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Traditional but Modernly Fresh

June 11, 2010

During my recent business trip to New York I was fortunate to meet, once again, together with my boss Raphy, our good friend Steve Mendell.

Steve is an accomplished hotelier who in the past has had hotel dealings in Israel. Today he owns and manages through his company HEI Hospitality dozens of hotels branded with the most prominent global hotel brands.

The lobby (photos: Surrey Hotel)

Steve took us out to dinner at a great restaurant uptown: Café Boulud – one of chef Daniel Boulud‘s restaurants. Others include the famous Daniel Restaurant.

Café Boulud is situated at the Surrey New York Hotel. After a lovely dinner Steve arranged for us a hotel tour late at night. What an experience! As hoteliers this was like visiting an amazing chocolate factory for chocolate lovers.

The Surrey Hotel was recently refurbished with a budget of 60 Million dollars! One could definitely see the incredible investment in all aspects of the hotel.

The Hotel has 190 rooms including suites – rates 550-750 dollars, yes expensive but not one of the most expensive in NYC. It is situated in the prestigious neighborhood of uptown New York City – Madison and 76TH street. A traditional residential area surrounded by affluent New Yorkers and great restaurants.

The Hotel used to be very “Old School” – stuffy and too traditional. It needed a fresh approach while maintaining the traditional residential look & feel but bringing in modern elements and making it HIP.

As we entered the hotel i noticed a small heater at the roof of the tented entrance. Already a warm feeling in a winter night before we even stepped into the lobby .I loved the bright corridors (I don’t particularly like dark corridors – especially for women).

The guest rooms had Italian mattresses, large white armoires. The soft palettes on walls and wooden carvings as decorative items and as head boards, gave a very residential uptown feel. The top of the desk turns up to a mirror and many rooms have small corner libraries.

The Surrey Hotel`s roof top

As we entered the presidential suite we met the designer who was having late meetings with the management. His name is David Davis from Rottet Studio. This designer firm came with a lot of experience from W Hotels. In the presidential suite I noticed a grand piano and and saunas! If anyone is interested – 7,000 dollars per night.

The Marble grays in the bathroom gave a luxurious feel.

Many luxury market brands such as Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton become very tricky and alienating. This hotel felt like the right comfort level and not ostentatious. He is modern, luxurious and hip.

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