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


Feature Focus
Hotel Human Resources 2015: Recruiting and Retaining the Best Employees
Due to the ever-increasing demands for improvements in guest experience, intense pressures are brought to bear on hotel workforces, as well as on the Human Resource professionals who are responsible for recruiting, training and retaining them. Meeting and exceeding guest expectations requires a substantial investment in recruiting and development, so that top talent can be hired, and career paths can be established to ensure the continuation of five-star service performances. So important is staff development that most HR professionals believe that retaining and rewarding their best employees, and cultivating the next generation of corporate leaders represent their greatest challenges. And they are expected to accomplish these feats at a time when competition for in-demand skilled talent has never been greater, and when HR budgets are still constrained due to the slow-growth recovery following the Great Recession of 2007-2009. HR strategies continue to evolve as social media has become an accepted means for recruiting purposes, and there is also a greater emphasis on metrics so that investments in HR practices and policies can be measured and justified. In addition, issues surrounding demographic changes in the workforce are being addressed. A large percentage of existing workers are ageing out of the industry, just as the Millennial generation is entering it, and there is also greater diversity in the workforce which affects many aspects of HR operations. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the challenges facing HR professionals, and will report on some of the best practices they are employing to achieve their goals.