took over this hotel about two years ago and we worked very diligently with our ownership and all of our partners to create what we think is just a magical hotel,” he said.

Rechtermann further underscored the result of the effort. “We’ve finally been able to bring the Conrad brand to midtown Manhattan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Danny Hughes, EVP and president, Americas, Hilton, emphasized how special New York City was to company founder Conrad Hilton, whose move to the city in the ‘30s culminated with the purchase of the famed Waldorf Astoria in 1947.

“I wonder what he would think now all these years later when we have over 50 hotels across 10 brands throughout New York City. Today we’re standing in a hotel that’s named after him. So it’s an incredibly special place and an incredibly special hotel,” he said.

Hughes acknowledged that New York is a “competitive market” but further stressed the unique aspects of the property. “We intend to not only take advantage of a great building but create a very special experience,” he said.

Design firm Stonehill Taylor was commissioned to work on the redesign of the luxury hotel, which includes 13 premium suites. Design elements, programming and curation of the hotel are innately residential, according to Hilton. The property features a jewel tone color palette, custom designer furniture, herringbone wood floors, hand-tufted wool rugs and Carrera marble bathrooms.

According to the company, the hotel also includes an extensive art collection and elevated amenities, as well as a signature restaurant and bar named Dabble. Plume--the hotel’s private dining room and event space--is located adjacent to Dabble and is designed to accommodate up to 100 guests for a cocktail-style reception and 75 for a dinner. There are six additional private meeting and event spaces throughout the property.

Martin Rinck, EVP and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton, weighed in on the hotel within the context of the Conrad brand. He described it as “a hotel that really embodies what the brand stands for. It is a brand that is developed for the connected traveler which delivers intuitive service, pays incredible attention to detail and places a huge focus on food & beverage.”

From the broader Hilton perspective, Rinck chronicled the company’s growth at the upper end of the market. “It’s a super exciting year for us within luxury and lifestyle. We’re opening this year more hotels than we have opened in any year of our 100-year history.” he said.

The Conrad brand now has some 39 properties open globally after having added 6 hotels this year alone. In addition to the Conrad New York Midtown, the Conrad Washington DC opened earlier this year as well as four hotels internationally. The brand has 10 projects in the pipeline, including a Nashville hotel which is slated to open in 2021 and an Orlando property scheduled to debut in 2022.

Rinck noted that between the Conrad, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and LXR Hotels & Resorts brands the company now has more than 100 hotels in operation or under development in its luxury portfolio. “Luxury and lifestyle couldn’t have more momentum than it has right now,” he asserted.

Hughes concluded by detailing the potential long-term impact of the Conrad brand’s newest property. “This is just the beginning. I think maybe 50 years from now somebody else will be talking about Hilton in New York City and they’ll be talking about how important this hotel was in the continuation of the legacy of our founder Conrad Hilton,” he said.
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Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
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