After The William, Warner Hospitality Eyes New York Growth


In search of a foothold in the New York City market, Warner Hospitality—better known for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino projects—sent executives Michael Fuller and Christopher Najbicz to explore potential opportunities. After a search that took them up and down the island of Manhattan, the duo stumbled upon a construction site at 24 East 39th Street.

“Being the curious individuals we are, we walked up the stairs and knocked on the door,” Mr. Najbicz, executive vice president of hotel operations, told The Commercial Observer.

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Former Williams Club Booked as Boutique Hotel


More than three years after the Williams Club shuttered its doors following a nearly century-long stint as a private clubhouse for Williams College alumni, 24 East 39th Street is set for a rebirth as a boutique hotel.

Purchased by Shlomo Bakhash of The Kash Group for $9 million last year, the property is undergoing an $11 Read More


South Bronx Boutique Hotel Thrives, But Will It Help Borough?

The Opera House Hotel

There were no vacancies at the Opera House Hotel over Labor Day weekend. But the new boutique hotel’s neighbors in the South Bronx fear that guests are merely taking advantage of cheap rates as they spend their days and dollars in Manhattan rather than the surrounding neighborhood.

Visitors spent $160 to $200 a night as they filled the Opera House’s 60 rooms over the long weekend. It was a solid turnout for the lodging, which Empire Hotel Group opened just two weeks ago at 436 East 149th Street in the Melrose neighborhood.  Read More


The South Bronx Gets Its First Boutique Hotel

The old Bronx Opera House

Empire Hotel Group expanded beyond Manhattan for the first time this weekend, giving the Bronx its first boutique hotel with the Opera House.

The 60-room lodging, located in the former Bronx Opera House, opened yesterday at 436 East 149th Street in the Melrose neighborhood. Read More


Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide 2nd Quarter Profit Drops


The hotel group that has the W, Westin, and Le Méridien under its corporate umbrella has reported a drop in its second quarter profits.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.‘s second quarter net income dropped to $122 million, a $9 million decrease from the $131 million net income the group reported at the same time last year, as was first reported by Bloomberg.

Revenue, meanwhile, rose to $1.61 billion, a 13 percent increase. Read More


New Orleans’ Astor Crowne Plaza: Going Once…

Astor Crowne Plaza.

An unnamed special servicer has retained and Eastdil Secured to auction off New Orleans’ famed 693-key Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel on August 22. The hotel sits at 739 Canal Street, at the entry to the city’s French Quarter.

Bidding for the 900,000-square-foot hotel will start at $105 million, with the winning bidder having the option to enter into a new franchise agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group, rebrand it or strike out and operate it independently. The current franchise agreement with Crowne Plaza, an IHG brand, is short term. Read More


Manhattan Hotels Had Hot 2011, Sez CBRE

Hotel room supply will continue increasing in the next two years as demand drops. 
(Photo courtesy of © 1997 PHOTOSPIN

The Manhattan hotel market had a strong and encouraging year in 2011, and its 84 percent occupancy rate showed that the market can take in additional inventory in the coming years, according to a recent report released Monday by CBRE. 

Investment sales for hotels also rebounded markedly in 2011, more than doubling its sales numbers Read More


Likely Bedfellows: Ace Hotel Teams Up with Google for Guests


The hipster-approved Ace Hotel has long been a place for the unlikely trifecta of New York’s tech, media, and music scenes to congregate around. A partnership with one of the most recognizable names in technology shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then.

The Ace’s lobby has traditionally provided the un-, self-, and vaguely-employed a chic place to plant themselves for the day with complimentary-if-not-spotty WiFi, along with the town’s coffee roaster of the moment, Stumptown, and two Ken Friedman restaurants right in the building (whether or not they find themselves tempted to shop at uber-hip Opening Ceremony boutique is another story altogether). Even last week, The Observer‘s tech blog BetaBeat found themselves spying on the mastermind behind the (literally) rockstar-driven startup du jour Turntable.FM at the Ace.

Now comes the ultimate validation of that through corporate partnering: Read More