Donald Trump has taken over the sprawling West 55th Street property that once housed the Plaza Hotel, transforming the building into an entertainment venue. But the changes at the five-building Waldorf Astoria property — first announced in December 2018 — are not the normal renovations to add new rooms or a lobby face lift. Instead, the hotel is slated to receive a total of $1 billion worth of upgrades — starting at about the time Trump leaves office in January 2021 — that will result in a redefined brand, repositioning of the Waldorf as an international luxury hotel and entertainment venue, a concept that has been executed in other cities around the world.
Conceptual renderings were released Thursday, as part of an open house to preview the building’s overhaul, and how it differs from the design by Interregional Development Associates, a New York firm.
The Waldorf Astoria is now fitted with a six-floor indoor “Sky Bar” on the 60th-floor restaurant, with a glassed-in pool table and 7,000 square feet of retail. Trump once owned the Plaza Hotel, which had the first-of-its-kind glass staircase. Those renovations were later completed on the hotel’s second-floor restaurant, the Lobster Club.
Next door to the new restaurant and pool is the third-floor bar, called the “Spare Room,” and a second restaurant, but the Waldorf’s reputation for the power summit set dates back to its late-19th-century days.
When the new Sky Bar opens next spring, residents of the tower and nearby condos can dine on brunch and dinner, and sip cocktails in the moonlight while riding an elevator up to the second floor, where a new nightclub called The Observatory will offer a full night’s entertainment, a play space for small children, and 20 private rooms for executives and event planners.
The Waldorf Astoria’s Facebook page has posted a mashup of concept shots from the renovation, showing the dramatic new glass staircase that can accommodate hotel and condo guests: