Most people look forward to taking life a little easier at 65, but not boutique hotel legend Ian Schrager. Turning 65 later this year he recently became a father to his sixth child and first son. However Schrager is hardly likely to be playing hands-on Dad as his plans for 2011 are more international than ever.
He is embarking upon a new phase in his career with the launch of a new brand of lifestyle hotels called Edition for Marriott International. The first boutique hotel opened last October on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii and others are planned in Istanbul, Barcelona, Bangkok, Miami and Mexico City. The new brand promises a “personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience” aimed largely at the business traveller.
Not content with this new challenge, Schrager recently sold his share in Gramercy Park Hotel to launch another new company, Schrager Hotels. These hotels are destined to focus on value and will make a debut in 24/7 cities such as New York, London, Miami, Rio de Janeiro and once again, Istanbul. More details will follow when he opens the first hotel in Chicago, in the Ambassador East, a historic landmark which has been attracting distinguished guests since 1926.
Recently asked when he plans to stop working Schrager replied, “It’s not work. I think that as long as I am enjoying it and loving what I do, and I get gratification out of it, I’ll continue doing it”.
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels
The American credited with founding the concept of the boutique hotel, Ian Schrager, is returning to London for his next project.
In a joint venture with Marriott International, Schrager is to redevelop Berners Hotel – a stalled development north of Oxford Street in the heart of the West End.
Media reports say Marriott International bought the site of the 193-bedroom hotel for more than £60 million ($97 million). It was put up for sale when the company that owned the business went into administration in August. More than 40 bids were received.
Schrager made his name with Studio 54 in New York and went on to open luxury and boutique hotels in New York such as Morgans and Gramercy Park and the Sanderson boutique hotel in London. He said: “I’m thrilled to be returning to London for an incredibly special and historic building like Berners Hotel.”
Schrager and Marriott teamed up in 2008 to create a new boutique design hotel brand called Edition and have plans to roll it out globally.
The ‘London Edition’ development on Berners Street will take up to two years. The hotel had been part refurbished, with planning permission in place. The building has been covered in scaffolding and hoardings for nearly four years.
The site dates back to 1835 when it was built as five classic houses. These were then converted into one hotel in the early 1990s, before closing in January 2006 for the proposed redevelopment and upgrade.
by Andy Moreton
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