St. Regis Hotel
|The St. Regis New York|
|Location||2 East 55th Street
Manhattan, New York City
|Opening||September 4, 1904|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Trowbridge & Livingston (original building), Sloan & Robertson (1927 addition)|
|Developer||John Jacob Astor IV|
|Number of rooms||171|
|Number of suites||67|
|Number of restaurants||2|
In 1927, the Dukes added a new wing designed by Sloan & Robertson to the hotel on the east end, along 55th St. The wing nearly doubled the size of the hotel to 550 rooms, added a rooftop ballroom/nightclub, and increased the height to 20 stories.
In 1932, the iconic "Old King Cole" painting by Maxfield Parrish, which had been created for Astor's defunct Knickerbocker Hotel, was moved to the St. Regis and made the centerpiece of a new bar, the King Cole Bar, which has remained a New York institution ever since. Two years later, in 1934 (the year after Prohibition ended), bartender Fernand Petiot invented a drink there which he called the "Red Snapper". It has since become known around the world as the Bloody Mary.
Vincent Astor died in 1959 and the following year the hotel was sold to Mexican hotel mogul Cesar Balsa. The hotel was named a New York landmark in 1965. After quickly going through three additional owners in the early 1960s, Sheraton Hotels finally purchased The St. Regis in February 1966, renaming it The St. Regis-Sheraton. They completely remodeled the hotel in 1977 and then closed it in 1988 for an even more thorough restoration. The hotel reopened in September 1991 as The St. Regis again, transformed at a cost of over $100 million into one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Flagship of a new chainEdit
Starwood Hotels bought Sheraton in 1998 and soon after decided to use the St. Regis name to launch a new brand of hotels. The St. Regis was made the flagship of a new line of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, ultra-luxury establishments in major cities and resort destinations around the globe. At this time, the original hotel's name was changed slightly to The St. Regis New York, to differentiate it from the numerous other St. Regis Hotels in the new chain.
The hotel's eighth,ninth, tenth and eleventh floors were converted to The St. Regis Residences in 2006. The residences consist of 24 full-ownership condominiums and 24 "fractional" ownership timeshare condominiums apart of "The Residence Club."
The entire hotel was renovated in 2013 at a cost of $90 million. The work, designed by HDC Design and Stone Hill Taylor Architects, involved the gut renovation of all hotel rooms and most public spaces, and added a new restaurant and gym.
The hotel has always had a number of permanent residents, as well as transient guests. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala famously lived at the hotel every fall and winter. In addition Marlene Dietrich and William Paley and his wife Babe maintained apartments there. In Donald Spoto's biography of Alfred Hitchcock, The Dark Side of Genius, he claims that Hitchcock stayed in "his favorite" 5th floor suite at least a dozen times. Countless celebrities have also been guests, such as John Lennon who made a demo of 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' in his room.
In the 1977 Broadway musical Annie, the character Lily St. Regis claims to be named after the hotel, to which the orphanage headmistress Miss Hannigan replies: "Which floor?"
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