JW Marriott Essex House

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JW Marriott Essex House
JW Marriott Essex House in New York City 2015.JPG
General information
Location160 Central Park South
New York City, New York
Coordinates40°45′59″N 73°58′43″W / 40.766252°N 73.978512°W / 40.766252; -73.978512Coordinates: 40°45′59″N 73°58′43″W / 40.766252°N 73.978512°W / 40.766252; -73.978512
OpeningOctober 1, 1931
OwnerAnbang Insurance Group
ManagementMarriott Hotels
Height461.0 ft (140.51 m)
Technical details
Floor count43
Design and construction
ArchitectFrank Grad & Sons
Other information
Number of rooms426 priced from $509 to $829[1]
Number of suites101 priced from $909 to $3,500
Number of restaurants2
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.[2] It is immediately recognizable by its original red neon rooftop sign. The building next to it is called Hampshire House.

JW Marriott Essex House New York is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[3]


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.[4] 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.[5]

In 1932, the hotel was taken from its bankrupt owners by the US Government's Reconstruction Finance Corporation.[5] 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,[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] The hotel was renamed JW Marriott Essex House New York on September 8, 2012, after the sale closed.[9]

In March 2016 Strategic Hotels & Resorts was purchased by Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based Chinese insurance company. The deal included the Essex House and 15 other luxury hotels and resorts.[10] The deal was first announced as being worth $6.5 billion, but ended up being for $5.5 billion after Strategic was forbidden by the US Government to sell the Hotel del Coronado to overseas buyers, due to its location adjacent to Naval Base Coronado.[11]

In November 2018 it was reported that, under pressure from the Chinese government to offload overseas assets, Anbang had hired Bank of America to solicit buyers for Strategic Hotels & Resorts.[11]

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.[12]

The hotel is known for being the place of death for the famous musician Donny Hathaway as well as Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky.

Casey Stengel frequented the Essex House during his New York Yankees and New York Mets managing careers.[13]


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.


  1. ^ "JW Marriott Essex House New York Completes $38 Million Renovation Program". www.hotelnewsresource.com. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. ^ http://kwnyc.com/essex-house
  3. ^ "JW Marriott Essex House New York, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes: The Navarro Flats: When Spain Reigned on Central Park South". The New York Times, 17 June 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (May 6, 1998). "Essex House Is the Latest Hotel For Sale on Central Park South". Retrieved May 17, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  7. ^ "Jumeirah Essex House | Buildings". US /: Emporis. January 16, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Strategic Hotels Acquires Essex House, Will Rebrand as JW Marriott". Frequent Business Traveler. August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "Strategic Hotels Acquires Essex House, Will Rebrand as the JW Marriott". Frequent Business Traveler. August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  10. ^ Tsang, Amie (March 13, 2016). "Chinese Owner of Waldorf Astoria Bets Big on More U.S. Hotels". The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  11. ^ a b https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-21/anbang-is-said-to-hire-bank-of-america-for-luxury-hotels-sale
  12. ^ ZenFoodster Eats. "South Gate | Manhattan | Restaurant Menus and Reviews". Zagat. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  13. ^ Appel, Marty (2017). Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character. New York: Doubleday. pp. 170, 186, 224, 225, 274, 275, 316, 323, 324, 329, 344. ISBN 9780385540476.

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