Jumeirah Hospitality & Leisure has been named to replace Starwood as the hotel operator for New York’s Essex House Hotel, following its acquisition today by Dubai Investment Group. Jumeirah will be working with Dubai Investment on a $50 million renovation of the Essex House to create a 500-room premier hotel property on Central Park South. The renovation is scheduled to begin in January. Jumeirah is widely recognized as a leading international luxury hospitality owner and operator, with prestige properties in London and the Middle East.
Jumeirah will assume management of the hotel in January 2006. Gerald Lawless, CEO of Jumeirah commented, “We feel privileged to have been awarded the management contract for this historic hotel. We recognize the responsibility we have to enhance the Essex House, and to consolidate its position as one of New York’s few remaining truly landmark hotel experiences.”
Lawless added, “We plan to create a true contemporary classic in New York, reflecting the tradition of the hotel’s historic past and the ambition of its luxurious future.”
Plans for the hotel renovation will include extensive redesign and refurbishment of the lobby, rooms, public areas and the creation of market-unique food and beverage outlets. The hotel will remain open during the renovation period, expected to be completed in 2006.
Lawless stated that both the hotel’s new owners and new management company are focused on the objective of developing Essex House Hotel into a luxury destination hospitality experience, complementing New York’s reputation as the world’s leading business and leisure city.
Jumeirah has evident credentials to undertake the project outlined today. In 2001, the company assumed management of The Carlton Tower hotel in London, immediately embarking on a comprehensive refurbishment program that has created what is today recognized as one of London’s finest hotels. The Carlton Tower was recently named by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the top five hotels in London, and the best on “value for money.”
In addition to its London portfolio, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes hotels, Jumeirah owns and operates some of the finest luxury hotel and resort properties in the world, including Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel. It was from the helipad of this iconic hotel that Tiger Woods received worldwide exposure for hitting golf balls into the Arabian Gulf in 2004. In March of this year, the hotel featured the highest tennis match on earth, between Andre Agassi and Roger Fedderer.
Jumeirah management plans to retain the existing workforce at the hotel when it assumes operation of the hotel in January.