THE PENNINSULA HOTEL , NEW YORK CITY, NY
Formerly the “Gotham Hotel”
Design the interior of a prestigious, newly gutted New York City hotel: spa, fitness center, pool; lobby, registration, concierge; cocktail lounges, restaurants; business center, meeting rooms, ballrooms; guestroom suites and a fifteen room Presidential Suite.
Model the NYC Hotel after the Paris Nova Park Elysee Hotel so that the Parisian ambiance would appeal to Arabian Royalty as well as sophisticated Europeans and New Yorkers.
The project had to be “fast tracked” to meet the grand opening date, and avoid incurring late penalties written into the construction contract. French designers, who did not speak English and new nothing about New York City codes or design documentation, were blended into the CFA design team because they understood the Nova Park culture. Narrow corridors presented difficult installation challenges.
The grandeur of the hotel was achieved with exotic woods from Africa, huge antique crystal chandeliers from Paris, classical marbles from Italy and restored original architectural moldings. Mystery and illusion in the suites was created by separating the sleeping area from the living room with partly mirrored, partly open trellis room dividers. Furniture, such as collapsible four poster beds, was custom designed in segments in order to be maneuvered down narrow halls and installed in the guestrooms. Security cameras were installed above ceilings to be lowered at the request of royal guests. Exterior lighting was designed to allow the building to be seen as part of the NYC skyline. The New York Times complimented the design of the hotel as fit for “…Chic Sheiks.”