Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt New York marked the completion of its $130 million, multi-phased renovation yesterday with the installation of artist Jaume Plensa’s three-dimensional “Awilda” and “Chloe” sculptures. Overlooking Grand Central Station, the renovation included 1,306 guestrooms and suites featuring world-class artwork, the New York Central restaurant, a totally transformed lobby and mezzanine, multiple event and meeting spaces, revitalized ballrooms, and the innovative grab-and-go food outlet, Market.
In an effort to make the property more design-forward, the hotel commissioned artists and designers to re-animate the public space. Plensa (who’s had public projects in Madison Square Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England) contributed the two sculptures to the hotel lobby, inspired by the Moai heads on Easter Island, while Norwegian artist Per Fronth’s murals of New York snapshots are in the guest rooms. German artist Burghard Muller-Dannhausen’s colored panel paintings are displayed in the new Gallery on Lex event space.
The Grand Hyatt also brought in some serious design talent for the rest of the property as well. Designers Looney & Associates of Dallas and George Wong Design of New York, strove to create a calming space in the guest rooms and suites that would feel like a private Manhattan apartment, with rich woods, pinstriped carpeting, and a contemporary palette. The 20 VIP Suites, also designed by Looney & Associates, are divided between a loft concept and a more neutral residence concept, while the four Premier Suites, designed by George Wong Design, are divided between an uptown townhouse look and a downtown Tribeca-loft feel.
The new club level and restaurant, New York Central, designed by Bentel & Bentel, is nearly 6,000 sq. ft. and includes a lounge area, restaurant, and wine gallery, featuring WineStation technology, a wine dispensing system allowing guests to taste a variety of different vinos. Market, a 24-hour “grab-and-go” outlet, is intended to serve as both a convenience to hotel guests and those coming through the neighborhood, while the expanded culinary operations will help serve the multiple event spaces, including an expanded ballroom space.