Hotel Online Special Report

 Interstate Hotels Opening the 200-room The Muse Hotel 
in New York City; A Conversion of the Former Leavitt Building 
NEW YORK, April 5, 2000 - According to Greek mythology, the Muses were the original guardians of the fine arts, promoting the more civilized aspects of human existence such as song, dance and theater. Scheduled to open in July 2000 at 130 W. 46th Street, The Muse, a concierge style, boutique hotel will debut as a refuge in the heart of Times Square, offering upscale amenities and personalized service in an updated classic setting.

Acquired on behalf of Mass Mutual Financial Group by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Inc., and operated by Interstate Hotels, the 200-room property will be a prime locale for business and leisure travelers alike. The conversion of the former Leavitt Building from office use involved the restoration of the structure's triple-arched, limestone-and-brick façade, as well as the addition of five floors, bringing the total floor count to 19 stories.

The Muse's ties to its home in the Theater District will be most evident in the hotel's David Rockwell-designed restaurant, as yet unnamed. The restaurant's 46th Street exterior features a "curtain" of woven stainless steel drawn up to one side, as if opening on to a stage. Inside, the sightlines flow back through a series of "proscenium arches" to the rear of the restaurant. Rockwell continues the theater fantasy by fashioning the reverse side of the archways as a backstage view of scenery "flats" topped by banks of spotlights. Managed by a team headed by Gino Diaferia, a partner in Veritas, the 75-seat restaurant and its cozy bar area will offer an American brasserie menu with international accents. The restaurant will also provide room service for guests staying at The Muse. The emphasis at The Muse will be anticipatory service, with each and every guest treated as a VIP by the hotel's concierge staff. The Muse's sit-down reception desk emphasizes the personal attention and service offered to its guests from check-in to checkout. Weary travelers can also by-pass the reception desk and be escorted immediately to their rooms by a concierge. 

The hotel's innovative "Midnight Pantry" will offer guests the luxury of raiding a complimentary buffet of freshly baked cookies and desserts, fruit-and-cheese plates and ice cream after an evening of theater, or before turning in for the night, according to Mark Briskin, The Muse's general manager. 

The Muse has been designed by Perkins & Will Architects, New York, to have a contemporary feel, drawing upon influences of historic New York hotels, with references to the proportion and symmetry of classic architecture. Entering the hotel from 46th Street, guests arrive in the lobby, topped with a 15-foot vaulted ceiling. Custom-patterned, marble-and-granite flooring covers the unobstructed expanse of the lobby, with wool carpet runners by Edward Field defining the seating areas flanking either side. The residential feel of the lobby is emphasized through updated custom furnishings like overstuffed sofas, rolled-arm lounge chairs and oversized lamps in a soft, warm palette of plum, burgundy, rust and pale blue-green, with touches of iridescence throughout. 

The hotel's intimate bar and lounge area, tucked behind the reception area, offers a comfortable hideaway to enjoy a nightcap. 

Travelers familiar with the often cramped quarters available at New York hotels will be pleasantly surprised by the spaciousness of The Muse's guest rooms and baths. Using the same warm palette of rust, burgundy, light pear green and muted blue-green as the public areas, interplayed with novel patterns and textures, the fabrics and upholstery add a contemporary touch to the tailored classic lines of the medium cherry wood furnishings. Commissioned artwork, including collages and prints with references to the theater and performing arts, will hang in each room. The hotel will have 19 suites; the three largest suites will offer in-room DVD players, wide-screen televisions, exercise equipment, desktop computers. In addition, these three suites, as well as all rooms on the hotel's 14th-floor, will have furnished private balconies, providing guests with the luxury of enjoying a cocktail or dinner outdoors while taking in the surrounding cityscape.

In-room amenities include: cable television with HBO movies on demand; video cassette player; Sony alarm clock with CD player; high-speed Internet access; multi-line cordless phone with data port and voicemail; Direct Inward Dialing private line; refreshment center; personal safe; European bed linens, featherbeds and duvets; European cotton bathrobe and cotton towels; toiletries by an internationally recognized brand; hairdryer; iron and ironing board; coffee maker and complimentary newspaper. Guest services will include twice - daily maid service, in-house spa services, a fitness center and valet parking.

According to Jennifer McMahon, director of sales, The Muse's three meeting areas can provide the ideal setting for business meetings and special events. The hotel offers two director level board rooms, offering seating for 10 to 12 people each, and a 1,100 square-foot, multipurpose function room that can be used to accommodate up to 80 people. The meeting areas will include acoustic paneling, indirect lighting and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. Just steps from the lights of Broadway, The Muse aspires to re-define contemporary convenience and comfort. 

Danielle Clark/Meryl Pearlstein 
Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations 
Tel: 212-228-1500 
Also See: The Ilikai/Hotel Nikko Waikiki Reglagged as Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki; Managed by Interstate Hotels / Feb 2000 
Interstate Hotels Acquires Pittsburgh Airport Residence Inn / 3rd Qtr Results / Nov 1999 

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