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Morgans Hotel Group Completes 17.5 million dollar Renovation of the
Re-thought and Re-imaged Royalton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2007 - Seamlessly blending cutting- edge design and a traditional sense of luxury, the landmark Royalton hotel has led the hospitality industry for the last twenty years.  This month, after a brief closure, Morgans Hotel Group Co. (Nasdaq: MHGC)
(“MHG”) proudly unveils the 17.5 million dollar renovation of the newly re-thought and newly re-imaged Royalton, designed by noted New York-based design firm Roman & Williams. This new Royalton, the first large-scale Morgans Hotel Group renovation in the company’s history, is a dramatic reinvention that both moves the hotel’s spirit of intelligent contemporary design forward and remains consistent with Royalton’s long-standing history of resonance with stylish and culturally aware visitors from around the globe.
“We remain at the forefront of the boutique hotel sector by continuing to create an unparalleled guest experience. To ensure that Royalton, one of our most iconic properties, continues to provide a rich and inspiring environment, we have partnered with Roman & Williams and entrusted them with the unprecedented task of re-imaging Royalton’s historic lobby, bar, restaurant, and penthouses,” says David Weidlich, Executive Vice President of Morgans Hotel Group. “Roman and Williams have not only etched out a new chapter in the ethos of MHG, but have also created a timeless design that pays homage to the visionary heritage of Royalton.”
Reflecting the vibrant energy surrounding the hotel’s midtown Manhattan location, Roman and Williams have created a series of iconic spaces that together form a fully integrated experience. From the floor-to-ceiling mahogany front doors that open into a crystalline vestibule to the textured, handcrafted details of the lobby’s custom furnishings, the visual and tactile combination of brass, steel, wood, velvet, suede, and fur creates a sense of deeply luxurious comfort colored with a dash of thoughtfully ambitious design. Hand-blown crystal pendants hang over custom-designed seating while vintage objects detail the space with a touch of well-considered nostalgia. Defining it all is a monumental cast-bronze fireplace, inspired by the works of Louise Nevelson and Paul Evans.
“Royalton is an icon that we felt deserved a design simultaneously sophisticated and complex and we drew on influences as varied and diverse as modern Africa, mid-century Brazil, and contemporary Scandinavia. The language and materiality we selected for the lobby speaks to this notion of a collision of cultures and ideas - from the massive bronze fireplace, primitive and pure in feeling, to the cast-glass vestibule; heavy metal furnishings, juxtaposed with warm wood; and soft suede upholstery, thick leather walls and hide- covered chairs. Our goal was to design a space that transcends place and time.” explain Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the principals of Roman and Williams. “We wanted Royalton to be a crossroads for an international audience - a place for travelers, performers and world leaders, a place where both Kofi Annan and Iggy Pop could go.”
Just inside the lobby’s entrance, the legendary Round Bar has been unpacked, unraveled, and updated by acclaimed New York restaurateur John McDonald as Bar 44, and has become an intimate and inviting space for a quiet private drink. McDonald, known for his restaurants Lever House and Lure Fishbar, as well as the iconic Soho MercBar, is also the creative force behind Royalton’s new restaurant, Brasserie 44. Playing off of and contrasting with the deep richness of the lobby, Roman and Williams have created a light and airy space at the back of the hotel, in which woven rope arches soar over teak banquettes detailed with cream-colored leather, the tables detailed with Heath Ceramic place settings, the sensibility one of timelessly quiet luxury. Stocked with over 3,000 bottles, the wine cellar nestled in the back of the restaurant is a perfect complement to Brasserie 44’s seasonal modern American menu that includes a prix fix pre-theatre menu and bar snacks, from Executive Chef Scott Ekstrom - formerly of Oceana and Daniel.
“With such a dynamic history, I am excited to re-ignite the lobby, bar and restaurant with Bar 44 and Brasserie 44,” says restaurateur John McDonald. “I hope to restore the energy and service that is expected in today’s ever- changing market of design-driven hotels.”
Royalton’s history of trend-defining design continues upstairs where guest room hallways are carpeted in the hotel’s signature blue, and illuminated by vibrant multi-tonal lighting. Three unique penthouse designs that continue what the lobby started further Roman and William’s interpretation of the hotel lobby as the ultimate living room, while the private guestrooms create wells of rest and relaxation. Morgans Hotel Group also collaborated with architect and interior designer Charlotte Macaux, who meticulously updated and re- imagined the classic minimalist charm of the Royalton’s rooms and suites, while retaining the same poppy boldness introduced by Philippe Starck. Accommodating the needs of the twenty-first-century jetsetter, the rooms include full-height mahogany niches that introduce luxury and drama, and original slate bathrooms accented with hundreds of mirrored tiles.
Founded in 1999 by Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors is a comprehensive design firm based in New York City. Having worked together for almost two decades, Standefer and Alesch together have forged a powerful and singular design philosophy - one based on an understanding and reverence for craft and tradition, combined with their highly personal, contemporary viewpoint. Quality materials, exceptional craftsmanship, rigor and functionality distinguish their work.  Unlike so much current architecture and design that is theory-based, their designs are always informed by a dramatic approach that prioritizes the total experience of the end user and results in the creation of environments that feel rich, resonant, and real.
Restaurateur John McDonald has established himself over the last fifteen years as a true arbiter of style by creating a unique portfolio in two dynamic fields - media and hospitality. McDonald oversees, as Editorial Director and Publisher, the highly acclaimed and award-winning national magazine CITY. On the hospitality side, he has built a collection of design-driven and fashionable restaurants throughout Manhattan. In 1993, after graduating from Columbia University, McDonald created the now iconic MercBar located in the heart of SoHo. Since then, McDonald has opened the “power-dining” Lever House Restaurant on Park Avenue, designed by Marc Newson; the stylish fish and sushi restaurant, Lure Fishbar on Mercer Street in SoHo; and his most recent project, a modern Chinese restaurant named Chinatown Brasserie, on Lafayette Street. In October 2007, McDonald will open Brasserie Forty-Four in the newly renovated Royalton Hotel on West 44th Street. Outside of Manhattan, McDonald owns a second MercBar location in Phoenix and publishes Desert Living, a luxury regional magazine in Arizona.
Charlotte Macaux, 35, is the founder and chairman of Studio CMP, an architecture and design firm based in Brooklyn, New York. Studio CMP currently works on a variety of hotel projects and private homes in New York, Paris and Panama. The company recently completed the renovation of the guest rooms of the legendary Royalton hotel for Morgan Hotels Group, as well as an intimate, 15-room hotel called the Lafayette House for Eric Goode and Sean Mc Pherson. Studio CMP is currently designing a luxury resort on the Pacific coast of Panama and transforming an old men’s club into a palace hotel in Panama City for Paul & Rena Stalling, the owners of the hotel on Rivington.
Morgans Hotel Group Co. (Nasdaq: MHGC), which is widely credited with establishing and developing the rapidly expanding boutique hotel sector, owns and operates Morgans, Royalton and Hudson in New York, Delano and The Shore Club in Miami, Mondrian in Los Angeles, Scottsdale and South Beach, Clift in San Francisco, and Sanderson and St Martins Lane in London. In February 2007, MHG and an equity partner acquired the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and related assets. MHG has other property transactions in various stages of completion including projects in Miami Beach, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada, and continues to vigorously pursue its strategy of developing unique properties at various price points in international gateway cities in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and around the world. For more information please visit
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
Statements contained in this press release which are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as the term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 
Also See: Morgans Hotel Group Temporarily Closes the Royalton Hotel in Manhattan; Will Undergo a Complete Refurbishment and Redesign / June 2007


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