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 August Online Hotel Business Review


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Feature Focus
Food & Beverage: Going Casual
According to industry tracker PKF Hospitality Research, food and beverage sales represent the second- largest source of revenue for full-service hotels behind rooms. Given its financial importance, hotel operators are constantly adapting and evolving their F&B operations in order to remain current with industry trends and to meet (and exceed) guest expectations. Recent food developments which continue to proliferate include the farm-to-table movement; customized menus for those who are vegan, vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free; the appearance of smaller dishes on tasting menus; and creatively- prepared comfort foods served in more casual settings. In fact, there is a growing emphasis in the entire industry on more casual food operations. Customers are eschewing the typical breakfast-lunch- dinner/appetizer-entrée-dessert model in favor of "fast-casual" menus and service (think Panera, Chipotle or Cosi as examples). Even better if these menus are also available throughout the property, especially in social-gathering areas like the lobby, pool or bar. Some hotels are also experimenting with "pop-up" restaurants - a temporary dining option with edgy menus and design served in unexpected locations (like rooftops or lobbies) - as a way to keep things energetic and fresh. Another trend which applies to both food and wine is the option to purchase food and beverages in multiple sizes. Some operations are giving their customers the opportunity to choose - a three ounce pour of wine or a nine-ounce pour; a six-ounce filet or a twelve-ounce - the customers decide their portion size and pay accordingly. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document all these trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.