Marriott adds a big name in New York City

The Essex House, a landmark hotel on the southern edge of New York City‘s Central Park, has been sold to an investment company, The Strategic Group, which has announced that they have hired Marriott to run the property. In early September it will become the JW Marriott Essex House New York, leaving the Jumeriah group. This is a big win for folks in the Marriott Rewards program, as it opens up a great redemption option for them. It is a pretty safe bet that the hotel will be a Category 7 or Category 8 property meaning 35-40,000 points per night. Still, it will actually be an option, which is nice.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson appears quite excited to open up the new JW Marriot property:

We don’t have a JW in Manhattan. We have about 55 of them around the globe, and the brand is doing fabulously well. We wanted one in Manhattan.

That’s a solid vote of confidence in the upscale hotel market from the chain CEO.

The other interesting bit which comes up in reading the story is that the deal is returning the hotel to its previous owners, with a pretty nice profit, too. Strategic is buying the property from Dubai Investment Group for about $362mm. That’s a sizable chunk of change, but Strategic sold the property to the Dubai group for $440mm just seven years ago. Oh, and shortly after that purchase the Dubai group invested $90mm in renovations to the property. Seems like quite the score for Strategic.

The magic date is expected to be September 7, 2012; that’s when the deal is supposed to close and the branding switch.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I remember as a kid that “accommodations provided by Marriott’s Essex House” seemed to be a frequent mention on a TV show I watched. I don’t remember which show it was – might have been the Ed Sullivan show or Tonight show

  2. September 7 is coming pretty quickly. I’m surprised that deal is happening so fast. I love the hotel and that part of New York, but in Bali right now giving tours of Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa so won’t be back anytime soon. Will probably stay there when I do and take advantage of my Marriott Rewards. thanks for the info.

    1. I’m also a bit surprised they’re getting it done so quickly, but my guess is that both the Dubai and Jumeriah folks want out and are happy to makeit happen just as quickly as the others can. The fact that it is selling at such a steep loss certainly doesn’t make it seem like either party would want to keep it any longer than absolutely necessary.

  3. Wow, that’s big news. So I guess they’ll be competing with the Marriott owned Ritz-Carlton just down the block.

    I like the Essex House even though I’ve never been a big fan of Jumeriah hotels. I’m happy to see it being managed by Marriott.

  4. I learned about this last month from my cousin’s wife who has worked at the Essex House before (she is a realtor) and just started working there again.

    I’m very happy about this–have had some really great stays at the Essex House both when it was owned by Marriott previously as well as under subsequent ownership.

  5. Love this hotel. Stayed there many times while under Starwood management and was usually upgraded to the St.Regis floors. I can still remember getting a corner suite and overlooking Central Park with the “Gates”.

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