New York’s iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will close for up to three years while three-quarters of its rooms are converted to luxury condos.
China’s Anbang Insurance Group, which acquired the Waldorf-Astoria from Hilton Worldwide Holdings in 2014 for $1.95 billion, will close the hotel starting next spring, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The renovated hotel, which will still be managed by Anbang and Hilton when it reopens, will be completely gutted and is expected to feature between 300 and 500 upgraded guest rooms and numerous private apartments.
The grand hotel, housed in a 1931 Art Deco building designed by renown architects Schultze and Weaver, has hosted celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and every president since Herbert Hoover. In a recent visit to New York, however, President Obama skipped the Waldorf-Astoria over security concerns of the China-based owner. Before being purchased by Anbang, Obama had stayed at the New York property numerous times.
The Waldorf Astoria was once the largest and tallest hotel in the world. The property was famously called “the greatest of them all” by hotelier Conrad Hilton.
Sadly, the property has been in decline and in need of a modern upgrade — which will cost a reported $1 billion.