Taj earmarks $100mn for Pierre renovations

Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces has announced
that The Pierre, New York’s landmark hotel on Central Park and Fifth
Avenue, will enter the second phase of renovation beginning January 1,
2008.All 200 guest accommodations, including the 11 Grand Suites with
apartment- like quarters and private terraces, 41 suites and all guest
rooms will be upgraded and renovated, as will the corridors, public areas,
Cafe Pierre and the bar. Estimated overall cost associated with the
renovation program is $100 million. Overseeing the design is James Park
Associates, whose past projects include the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur,
India; Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives; Taj Exotica Resort, Mauritius,
as well as the redesign of Singapore Airlines’ first-class cabins.
  The first phase of the Pierre renovation was completed in January 2007
by Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates, and included the Grand Ballroom,
the Cotillion Room and foyer. All banquet spaces on the second floor will
remain open, fully staffed and operative throughout the second phase of
renovation, and will remain accessible by a private entrance on 61st
Street. Advance bookings for 2008 are very strong, according to General
Manager Heiko Kuenstle, with weddings, non-profit charity events, bar/bat
mitzvahs, corporate events, holiday parties and financial conferences
  While banquet business continues as usual, the hotel will cease taking
guest reservations December 30th and the guest rooms and restaurant will
not be open as of noon, December 31st. The Pierre will fully reopen in
early 2009 and will begin taking reservations for the newly renovated
accommodations in late 2008.
  “As stewards of this hospitality icon, our goal is to retain the
classic ambiance of The Pierre while adding a fresh look of 21st century
elegance and technology that will appropriately transform the property,”
said Mr. Kuenstle. “We know our loyal guests will be pleased and we look
forward to welcoming them back.”
  “Taj has a 105-year history of luxury service and is dedicated to
restoring this hotel to perfection,” added Mr. Kuenstle. “Sensitivity and
taste are hallmarks of how Taj refreshes a classic, as can be seen in their
acclaimed renovations of authentic Indian palaces.”