It’s not every day you get to lunch in J.P. Morgan’s private library in New York. To do so with Horst Schulze, originator of The Ritz-Carlton brand and current CEO of West Paces Hotel Group, the parent company of Capella Hotels and Resorts, is icing on the cake (not on the dessert menu—this time around).
Why were we assembled there, in a room that looked like it popped off the screen from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade? Big announcement, of course. And, as is the norm in the hotel business, it was location…location…location. You see, our dining in the grand J.P. Morgan space had meaning: right down the block, within shouting range, was the new Setai Fifth Avenue (at 36th Street), which will be managed by Capella and open November 1.
|Bill Fischer and Guenter Richter, Setai Fifth Avenue’s managing director, talk shop at the J.P. Morgan library.|
All the heavyweights were on hand to mark the occasion. Two seats over from me sat Bill Fischer, the reigning king of luxury travel, and, just a table away, Valerie Wilson, one of travel’s leading ladies. Schulze has the esteem to ensure a room is filled up. And, from what we hear, this hotel will be filled just the same.
The Scene: Floors 1-26 will be guest rooms, while the rest of the floors (60 altogether) will be residences. The Breakdown: Of the 214 rooms, there will be 57 suites, including the three Penthouse Suites on floors 24, 25 and 26. We hear that the hotel will have some of the largest rooms in the city (the majority start at 700 square feet). They’ll also have some top-line amenities and touches (think deep soaking tubs and TVs inset into bathroom mirrors). All rooms will also be serviced by personal assistants, whom Capella calls butlers. Luxury travel advisors can contact the hotel’s Managing Director Guenter Richter ([email protected]; 212-695-4005) with questions.
|Valerie Wilson with Richter, Holly Breuche, director of sales and marketing for The Setai, and Frosch’s Barbara Gallay.|
Spa will also be big—try 11,500 square feet big. The 11 treatment rooms will be supplemented by an ice cave—that’s right, a room set to 40 degrees where spa-goers can “chill out” before or after hitting the steam or sauna.
When it’s all said and done, Schulze is positioning The Setai as an experience, above all. That means, if you want to roller blade in Central Park at 3 a.m., it will be arranged. We want to do everything, Schulze told the assemblage. As long as its legal, moral and ethical.
|The Setai Fifth Avenue’s 60 floors open November 1.|