Mar202015

New York historic hotels Algonquin, Martinique, Plaza, St. Regis and Waldorf-Astoria

A quick read from AM New York shares photos with a paragraph about 17 New York historic hotels.  Inside NYC’s oldest hotels: Celebrity tales, literary wunderkinds and one famous cat (March 18, 2015).

There are five hotels on the list I recognize as affiliated with major hotel loyalty programs and perhaps more of these hotels are affiliated with other hotel marketing groups. Inside NYC’s oldest hotels inspired me to research a little bit more history for five of New York’s historic hotels which particpate in hotel loyalty programs.

The Algonquin, Autograph Collection (Marriott)

The way Marriott’s Autograph Collection is growing exponentially, several of these New York historic hotels might be part of Marriott Rewards soon. One of the 17 hotels is already in Marriott Rewards.

The Algonquin Hotel, opened in 1902, has a renowned literary history with The Round Table. Today the hotel is also known for a celebrity resident cat, Matilda.

 

Algonquin Matilda Cat

Matilda, the Algonquin cat even has her own Facebook page.

Her latest comment is “Snow on the first day of Spring is CATastrophic – will force myself to nap through it.”

My three cats are enjoying the 70-degree weather of Monterey, California for their CATfantastic first day of spring.

The Algonquin is Marriott Rewards category 9 at 45,000 points per reward night.

Radisson Hotel Martinique

I had no idea that Radisson Martinique on Broadway is an historic New York hotel. My travels in New York City totals about ten days and nights on four trips in the past 15 years.

The Martinique opened in 1897 according to the Martinique hotel history page, although the AM New York piece says the 16-story hotel was completed in 1911.  The Beaux-Arts style hotel design was a building project of architect Henry J. Hardenbergh. He also designed The Plaza and the original Waldorf Hotel (1893) and Astoria Hotel (1897),  Plaza New York and the InterContinental Willard in Washington D.C.

On Architect Henry J. Hardenbergh

According to Christopher Gray, architectural historian “Hardenbergh designed buildings for long-term use, not short term profit”. To his credit Hardenberg also designed the Dakota Apartments, the original Waldorf Astoria at Fifth Avenue, the Plaza Hotel and the famed Willard Hotel in Washington DC. A parade of celebrities, the actress Lillian Russell, Diamond Jim Brady, John Wanamaker, Mark Twain, and Oscar Hammerstein, were constant visitors at his architectural gems. With the expansion completed, the Hotel Martinique re-opened on December 21, 1910 to a fanfare of elegantly dressed guests who arrived in horse drawn carriages. They were immediately impressed when they entered the vast lobby, which featured an inspiring mosaic tile floor and an 18-story spiral staircase, both of which are intact today.

Radisson Martinique – History

The history page states Hardenbergh built the original Martinique Hotel for William R. H. Martin, who hired the architect for the hotel’s expansion once the construction of New York’s Penn Station created demand for hotel rooms. That explains the date discrepancies for the hotel.

Radisson Martinique

Radisson Martinique on Broadway is Club Carlson category 6 hotel reward night at 50,000 points per reward night.

 

The Plaza New York

The Plaza New York is a Fairmont managed hotel at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. The hotel opened in 1907 with news stories calling it the grandest hotel in the world. The property closed for a floor to roof $450 million restoration in April 2005 and reopened March 2008. The hotel has been managed by Fairmont Hotels since 1999.

There is an extensive history page for the hotel on The Plaza New York’s website.

Plaza NY history

 

St. Regis New York Hotel

St. Regis New York on Fifth Avenue is another Beaux-Arts style hotel opened in 1904 near Central Park by John Jacob Astor IV. The hotel opened seven years after his 17-story Astoria Hotel (1897) opened on the site that is now the Empire State Building.

John Jacob Astor IV died in the Titanic sinking disaster of 1912.

ITT Sheraton Hospitality Group purchased The St. Regis New York in 1960 and the luxury hotel joined about 100 other hotels in the Sheraton portfolio. The hotel was part of the Sheraton ITT Luxury Division. St. Regis New York closed in 1988 for an extensive $100 million renovation including a restoration of the 1904 lobby. The hotel reopened in 1991. Starwood Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1999 and created the St. Regis luxury hotel brand adding five other properties:

“The St. Regis Aspen Resort and The St. Regis Houston debut first, followed by the conversion of The Grand Hotel Rome, The Beijing International Club and The Carlton Hotel, Washington D.C.” – St. Regis Timeline.

St Regis New York is a Starwood Preferred Guest SPG category 7 hotel at 30,000 points for a hotel reward night (35,000 points for peak season dates).

st regis new york

 

Waldorf-Astoria New York

William Waldorf Astor opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel in 1893, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh on the site of his mansion at Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street.

John Jacob Astor IV, cousin to William Waldorf Astor, opened the 19-story Astoria Hotel adjacent to the Waldorf Hotel in 1897. The corridor between the two hotels was called the Waldorf-Astoria.

May 3, 1929 the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was sold to developers and demolished. Despite being one of New York’s finest hotels, the properties were outdated considering the technological developments in the decades since the hotels were constructed. The Empire State Building was constructed on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

October 1, 1931 the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened on Park Avenue as the tallest and largest hotel in the world. The hotel is a 47-story art deco design.

Conrad Hilton wrote the words “The greatest hotel of them all” across a photograph of the Waldorf-Astoria New York. In 1949 Hilton purchased the Waldorf-Astoria New York hotel.

Waldorf Astoria NY Conrad Hilton

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel History. Even more detailed historical information about the Waldorf-Astoria can be found on this Waldorf-Astoria history site.

Hilton Worldwide launched the luxury brand Waldorf-Astoria in 2006 with four member properties.

  • La Quinta, (Palm Springs, California)
  • Grand Wailea (Hawaii)
  • Arizona Biltmore
  • Waldorf-Astoria New York

Waldorf-Astoria New York was sold to a Chinese Insurance Company for $1.95 billion a few months ago in one of the highest purchase prices ever for a hotel. New York Times Oct. 6, 2014 – Waldorf-Astoria to Be Sold in a $1.95 Billion Deal.

There are currently 28 Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotels worldwide.

Waldorf-Astoria New York is currently priced at 70,000 Hilton HHonors points for a hotel reward night in March 2015. Reward rate increases to 80,000 points for stays April through June and September through December 2015. July and August are 70,000 points per month.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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