Be prepared to (kind of) say goodbye to a New York city icon: The famousWaldorf Astoria hotel will close while a number of the rooms are converted into condos. The Park Avenue landmark will temporarily close its doors this spring, and it’s unclear how long the renovation will take.
“We have not finalized any plans in terms of the scope, nature and details of the renovation project or the exact timing and duration of the hotel's closure,” said a U.S. spokesman for Anbang, the Chinese insurance company that bought the hotel in 2014, said in a statement. “We are currently developing conceptual plans and will share additional details once those plans are finalized.”
The property was purchased from Hilton Worldwide for $1.95 billion and is in need of updating and renovations.
“We plan to renovate the two towers into luxury residential apartments with world-class amenities and finishes to reflect its culture and social status,” Anbang's CEO Wu Xiaohui said in a speech given at Harvard in January, 2015. "At the same time, we will build the hotel section into a super 5-star hotel, delivering unparalleled customer experience inspired by Anbang’s customer-orientation culture.”
The Waldorf is known as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover has stayed in the Presidential Suite. And Marilyn Monroe and Paris Hilton once called the property home.