NYC’s Hotel Pennsylvania Celebrates Historic Milestone

Once the world’s largest hotel (now New York City’s fourth largest), and an exemplar of hospitality innovation when it opened its doors in 1919, Hotel Pennsylvania introduced many firsts to the hospitality industry, from being the first hotel with in-house laundry service to the first with a refrigerator.

Hotel Pennsylvania has provided New York City visitors with an idyllic location and convenience for 100 years, and this storied 1,705-room, 22-story hotel is marking its 2019 centennial with a multi-phase renovation that promises to reinvent the Midtown classic for a new century. Its rooms are tailored to meet the needs of families, couples, business travelers, and pet owners alike.

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Located across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, Hotel Pennsylvania was the first hotel to put luxury touches within reach of the traveling masses. Now, with two of three phases complete of a top-to-bottom transformation, this New York classic is celebrating 100 years of bespoke hospitality. The 1,705-room, a marvel of innovation at its opening, is reinventing itself with a redesign that represents an evolution of its history, balancing the best of its original features with modern comforts and a fresh new aesthetic.

The next step of the hotel’s transformation has introduced 230 fully modernized, expansive guest rooms on the 14th and 16th floors that follows the April 2019 completion of 430 rooms. The renovation continues with a third phase, encompassing the hotel’s expansive suites, including the addition of a new Executive Floor, public spaces and event spaces, that is slated for completion in early 2021.

The Penn Plaza Collection, as the new rooms are known, features a soothing, contemporary palette of white and pale beige warmed by wood furnishings with sleek modern lines. All have brand-new fittings, carpeting, oversized wall-mounted HD televisions and rejuvenated bathrooms that have retained their original subway tiles and cast-iron bathtubs. The EPA has recognized Hotel Pennsylvania as one of the best green hotels in New York City.

Other original touches include the Servidors that were pioneered at Hotel Pennsylvania and can now only be found at two other U.S. hotels. Also called valet doors, the Servidors were installed at the entrance to guest rooms and featured an interior compartment with access both from the hallway and inside the guest room. It allowed guests to drop off their shoes and laundry for the bellman to retrieve and return to the same compartment the following day. Hotel Pennsylvania has preserved these doors in all of its redesigned guest rooms as a nod to the hotel’s legacy of innovation.

Elevator landings on select guest floors have also been re-imagined as combined lounge and co-working spaces, which have been fitted with communal tables crafted from reclaimed materials. In addition, an original Pantry Room on the 12th floor has been transformed into a historical display area that guests can view through a glass wall. Inside are artifacts from the hotel’s heyday, including a laundry “mangle” that was used to squeeze water out of linens before pressing, an original room service phone, a space with pneumatic tubs to place the orders, the hotel industry’s first-ever refrigerator, and a Smithsonian-worthy all-copper fire extinguisher.

With 32,000 square feet of event space, including 16 flexible function spaces and three elegant ballrooms, as well as a variety of onsite perks such as breathtaking views and varied catering options, Hotel Pennsylvania offers a variety of options for gatherings big and small.

Although the hotel does not operate its own restaurant, guests receive discount vouchers for several nearby eateries. Select a free continental (grab & go) or buffet breakfast at New York City’s largest global food court Café R, and 15% off lunch or 20% off dinner at either Stout or Feile.  In addition to these discounted restaurants, Hotel Pennsylvania is situated within ten blocks of other popular restaurants, bars and bakeries.

New York City is a city built on tradition and history. Hotel Pennsylvania has long been a vital part of it all.

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