A Portuguese home on Park Avenue

NEW YORK—Portugal-based Pestana Hotel Group is set to open its 100th property worldwide in none other than the crossroads of all cultures—New York City. Expected to open in January 2020, Pestana Park Avenue sets roots on 39th St. between Madison and Park Avenues, delivering some Portuguese hospitality to Midtown.

Sofia Fernandes, corporate director, North and South America, Pestana Hotel Group, said, “We offer something new that hasn’t been done before. This is the first Portuguese-branded hotel in NYC, providing guests with the opportunity to experience a little bit of Portugal in the heart of the city.”

According to Fernandes, NYC is the ideal location not just for the milestone opening, but for the Pestana brand as it continues to pursue an aggressive growth plan.

“New York City’s travelers are so diverse and discerning. They are constantly seeking experiences that are new and different, and we hope to always offer something fresh at our property,” she said.

With 95 guestrooms and suites and with only three to four rooms per floor, Pestana Park Avenue hopes to provide guests with a sense of exclusivity and privacy in the bustling city, while also imparting authentic Portuguese charm.

“It’s a unique opportunity to stay in a hotel with the feel of a Portuguese home, down to the decor and traditional amenities available to our guests,” Fernandes said.

Although interior elements like upholstery were designed in the U.S., they were fabricated and manufactured in Portugal. Portuguese design studio Bainha de Copas designed custom throws mimicking Portuguese tiles or azulejos, which also have a New York twist and can be found on the guestroom beds.

The Portuguese-inspired tiles also decorate the outdoor patio while photographs by Portuguese artists adorn the guestroom walls. Also in-room are light fixtures and headboards from Portuguese designers.

Furthermore, staff uniforms take notes from Portuguese design, while the hotel’s grab-and-go market will offer Pastel de Nata, a typical Portuguese custard tart, daily.

Fernandes said that these nods to the country help to differentiate Pestana Park Avenue from other hotels nearby, while also easing the brand into the new market.

“We aim to differentiate ourselves by offering something truly unique in New York’s local landscape, and we hope to do this by highlighting our hotel brand’s Portuguese elements,” Fernandes said. “Through focusing on our great service and Portugal’s amazing hospitality, we hope to make guests feel at home when they return to the property. Next, we need to work closely with the travel community and encourage our guests to spread the word about the Pestana brand in the U.S.”

The hotel hasn’t forgotten its location, however, appealing to leisure, business, local and traveling guests all found simultaneously in NYC. Partnering with Blink Fitness, the hotel has a full-service fitness center and dining and common areas promoting both relaxation and productivity.

“The idea is not to keep our guests on the property but rather provide a comfortable retreat for them to return to after a long day of work or exploration,” she said. “Our guests are likely to be busy exploring the city or at work, so when they come back, it should be a calming sense of arrival.” 

Pestana is no stranger to delivering amenities in gateway cities. The group entered the North American market in 2013 with the opening of Pestana Miami South Beach. 

“After seeing great success at that property, we thought debuting a property in New York City was a sensible next step,” Fernandes said. 

She added that Pestana Park Avenue is just the first of three projects set to open in the New York area, as the group plans to launch a hotel on NYC’s West Side and a third in Newark, NJ.

“Many of Pestana’s international properties are located in central areas of major cities. Pestana Park Avenue’s ideal location gives our travelers easy access to the entire city. Our goal was to offer a comfortable space in the bustling atmosphere of Manhattan where business and leisure travelers are constantly on the move,” Fernandes said.

She said that Pestana Hotel Group’s growth plan has accelerated in the past decade, and it hopes to grow its global footprint with a strategic point of focus. A New York City location aligns with that focus, a prime location in the epicenter of global culture.

“There are so many wonderful events in New York throughout the year that make this city such a vibrant destination,” Fernandes said. “Whether it’s famous buildings and monuments, neighborhoods, the many parades and celebrations year-round ranging from Pride Week to New York’s iconic and annual Ball Drop, guests will always have something unique to experience. Pestana Park Avenue is happy to be at the center of it all, located just a short train ride, walk or a couple of subway stops away from all of the action.” HB