Hotel Online  Special Report

 $25 million Rehabilitation Earns Westminster Hotel
in Livingston, New Jersey Honors


June 1, 2004 - Westminster Hotel in Livingston, New Jersey, has been awarded first-place honors in Lodging Hospitality magazine’s 11th Annual Design Competition. 

Winning in the Upscale Hotel category, the hotel is the flagship venture of Westminster Hospitality Group. Westminster Hotel opened in January 2003 and has quickly distinguished itself as a premier, luxury hotel.  J/Brice Design International, Inc. of Boston oversaw the $25 million rehabilitation that transformed the two- and three-story buildings into a sophisticated and distinctive product that brings much-needed hospitality services to the region’s thriving corporate base and dense residential population.

“The level of service at Westminster Hotel equals that of a four-star hotel in a contemporary interior created by the highly talented designers at J/Brice,” said Richard Verruni, the hotel’s managing director. “Westminster Hotel’s classic contemporary architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds provide an upscale look that has set the benchmark for the neighborhood. The interior, however, counters the formal exterior with a luxurious and progressive residential feel.”
Richard Verruni

Original Art, Rich Textures, SmartHotel Features Highlight Distinctive Design 

J/Brice Design created the lobby lounge using rich materials in a wide spectrum of textures in contemporary colors. The firm even retained a curator with major museum credentials to select original works of art — many are black and white photography that reflect the region’s bucolic heritage.  The lounge incorporates low coffee tables and subdued lighting in numerous seating areas to accommodate groups of various sizes. An eclectic collection of books and magazines, including selections for children, are distributed throughout the lounge area to reinforce the residential feeling. A plasma screen television provides live feed from 24-hour news media.

This elegant heated pool is one of the design features that helped the
Westminster Hotel in Livingston, New Jersey, to win First Place honors
in the Upscale Hotel category of Lodging Hospitality magazine’s 11th Annual
Design Competition. The hotel, which opened in January 2003, was designed
by J/Brice Design International, Inc. of Boston and is owned and operated
by Westminster Hospitality Group, a subsidiary of Kushner Companies. The
hotel has 190 guest rooms, 15,000 square feet of banquet and conference
space, a 120-seat restaurant and numerous luxurious amenities.
“It has a great sophistication and appeal that is carried throughout the building,” said Jeff Ornstein, J/Brice Design chief executive officer and founder. “The Westminster concept is a complete package – superb design matched by impeccable operational standards.”

Westminster Hotel is the first new hotel product introduced into the local market in 15 years. It offers luxurious banquet space and meeting accommodations. The hotel’s event business continues to evolve as one of its most successful service areas, which testifies to the need it fulfills in the region.

Westminster Hotel’s attractively appointed guestrooms offer the latest conveniences for business travelers, while the exclusive J/Brice-designed Westminster Club, housed in a separate building, provides an even higher level of design, finishes and fixtures. All hotel guests may enjoy an indoor pool, spa facility and state-of-the-art fitness room. In addition, Westminster Hotel incorporates “SmartHotel” features, with cutting-edge technology designed to enhance the guest experience and streamline operations.
 To further complement its first-class accommodations, Westminster Hotel has collaborated with the renowned Glazier Group of Manhattan, which is managing food and beverage operations. This includes the 120-seat Strip House Restaurant – modeled after the renowned Manhattan eatery – which has brought a new, world-class dining establishment to the region.

“From its beginning as a unique design and service concept, to its position today as a successful, fully operational luxury hotel and banquet property, Westminster Hotel has aimed to distinguish itself as the best of the best, and the Lodging Hospitality design award is a testament to its achievement,” Verruni concluded.

Westminster Hospitality Group, which prides itself on exceeding the highest standards in every category, is a subsidiary of Kushner Companies, one of New Jersey’s most respected real estate firms. Westminster Hospitality Group partnered with the Scharf and Barad families, which own and operate major hotel facilities throughout the tri-state region, for this project.

J/Brice Design International became a Certified Interior Design Giant and Architectural Giant in 1991 – currently ranking 24th out of 100 – and is among the world’s leading firms specializing in interior design for the hospitality industry. The company was singled out as one of the top-ten, fastest-growing design firms nationwide by Interior Design magazine. Founded more than 15 years ago, J/Brice Design’s award-winning, internationally experienced staff has more than 150 hotel/restaurant projects to its credit and the confidence of every major chain hotel. 

Westminster Hotel
550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Also See: J/Brice Design International Awarded $21.6 Million Contract. Leading Boston Firm to Design Five Marriott Hotel Interiors / March 2004
Richard Verruni Named General Manager of the Westminster Hotel in Livingston, New Jersey / Nov 2002
Kushner Companies Spending $25 million to Gut Former Travelodge Hotel in Livingston, NJ; To Reopen as The  Westminster Hotel / Sept 2002

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