Waldorf Astoria gets a facelift

Waldorf-SOM-4First pictures were released last week of how the restored Waldorf Astoria New York will look when the hotel reopens after a major renovation that began last month. The famous building is expected to be back in business in three years.

Officials say it will feature restored historic public and event spaces, along with luxury condominiums and guest rooms and suites that will “set a new standard for luxury and service in New York”.

The pictures were issued after the US Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to protect the interior Art Deco details of the hotel, whose exterior is already landmarked.

The building, which occupies a whole block on Park Avenue at 34th Street, was bought in 2014 for nearly $2bn by China’s Anbang Insurance Group from Hilton Worldwide Holdings. It will operate under a 100-year management contract with Hilton when it reopens.

The architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill will oversee much of the hotel’s renovation and Anbang has also brought aboard interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon for the upgrades.

The officials say much of the effort will focus on restoring the hotel’s lobbies, event rooms and other public spaces and will involve “removing elements that are inconsistent with the 86-year-old building’s original Art Deco design”.