Opened in 2010, the hotel calls itself Chelsea’s first luxury hotel. As the hotel’s presence has contributed to the rising profile of the evolving Chelsea neighborhood, the hotel is now upgrading itself to keep it on the forefront of Chelsea’s ongoing gentrification.
Andy Rifkin, managing partner of DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners and owner of the hotel, said the company purchased the hotel with an eye on the ongoing development of Chelsea.
“When we purchased the property 10 years ago, our vision for the area was based on the strength of the Chelsea neighborhood,” said Rifkin. “We believed that Chelsea’s northerly migration would one day get to 29th Street.”
Occupying the entire block between 29th and 30th streets on New York’s Avenue of the Americas, the hotel has 292 apartment-style luxury suites and guestrooms. The property is within short walking distance of Herald Square, Macy’s, Madison Square Garden and the High Line. The heart of New York’s theater district starts only a few blocks north of the hotel.
The redesign was done by Crème, a Brooklyn-based design firm. Under its new look, the hotel has a black steel façade from 29th to 30th streets along Avenue of the Americas.
The multi-million dollar renovation included the new block-long façade, a newly redesigned lobby designed in the comfy living room mode, and new restaurant options with brand-name chefs Laurent Tourondel and Michelin-starred George Mendes, who have restaurants adjacent to the hotel.
The hotel worked with Laurent Tourondel on L’Amico, a restaurant featuring an American menu with Italian influences. The name translates to “friend.”
Tourondel also worked on the creation of The Vine lounge. It has three components: a bar, a lounge and an elevated library. The cocktail menu includes a wide variety of classic cocktails, craft beers and wines.
George Mendes was the conceptualizer behind Lupulo. The name is Portuguese for “hops.” The pub is designed to emulate the cervejarias, or breweries of Lisbon.
The hotel doubles as an exhibition space for a collection of art curated by Kyle DeWoody. It includes pieces by artists such as Kwangho Lee, Dustin Yellin, Alex Prager and Alex Katz.