Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York to Close For Renovations — But…

H ilton Worldwide Holdings Incorporated sold the historic Waldorf=Astoria hotel property in New York to Anbang Insurance Group Company of China for $1.95 billion — or approximately $1.4 million per room — in February of 2015.

To put that sale price in further context, Conrad Hilton reportedly acquired the iconic flagship hotel of Hilton Worldwide in 1949 for $3 million — an amount which would only purchase two rooms in the hotel today.

Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York to Close For Renovations — But…

Hilton Worldwide will continue to operate the Waldorf=Astoria hotel property under a management contract for a duration of 100 years, which began upon the closing of the sale — but according to this article written by Hui-Yong Yu for Bloomberg, there will be significantly fewer rooms available, as the hotel is scheduled to close sometime during the spring of 2017 so that most of the greater than 1,400 rooms can be renovated and converted to luxury condominiums.

The luxury hotel property may not open again to the public until as late as the year 2020, with only 300 to 500 rooms to remain available for the purpose of being occupied by hotel guests.

Summary

“I would not be surprised to see the rate of the redemption of Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points increased as a result of the sale and renovations. Hopefully that will not happen.”

That is what I wrote in this article back on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 when news of the sale was first announced — and I am thinking that that could an understatement now that only approximately a third of the rooms in the storied hotel property will be used for the purpose of a hotel…

…but, of course, that all depends on the basic economic principle of supply and demand; and 300 rooms is not a paltry number in and of itself, as there are hotel properties which have even fewer rooms in total.

I have never stayed as a guest at this hotel — I never had a need to do so, being born and raised in New York — but I would like to do so sometime in the future.

Only time will tell as to whether or not the rate of the redemption of Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points — as well as the room rates overall — increases at the Waldorf=Astoria hotel.

Source: Hilton Worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York to Close For Renovations — But…”

  1. Kang says:

    I would say it is a smart move.
    1. WA New York is extremely old, and the service is really noncompetitive. Besides the fact that the hotel defines itself as “luxury”, I wouldn’t call WA New York a luxury one in terms of room and services. (Conrad New York is way better). The only thing they can sell now is its rich history.
    2. Managing a “luxury” properties with over 1000 room is hard, it makes WA New York impossible to deliver luxury services. Compare with WA Beijing and elsewhere, other Waldorf Astoria are better simply because they often have 200-300 rooms. I would say it is smart for the management to “cut off” some rooms for a better future. Renovation is certainly needed if WA wants to stay on a better stage in the future. (Thinking about high end properties of Hyatt, SPG, and Marriott in New York, not even saying Mandarin Oriental and the others)

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That makes sense. Thank you, Kang.

      By your logic, the experience should be significantly improved.

      Although I have never stayed there, I understand that the Towers is also a better experience…

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