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Luxury Properties in NYC and Texas Unveil Reimaginings

NATIONAL REPORT—High-end properties in New York City and Texas have spent millions to update their properties. Here’s a look.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park Renovation Completes First Phase

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park has debuted the first phase completion of its multi-phase reawakening. The hotel has new guestrooms, suites, Club Lounge and a refreshed La Prairie Spa. Phase two will begin in January 2019 and is slated to be unveiled in spring 2019.

Inspired by the city that surrounds the hotel, the newly designed guestrooms include custom-made furnishings blending Beaux Arts classicism with contemporary flair. The color palette seeks to reflect the soft tones and natural shades of the great park on the hotel’s doorstep, with a pop of blush pink to echo the New York City skyline after sunset. Creamy ecru hues, custom carpeting inlaid with a Matisse sketch, and Fornasetti wallpaper of cloud formations are found throughout the rooms, along with framed photographs on the walls from many of the world’s best known artists as a tribute to New York’s fashion and cultural heritage.

A revamped honor bar allows guests to experience the ingredients of NYC in the comfort of their own room with a private single selection single barrel bourbon developed in partnership by the city’s oldest whiskey distillery—Kings County Distillery. In addition to the partnership, the hotel also aligned with a variety of other local brands such as North Fork Potato Chip, Tumbador Chocolate, Brooklyn Pilsner, while local fashion illustrator Mats Meyer added a touch of Central Park with a custom illustration on the packaging.

The Evelyn Hotel Relaunches

The Evelyn Hotel, part of Triumph Hotels, has emerged from an extensive, top-to-bottom multimillion-dollar renovation that brings a new hospitality experience to the historic property. Among the enhancements include upgrades to the guestrooms, three new dining experiences from Chef Jonathan Benno, an elevated lobby setting, and more.

With a history dating back to 1905 when the hotel first opened under a different guise, the rebranded Evelyn Hotel introduces a distinct experience to the trending neighborhood. Named for early 20th-century actress and model, Evelyn Nesbit, whose influence can be discovered throughout the hotel, the new look pays homage to the Art Deco influences of the surrounding neighborhood—most notably the Empire State Building just a few blocks north—and reflects the style of the Jazz Age heyday with nods to the nearby historic “Tin Pan Alley.”

The new experience is anchored by three distinct dining venues by Chef Jonathan Benno, including Leonelli Taberna, a casual Roman-inspired trattoria with an accompanying cocktail bar and lobby lounge, which transforms the lobby experience; Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, a bakery and café inspired by the great bakeries of Rome and New York’s rich history of Italian-American pastry shops; and Benno, a fine-dining restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine, which makes its debut this fall. Designed by Parts and Labor Design, the restaurant spaces include a mix of materials, including dark woods, green and white marble, brass and richly toned stained glass, which are reflected in geometric lines and patterns throughout each space. Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria was also designed with a mezzanine-level library overlooking the bakery where guests can enjoy their bites and coffee and browse a selection of fine cultural books.

Parts and Labor Design carried the Art Deco design theme into the lobby, where it has transformed it into an all-day lounge space with soft velvet seating and dimly lit nooks. A 40-ft. monolithic stained glass wall sculpture anchors the lounge area.

The hotel’s 159 guestrooms have been refreshed by designer Silvia Zofio to reference the Art Nouveau style of the early 1900s, while paying homage to the building’s historic ties. Interspersed with upgraded Frette linens, new lighting and refreshed bathrooms with Five Wits bath amenities by Joey Silvestera’s Blackstones salon brand, are nods to the hotel’s musical past. Guests will find touches like gramophones that connect to guests’ smartphones, chandeliers mimicking the shape of a trombone and music notes gracing bathroom tiles.

Omni Houston Hotel Completes $30 Million Renovation

Omni Houston Hotel has reopened its doors after undergoing a $30-million renovation.

Embracing Houston’s culture and attitude, the design of the renovated spaces at the 378-guestroom hotel begins on the first floor. The inspiration draws from an authentic local aesthetic that includes leather, bronze, brass and lush greens, providing a new take on a “modern Texas.” The hotel welcomes natural light throughout with floor‐to‐ceiling windows and open communal spaces. The lobby has a moss wall behind three copper reception desks, providing guests a warm welcome.

The first floor evolution continues throughout various public spaces including La Reserve whiskey lounge that pays homage to Houston’s history. Commoncolor, a high-end retail venue, includes items from What Goes Around Comes Around and showcases vintage handbags and jewelry from Chanel, Hermés, Louis Vuitton and more. The Lobby Library offers guests plush sofas, leather armchairs, a bookshelf wall and fireplace, which creates an inviting atmosphere.

Mokara Hotel & Spa Unveils Renovations

The newly renovated lobby and meetings spaces at Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio take inspiration from the luxury hotel’s history, celebrating it through new modern designs.

Formerly the L. Frank Saddlery Building, the spirit of Mokara’s previous life can now be seen through a modern lens with fresh interiors and commissioned artwork.

The use of indigenous materials throughout, like leather sofas and cowhide throw pillows, along with custom touches like metal cap details on the restaurant banquettes, pay homage to the hotel’s 19th-century roots, with an elevated sense of luxury. New Axminster carpets feature sienna colors found in red clay and gold to mimic sunsets and creams that represent the limestone walls on the River Walk, tying the hotel to its natural surroundings. The small details, down to the rope, saddle and stirrup used in the custom carpets, bring the hotel’s former life into modern times.

The hotel has also opened the Tejas Boardroom, a new, 222-sq.-ft. space for meetings, inspired by the Spanish history of San Antonio. The room has rich, tall-back Spanish-inspired carved leather chairs gathered around a conference table with power sources and connection to a new large-screen television.

Led by Sypult Rogers Studio, the interior design now showcases custom pieces, including new Axminster carpets, antiques and objects, many of which are native to Texas. On display in the new ballroom is a custom-commissioned metal 3D sculpture of an open framed saddle, further strengthening the rich ties to the property.

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