Farewell! Six Memorable NYC Hotels Closed Permanently By The Pandemic

The last 18 months have been a rough ride for New York City hotels. More than 30 percent of the city’s 705 properties shut down during the pandemic. And while dozens have reopened, it’s still anybody’s guess how many will ultimately return. What we do know is that at least 30 won’t be coming back, according to the Hotel Association of New York.

The hotels that checked out are a mixed bag of properties large and small, independents and chains, places you’ve never heard of and hotels so famous, so entrenched in New York City culture, that they seemed almost immortal. Not every shuttered hotel was a gem. But each provided employment for dozens of workers, paid taxes that supported the city, enlivened the neighborhood and extended hospitality, whether exemplary or less so, to some of the 66 million visitors who descend upon New York in a good year. And that doesn’t include the many locals checking in during a renovation, an altercation, a staycation or just after a long night.

With that, we offer our first batch of NYC hotel obituaries — six Covid casualties we couldn’t let disappear without a few words of appreciation. It won’t be our last. Read more

Closed Permanently — Covid Kills Off Three High Profile New York Hotel Restaurants

It’s not just hotels. Covid 19 has shuttered dozens of restaurants and bars situated in hotels. We don’t know which ones will reopen, but here are three, all notable, that will not. They won’t be the last. Read more

Good-bye, Omni Berkshire Place NYC — The Hotel Where Rodgers & Hammerstein Hatched “Oklahoma!”

For a brief stretch, it was possible to score a ticket for the darkly sassy 2019 revival of Oklahoma! on Broadway and spend the night in the Rodgers & Hammerstein Suite at the Omni Berkshire Place Hotel, so named because the show’s creators agreed to collaborate on their game-changing musical over lunch at the hotel in 1942. Read more

Covid-19 Closing: So Long to the Maxwell — and the Very First W Hotel

The Maxwell has the distinction of being one of the first major New York City hotels to close permanently during the Coronavirus outbreak.

But to be fair, the hotel was teetering before the pandemic arrived. Read more

NYC Hotels Stepping Up To House Medical Personnel and Non-Critical Patients During Covid-19 Outbreak

If anyone deserves a comfy bed and a welcoming room after a grueling day at work, it’s the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel caring for Covid-19 patients at New York City hospitals. The deadly virus has also created a need for facilities for non-critical patients and personnel.

Enter the hospitality industry, newly awash in temporary closings prompted by the disease. This week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo cited several prominent New York City hotels in his list of companies, individuals and foundations donating goods and services to fight the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

A First Look at NoMad’s Stylish Luxe Life Hotel

I knew the Luxe Life Hotel looked familiar the moment I saw the gilded cupid perched beneath the word LIFE (also gilded) over the front door. I reviewed the property for The New York Times in 1991 when it was the Herald Square Hotel, a two-star budget hotel housed inexplicably in the Beaux Arts brick-and-limestone building once occupied by Life magazine. For $65 a night, you got a clean room, easy access to Macy’s and not much else. Read more

Returning in 2019: The Original Hotel Okura Lobby To Be Replicated in New Hotel

If you, like me, were saddened to learn about the demolition of the iconic Main Building of the Hotel Okura in 2015, there’s intriguing news. Tokyo’s Ashai Shimbun reports that the building’s midcentury lobby, widely hailed as a masterpiece of Japanese modernist architecture, is to be faithfully reproduced in the towering new Okura hotel that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Read more

Strolling Through The Waldorf Astoria on the Final Night of its 85-Year Run

When a hotel opens its doors for the first time, it stays open 24/7, 365 days a year. For 85 years and five months, the Waldorf Astoria did just that, treating the world to innovations like room service, Eggs Benedict and Waldorf salad without ever locking its massive doors.

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Why the Waldorf Astoria is Closing for Renovations, and Why You Should Stop By While You Can

If eating Waldorf Salad at the Waldorf Astoria is high on your bucket list, consider yourself warned: the clock is ticking. Read more

Farewell To A Mid-Century Landmark: Tokyo’s Hotel Okura Closes Its Main Building (And Ends An Era)

By the time you read this, the last guest will have checked out of the Main Building of the Hotel Okura, and one of Tokyo’s most distinctive (and beloved) mid-century buildings will be shuttered. In the coming weeks, workers will dismantle the 53-year-old structure, prepping it for the wrecker’s ball so a pair of sky-scraping glass towers boasting hotel rooms and commercial space can rise on the site in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Read more