JW Marriott Essex House
|JW Marriott Essex House|
|Location||160 Central Park South|
New York City, New York
|Opening||October 1, 1931|
|Owner||Anbang Insurance Group|
|Height||461.0 ft (140.51 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Frank Grad & Sons|
|Number of rooms||426|
|Number of suites||101|
|Number of restaurants||2|
|JW Marriott Essex House New York|
The JW Marriott Essex House, opened in 1931 and commonly known as the Essex House, is a 44-story luxury hotel with 426 Art Deco-style rooms and 101 suites, located at 160 Central Park South in Manhattan, across the street from the southern border of Central Park. The building also includes 147 condominium residences. It is immediately recognizable by its original red neon rooftop sign. The building next to it is called Hampshire House.
The hotel is located on part of the expansive site of José Francisco de Navarro's "Navarro Flats", built in the 1880s as an experiment in condominium apartments. Construction began on October 30, 1929, one day after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The hotel was first intended to be named the Park Tower and then the Sevilla Tower. However the Great Depression slowed construction and the hotel did not open until October 1, 1931, as the Essex House.
In 1932, the hotel was taken from its bankrupt owners by the US Government's Reconstruction Finance Corporation. That same year, the hotel erected its iconic six-story sign on the roof. In 1946, the RFC sold the hotel to the Sterling National Bank & Trust Co. They sold the Essex House to Marriott Hotels in 1969, who operated it as Marriott's Essex House. Marriott sold the hotel to Japan Air Lines (JAL) in 1984, who ran it under their Nikko Hotels division as Essex House Hotel Nikko New York. Japan Air Lines sold the hotel to Strategic Hotels & Resorts in 1999, who brought in Starwood Hotels to manage it under their Westin Hotels division as Essex House - A Westin Hotel.
The Dubai Investment Group acquired the hotel from Strategic in 2006 for $424 Million. They put it under their Jumeirah Group as Jumeirah Essex House and undertook a $90 million renovation, overseen by Hirsch Bedner Associates, an Atlanta-based design firm.
In 2012, Strategic Hotels & Resorts re-acquired the hotel from the Dubai Investment Group for $325 Million - $50 Million less than they had sold it for 6 years earlier. The hotel was renamed JW Marriott Essex House New York on September 8, 2012, after the sale closed.
In March 2016 the hotel was purchased by Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based Chinese insurance company, as part of a $6.5 billion deal involving Essex House and 15 other luxury hotels and resorts.
The hotel was formerly the home of a many-starred restaurant, Alain Ducasse at Essex House. However, Ducasse closed the restaurant at Essex House in January 2007. In early 2008, South Gate Restaurant and Bar opened in the hotel.
The hotel is known for being the place of death for the famous musician Donny Hathaway.
The hotel's main restaurant, South Gate, features a seasonally inspired modern-American menu and overlooks Central Park. Other facilities include The Spa, a 24-hour fitness center and business center. JW Marriott Essex House also features banquet facilities including the Grand Salon, Petite Salon and Art Deco Salon.
- "JW Marriott Essex House New York, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes: The Navarro Flats: When Spain Reigned on Central Park South". The New York Times, 17 June 2007.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Jumeirah Essex House | Buildings". US /: Emporis. 2006-01-16. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- "Strategic Hotels Acquires Essex House, Will Rebrand as JW Marriott". Frequent Business Traveler. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- "Strategic Hotels Acquires Essex House, Will Rebrand as the JW Marriott". Frequent Business Traveler. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- Tsang, Amie (March 13, 2016). "Chinese Owner of Waldorf Astoria Bets Big on More U.S. Hotels". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- ZenFoodster Eats. "South Gate | Manhattan | Restaurant Menus and Reviews". Zagat. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
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