Riu Hotels opens Times Square property

RIU Hotels & Resorts inaugurated the Riu Plaza New York Times Square, its first hotel in New York City. The newly-constructed hotel is located in Manhattan near Times Square on Restaurant Row. Riu built the 647-room hotel for $310 million, its largest hotel investment to date, including the purchase of the land, construction and decorating costs.

“This opening is a dream come true. It took us nearly ten years to find the most appropriate opportunity to invest in the right location in New York, in addition to the three years it took to prepare and build the hotel. However, without a doubt, all of the effort and work was worth it seeing how the Riu Plaza New York Times Square hotel is now a reality,” Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement.

Riu Hotel Times Square
Developing a hotel in New York has been a goal for Riu CEO Luis Riu for 10 years.

Ivan Mayol, chief business officer at Riu Plaza Hotels, said the brand has been looking to develop a hotel in New York for roughly 10 years, but has been held back because it was unable to find a suitable location. After securing the location one block from Times Square, construction on the hotel began June 2013, setting in motion what Mayol called a personal milestone for the company’s CEO. “It’s like putting a flag on the moon,” Mayol said.

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While its first New York hotel is already open, Mayol is already talking about a possible second. Riu, like most major brands, won’t be satisfied until it has multiple hotels open in every major U.S. city, and has earmarked future development ideas in Boston, San Francisco and more.

“We want to build, and it will be soon. All the money we make from these hotels we re-invest,” Mayol said. “If you asked me five years ago if we would have a hotel in New York by now and I would have expected it.”

For the near future, however, the Riu Times Square is still trying to stabilize in the midst of opening. While the hotel is currently packed with guests, the property’s assistant GM Micah Polansky said it originally hoped to open in November, but faced delays due to license issues.

“Traffic from Christmas would have been nice, but it’s always good to have time to iron out problems,” Polansky said. “Now is the time to establish a routine.”

Riu Times Square Guestroom
The guestrooms come in five categories across 29 floors.

Guestrooms at the 29-floor hotel are divided into doubles, executives, family suites, junior suites and the presidential suite. Among the guestroom amenities are minibars, flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the property.

The hotel also has two dining options. The first, Fashion, is an à la carte restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner, with a buffet breakfast offered each morning. It is also open for snacks from 12 PM to 11 PM daily. Also available to guests is a grab-and-go eater, Capital, which offers coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks and sweets for guests on the go.

Riu Times Square Lobby
The lobby of the Riu Times Square leads to two F&B outlets, a grab-and-go option and a traditional restaurant.

For business travelers, the hotel has two conference rooms with capacity for 70 and 75 people, respectively, along with two meeting rooms. Meeting planners and business travelers also have access to full audiovisual equipment and Wi-Fi.

With the opening of the RIU Plaza New York Times Square, RIU now has five hotels in its urban line: the Riu Plaza Berlin in Germany; the Riu Plaza Panama in Panama City, Panama; the Riu Plaza Guadalajara in Mexico; and the Riu Plaza Miami Beach.

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