The Lexington New York City, a One-of-a-kind Destination

By James Marino General Manager, The Lexington New York City | September 08, 2013

With more than two decades in the luxury hospitality industry, I am confident in saying that The Lexington New York City is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The property originally opened in 1929 at the height of New York's hotel boom, and over the past several decades it has experienced a variety of transitions - ultimately leading us to where we are today. Most recently, the Lexington's ownership and management groups initiated a $46 million renovation that has restored the hotel's jazz-age glamor, offering a full top-to-bottom makeover of the public spaces and guest rooms. Additionally, The Lexington New York City officially joined Autograph Collection this August, making it the third Manhattan property in the global portfolio of independent hotels. At 725 guestrooms and suites, it is the largest Autograph hotel in the US outside of Las Vegas.

The Lexington New York City's history is one of the most significant elements of this hotel's overall story. It's been carefully incorporated into the modern vision that is driving us forward. The hotel has hosted some of the country's most notable personalities and exclusive groups, including actor Arthur Godfrey who entertained in The Hawaiian Room; actress Dorothy Lamour was a regular guest; The Playboy Club occupied multiple areas of the hotel; Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe lived in a suite on the 18th floor when they were married; we will be launching that room as the Centerfield Suite this fall. In addition, we'll have a selection of other theme suites, including the Ella Fitzgerald Suite, Ernest Hemmingway Suite and Gallery Suite, each inspired by a unique element of the hotel's history. Our architecture is the product of Schultze and Weaver, masterminds of the era who are also behind iconic properties such as The Biltmore in Miami, The Breakers Palm Beach and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

The Lexington is designed to cater to both the luxury business and leisure travelers with an ideal location in city's east midtown neighborhood. The area presents a collection of offerings less than one mile away, including the Chrysler Building; United Nations; famed Fifth Avenue shopping; Rockefeller Center; The Museum of Modern Art; The Empire State Building; and Times Square. Grand Central Terminal is also less than one half mile from the property, allowing for quick and easy transportation in and out of New York City.

                                                        The Lobby Library at the Lexington New York City

David Ashen of New York-based Dash Design lead the design charge by transforming the public spaces and 725 guestrooms and suites into a vision that communicates the presence of a grand hotel with the intimacy of a boutique property. David's design is complimented by a distinctive art collection commissioned by Paige Powell, an industry expert and former confidante of Andy Warhol. The collection is intended for the discerning eye of travelers with a taste and appreciation for works that reflect the property's rich history. The artists featured in the collection are both local and internationally renowned and work within a wide range of mediums - murals, photography, three-dimensional installations and more. Through curating this magnificent collection, Paige has commissioned works that reflect the property's commitment to preserve its unique jazz age past while also providing fresh perspectives on classic works. Two of the anchoring artists include Alba Clemente and Ruben Toledo.

With a strong background in theatre, including costume design, actress and artistic visionary Alba Clemente approached The Lexington New York City as a stage. One of her designs is centered behind the reception desk, acting as a backdrop for the hotel. The principal piece, entitled "South View," takes the form of an installation of four large vertical plated steel screens embroidered with a pattern that depicts an imaginary balcony with a southern view of Manhattan. Clemente's vision was to replicate Indian marble screens but re-imagined for a contemporary eye. On either side of the entrance into the reception space, stage right and stage left, if you will, are four laser-cut screens entitled "Almost Square."

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.