Sofitel New York Hotel
|Sofitel New York|
|Address||45 West 44th Street|
|Town or city||New York City|
|Height||109 m (358 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Brennan Beer Gorman|
|Awards and prizes||2000 Emporis Skyscraper Award|
Sofitel New York is a boutique hotel on West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, owned and managed by the Sofitel corporation. It lies about 200 metres (660 ft) north of Bryant Park and New York Public Library and next to the New York Yacht Club. The hotel is inspired by French traditions in furnishings and theme, and the hotel staff are bilingual in French and English. Completed in 2000, the 109-metre-tall (358 ft), 30-floor, 398-guest room limestone and glass building was awarded the 2000 Emporis Skyscraper Award.
Construction on the hotel began in 1997, and it opened in the year 2000. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was reportedly responsible for funding the project after a design by Brennan Beer Gorman was chosen in an architectural competition which included entries from architects such as Michael Graves & Associates. After construction the building was awarded the 2000 Emporis Skyscraper Award.
Strauss-Kahn rape allegation
On May 14, 2011, a 32-year-old housekeeper at the hotel, an immigrant from Guinea, alleged that IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her in his hotel room. She had walked into his room as he was having a shower although he had not yet checked out. Strauss-Kahn was at New York airport, and his plane was ready to take off when airport police asked that the plane be stopped in the nick of time. He was escorted off the plane and placed under arrest. The criminal case was later dismissed, and he settled out of court with his accuser in a civil case.
Described as "one of midtown's new, glitzy "boutique" hotels," and claiming to offer a "mélange harmonieux du style français et de l'esprit" it is 109 metres (358 ft) tall with 30 floors and has 398 luxury guest rooms including 52 suites. The architectural design by Brennan Beer Gorman features limestone and glass, with a T-shaped base. The facade was architecturally inspired by Parisian Moderne limestone buildings and according to Frommer's Guide exudes "old-world French elegance" far beyond its years of existence as a hotel. The facade is bronze with 3 flying geese above in a large portal.
The French theme is very strong in the hotel, from the greeting of "Bonjour" or "Bonsoir" in reception to the French restaurant Gaby which serves croissants for breakfast and the gift shop selling French perfumery and cosmetics. Gaby is Art Deco inspired and is overlooked by head chef Sylvain Harribey. The New York Times describes the hotel as "beautifully run", "with a front desk at the far end of a ballroom-sized lobby, tucked away to the side, which gives the entrance a serene quality." The hotel staff are bilingual in both French and English. In the center of the lobby there is "a 2-story rotunda with a curving staircase, a tall wooden sculpture, and a mural of Central Park." The hotel contains a 2,500 square feet (230 m2) Grand Ballroom with 2.5-story windows and 8 meeting rooms with a capacity of 10 to 60 people.
Frommer's describes the hotel rooms as follows: "The rooms are spacious and ultra-comfortable, adorned with art from New York and Paris. The lighting is soft and romantic, the walls and windows soundproof. Suites are extra-special, equipped with king beds, two televisions, and pocket doors separating the bedroom from a sitting room. Bathrooms in all rooms are magnificent, with separate showers and soaking tubs." The beds are said to be signature feather “Sobeds” which "offer the ultimate in comfort". The majority of the beds are cream or white or white with maroon trimmings and feature large paintings above the headboards. The bathrooms have Roger & Gallet bath amenities.
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- the CNN Wire Staff (17 May 2011). "IMF chief held without bail after being accused of attempted rape". CNN. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
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- Angelique Chrisafis in Paris (15 May 2011). "Dominique Strauss-Kahn: from $3,000-a-night suite to police cell". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
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- "Sofitel New York". Frommer's. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- "Sofitel New York Hotel". New York Journey. Retrieved 20 May 2011.