New York City’s landmark Jumeirah Essex
House is about to complete a year-long ambitious $90 million soft goods
makeover project.In January of 2006, Dubai-based Jumeirah Group
announced plans for a comprehensive refurbishment program that would
specifically enhance the facilities and services of the hotel and
re-establish its status as one of Manhattan’s premium luxury hotels.
Work commenced on the makeover project last fall in which all of the
hotel’s 515 guestrooms, suites, corridors and lobby have now been
completely redesigned with a spectacular new look paying homage to the
hotel’s original Art Deco design and heritage.
Atlanta-based hospitality design firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates, created
and developed an innovative new design schematic that complements and
builds upon the hotel’s original Art Deco theme with 21(st) century
contemporary design nuances. The newly redesigned guestrooms combine the
comfort and functionality of the modern era with the style and sleekness
of the heyday of international travel in the 1920s and ‘30s.
“The completion of the refurbishment project marks a new era in the
hotel’s glorious and fabled history,” remarked Scott Dawson, General
Manager of the Jumeirah Essex House. “The hotel’s new look embodies and
captures both the spirit and essence of Manhattan’s vitality. Vibrant,
dynamic and bold, the new redesign comfortably bridges the gap between
the hotel’s past, present and future. We have begun welcoming our guests
and providing them with an exciting new environment that appeals to the
High-Tech Style Meets Art Deco Chic
Business and leisure travelers alike will find the many new high-tech
guestroom features appealing from both a comfort and functionality
aspect. All of the new guestrooms at the Jumeirah Essex House are
designed to offer guests an integrated experience when it comes to the
comfort of their stay, using only the most advanced state-of-the-art
technology such as:
* In-room technology is designed and developed with the guest in mind
keeping it guest-centric and provides guests with the opportunity to
control their room features either through the LCD controls or through
traditional switches (e.g. lights) if they prefer to do so.
* Guestrooms feature Plug and Play Internet and other devices, making it
effortless for guests to use the in-room technology and use their own
* All guestrooms feature High Definition on demand in-room
* All guestrooms and suites feature mood settings with touch-screen
control pad for lighting, background music, environmental controls and
temperature settings in which guests can selects the best level that
suits them, as well as easy contact for the hotel’s guest services.
* LCD TVs and the latest mini-bar system designed within the
contemporary wood cabinetry, which also conceals a snack tray, personal
safe, and a red leather-lined compartment for the hotel’s stationary and
* In-room television sets offer guests round-the-clock “real-time” views
of both Central Park and scenes looking towards Times Square courtesy of
live feeds transmitted from rooftop cameras.
* The unique ostrich-print upholstered headboard features a horizontal
niche for colorful artwork, which is up-lit with a custom-programmed
color-changing LED fixture that modulates on a continual basis to create
a variety of different moods in the room.
In redesigning the guestroom interiors, Hirsch Bedner focused on the
hotel’s original Art Deco design concept by updating the rooms with the
* Sumptuous finishes include lush golden carpets, deep red velvets,
alligator-print leather accents, and exotic honey-toned wood veneers.
The luxurious custom-designed furniture for the guestrooms is modern
with a refined state of elegance.
* Beautifully-appointed wall-to-wall wood cabinetry units offering both
desk and drawer space, allow ample work space for guests to use their
notebooks and spread out with their other electronic equipment and work
in a relaxed atmosphere without being confined.
* Comfortable desk chairs in red leather and a pull-out desk unit allow
for easy access for business tasking.
* Hand-stitched, leather-wrapped handles enhance the custom cabinetry
and hammered nail studs on the white leather ottomans gracing the front
of the beds are reminiscent of the elegant steamship trunks of the 1920s
and 30s when people traveled in style.
* Rich red leather-wrapped mirrors reflect breathtaking views of Central
* Accordion-fashioned blinds adorn the windows featuring a “leaf”
pattern design evocative of the trees in Central Park.
* Bathrooms sport rich pearlescent wall coverings and feature
jewel-toned amber-colored glass vessel sinks sitting on rich marble and
wood cabinets. Contemporary polished chrome faucets and fittings add a
* Guestroom high-tech enhancements include the addition of Voice Over
Internet Protocol (VOIP) phones, wireless and cell phone repeaters.
Lobby Deco-Deluxe-Ooh, La La-lique!
Another important part of the Jumeirah Essex House’s refurbishment
program is that of the lobby. Tailored to further enhance the guest
experience, the lobby design includes upgrading the reception area and
expanding the lobby lounge.
Upon entering the lobby, guests are treated to and surrounded by the
rich array of Art Deco detailing including sparkling beige, tan, and
black marble floors, polished black marble fluted columns with bronze
capitals, dark mahogany wall paneling, gold leaf moldings and dramatic
The lobby’s centerpiece and focal point is a unique Lalique-style glass
and polished marble reception desk with backlit hand-carved panels
featuring an Art Deco floral motif. Macassar ebony chairs reminiscent of
the period and covered in supple cream leather and sofas covered in
ostrich-printed cream fabric sit on lush red wool carpets hand-knotted
in Nepal. Plush banquette sofas in the Salon are surrounded by rich, red
drapery-covered walls and provide a comfortable place to sit and relax.
Beautiful commissioned paintings and photographs of the Manhattan
skyline and Central Park as part of the hotel’s new artists-in-residence
program adorn the lobby walls.
The rich finishes and color scheme of the lobby is continued throughout
the guest corridors. The lush custom wool carpets made in Ireland are
bordered with polished black stone. Dramatic, oversized roses in various
tones of red and cream decorate the rugs and harkens back to the floral
patterns which were an integral and recurring theme to Art Deco design.
The walls are upholstered in supple golden leather-wrapped panels.
The period’s inspired custom red-leather benches and custom wall sconces
further enhance the space. The custom guestroom signage plaques
featuring Art Deco-style lettering are made of cast bronze with red
leather inserts that complete the look.