Balazs at the 2012 Time 100 gala
|Born||André Tomes Balazs
January 31, 1957
Boston, United States
|Alma mater||Cornell University
|Occupation||Hotelier and residential developer|
|Known for||Standard Hotels Chateau Marmont|
|Spouse(s)||Katie Ford (1985-2004; divorced; 2 children)|
André Tomes Balazs (born January 31, 1957) is the President and CEO of André Balazs Properties that includes a portfolio of hotels across the United States and residences in New York, especially in New York City.
Balazs was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Cornell University as a College Scholar and member of the Quill and Dagger society, and then earned a master's degree in business and journalism from Columbia University. He was a founding trustee of the New York Academy of Art, and has served as a member of the board of directors of the New York Public Theater and Wolfsonian-FIU. He was the recipient of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Design Patron Award. Balazs married Katie Ford on November 16, 1985; they divorced in 2004. They have two daughters, Alexandra (born 1991) and Isabel (born 1994). He's been engaged to actress Uma Thurman between 2004 and 2007 and again in 2015.
André Balazs Properties currently consists of eight hotels across the US. The luxury group comprises The Mercer Hotel in New York City; Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; Chiltern Firehouse in London and Sunset Beach on Shelter Island. The Standard hotels include: The Standard, Hollywood; The Standard, Downtown LA; The Standard Spa, Miami Beach; The Standard, High Line, Meatpacking District; and The Standard, East Village.
In his early years, Balazs worked at Biomatrix, a New Jersey based bio-tech company founded by his father. In 1990, he purchased Chateau Marmont, subsequently launching his career as a hotelier. Located on Sunset Boulevard, the building was initially built in 1929 as apartments, modeled after Chateau d’Amboise, a royal retreat in France's Loire Valley.
In 1997, Balazs opened Sunset Beach, a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant, open seasonally and located on Shelter Island in New York. The property features 20 rooms and also houses a boutique featuring designer pieces of apparel, jewelry, and beach accessories.
In 1998, Balazs expanded his hotel collection when he purchased and restored The Mercer hotel in downtown New York. Designed by French designer Christian Liaigre, The Mercer offers 75 guest rooms on six floors of a Romanesque revival building.
The Standard, Hollywood is the first of Balazs’s Standard hotels. Opened in 1998 on the Sunset Strip, the 139-room hotel features a 24-hour restaurant, shag carpeted floor-to-ceiling lobby with nightly DJs and video art.
The fourth and largest Standard hotel (337 rooms, 18 floors), opened in 2008 and is located in Manhattan’s thriving Meatpacking District. The riverfront hotel bridges over the elevated High Line Park. The Standard, New York features The Standard Grill, the hotel’s restaurant as well as an outdoor Biergarten, serving traditional German food and beer, and Le Bain and Top of The Standard.
Balazs has placed a strong focus on the culinary programs for each of his properties. The restaurants at the properties include the Standard Grill at The Standard, New York, under the helm of Michelin chef Dan Silverman; The Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill at The Standard Spa, Miami and Sunset Beach, with Executive Chef Mark Zeitouni; Bar Marmont and the terrace restaurant at Chateau Marmont with Carolynn Spence; and The Standard Biergartens in New York and Downtown LA with Kurt Gutenbrunner. Other chefs in the company stable include Jean-Georges Vongerichten at The Mercer Kitchen and Micah Fields at The Standard, Downtown LA.
In addition to his role as a hotelier and restaurateur, Balazs is currently revitalizing The Locusts, a historical private estate and retreat in Staatsburg, New York; as well as restoring the farm operations on the property, which supplies fresh produce and farm-raised meats to The Standard Grill in New York City.
In 2007, Balazs began a collaboration with Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island to create his own vintage of rosé.
Balazs is known to interact with influencers and property developers, a few of his close circle acquaintances include:
- "Miss Ford Plans To Become Bride Of Andre Balazs". The New York Times. July 21, 1985.
- Matt Tyrnauer (February 2009). "Hop on the High Line". Vanity Fair.
- Steve Cuozzo. "Lefrak Builds Tower of Power". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010.
- Sam Knight (May 2008). "One Kenmare Square: There Is No There There". The New York Times.
- Suzanne Slesin (April 2007). "Me! Me! Me! All the Way Home". The New York Times.
- Jean Nathan (August 1993). "What's Up in the Old Hotel". The New York Times.
- Roxanne Golding (2012). "Summer At Sunset Beach". Beach Tomato.
- George Gurley (March 1998). "Up in the Old New Mercer Hotel". New York Observer.
- Matt Tyrnauer (June 1999). "Hotel California" (PDF). Vanity Fair.
- Matt Tyrnauer (June 1999). "The Standard, Downtown LA". Vanity Fair.
- Amanda Kludt (June 2009). "Good News/Bad News: The Standard Grill". Eater.
- Lockhart (June 2004). "Balazs To Build in Meatpacking". Curbed.
- Amanda Schwab (November 2011). "Standard East!". New York Post.
- Steve Cuozzo (August 2011). "Grill of Your Dreams". New York Post.
- "Chef Mark Zeitouni". StarChefs.com. May 2011.
- Kate Krader (February 2007). "At Bar Marmont". Food & Wine.
- Pauline Sung (October 2011). "Biergarten Opens on Rooftop of LA's Standard". Haute Living.
- Maria Jayne (July 2012). "Locusts on the Hudson plans organic farm at Mills-Norrie State Park". Poughkeepsie Journal.
- Juliana (May 2008). "Andre Balazs's Dark Secret Wine". Hotel Chatter.
- Matt Tyrnauer. "Andre Balazs: Prepared For Takeoff". Hamptons.
- Hyslop, Leah (13 June 2014). "What's all the fuss about the Chiltern Firehouse?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Grigoriadis, Vanessa (October 31, 2005). "Prince Street Prince". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Novack, Kate (August 14, 2007). "André Balazs". Time. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Ouroussoff, Nicolai (April 8, 2009). "Industrial Sleek (a Park Runs Through It)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Usbourne, David (November 18, 2006). "André Balazs: The king of America". The Independent. London. Retrieved December 12, 2012.