Expansions & Renovations

The Benjamin in Midtown Manhattan Completes $10 Million Hotel Renovation

New York, NY - August 13, 2013 - The Benjamin, a luxury boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan situated on 50th Street and Lexington Avenue, concludes the final phase of its full-scale, multi-phase $10 million dollar renovation. Under the guidance of Lauren Rottet, the namesake and founder of Rottet Studio, the aesthetic of the accommodations are reflective of her philosophy to create environments that feel personalized, energetic and residentially glamorous. The room re-design is completed, and the renovated and restyled guestrooms and suites are now available for guests. Some of Rottet's favorite design details were reserved for the final pièce de résistance, The Benjamin's premier suite, which will be unveiled in early 2014. In tandem with the guestroom re-design, new partnerships and programming will be launched this fall, including updates to the hotel's noteworthy Sleep Program and pet offerings curated by BarkBox. An earlier noteworthy addition to this three-year project was the addition of The National Bar & Dining Rooms by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, unveiled in the first phase of the hotel's updates.

Under the discerning eye of Rottet, the revamped accommodations feature a palette of whites, silvers, mink and golds. Design choices-like a mirror-meets-mural art piece over the bed, mirrored coffee tables in suites and streamline parson's desks -skillfully accentuate the spaciousness of the rooms. Select suites include a kitchenette that features a spiral-patterned wall covering designed exclusively for The Benjamin by Rottet Studio. "The kitchen art is completely unpredictable, representing the energetic spirit and enthusiasm of the city," said Rottet. A nod to the entrepreneurs on-the-go, much like Rottet herself, the rooms feature square-armed lounge chairs, allowing guests to work and watch TV simultaneously."

Rottet, a frequent guest of the iconic hotel, noted she had re-imagined the rooms many times in her head long before she was selected for the project. Excited at the opportunity to execute her vision, she stated, "In this part of New York City, you want to feel as though you are coming home to your own pied-à-terre rather than a hotel room. It's more personal."

While boasting a modernly elegant look and feel, The Benjamin still embodies the charm and sophistication for which it has always been known. Built in 1927, the edifice so inspired artist Georgia O'Keeffe that she painted it as the subject of her piece "New York-Night." The hotel opened as The Benjamin in 1999 following a $30 million renovation that transformed the hotel into the first luxury property for Denihan Hospitality Group. The rooms redesign is the finishing piece of the project which also included the renovation of the second floor with five residentially-styled rooms for events and meetings, and an intimate Benjamin Guest Lounge and a new lobby. Last fall, celebrity stylist Federico Calce unveiled Federico Hair & Spa at The Benjamin, which offers 24/7 access to blowouts, color, cuts, manicures and massages in-salon or in-room.

Currently ranked a "Design Giant" among both corporate and hospitality firms by Interior Design magazine, Rottet loves to work with Denihan and notes, "They give you the idea they are going after, provide the parameters, then encourage you to do what you think is right and best to create something unique at each property."

The Benjamin is indeed personal to Denihan Hospitality Group, which recently marked its 50-year anniversary, as it is named after the family-owned company's founder, Benjamin Denihan, Sr. Rottet has worked with Co-CEOs Patrick Denihan and Brooke Barrett of Denihan Hospitality Group on a number of projects within its portfolio, including The Surrey, The James Royal Palm, Affinia Shelburne and Affinia Manhattan, which has unveiled a new lobby.

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review


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Human Resources: Strategies to Find and Keep the Best Employees
The hotel industry is notoriously rife with employee issues and human resource professionals are typically charged with the task of solving them. These issues can often seem daunting, given the myriad of problems HR departments encounter every day. Increasingly, issues such as workplace violence, workplace safety, workforce diversity, drug and alcohol abuse, labor shortages, inter-departmental conflicts, and compliance with all legal, employment and government regulations have become more prevalent in recent years. However, according to a recent survey, the biggest challenges human resource professionals face involves recruiting, training, retaining and rewarding employees. More than one-half (59%) of HR professionals believe that recruiting, training and rewarding their best employees, and developing the next generation of corporate leaders, will be their greatest challenges. About one-third (34%) predict the challenges will be creating a corporate culture that attracts the best employees, and finding people with the specialized skills the organization requires. Of course, all of these efforts are part of a strategy to reduce employee turnover - an issue that continues to plague the industry. An average hotel spends 33 percent of its revenues on labor costs, but employee turnover in the industry can be as high as 31 percent. A high rate of turnover dramatically disrupts operations and profitability, and it falls to HR professionals to address and resolve this area of concern. The March Hotel Business Review will document some of the biggest challenges HR professionals are currently facing, and will report on some of the best practices they are employing to achieve their goals.