The casual elegance of an era when executives ordered three martinis for lunch and wore Nantucket red shorts on the weekend has been rediscovered at Hilton Westchester, where a recently completed renovation emulates the ambiance of the region’s exclusive country clubs. Hilton Westchester, the 445-room flagship hotel of Hilton Worldwide in Westchester County, is celebrating completion of a $35 million, multiyear project to transform its guest rooms and public spaces in the image of those country clubs, where guests can step out of the present day and walk into a world of serenity and comfort.
The renovation is part of a larger scope of major projects by individual hotels above standard annual capital expenditures across the global portfolio of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide. Beginning in 2011, the projects currently total more than $3 billion during a three year period.
“Think of Camelot and the classic styles we identify with the early 1960s,” said Alon Ben-
Gurion, general manager. “Westchester County is known for its 'country club cool.' This hotel
is surrounded by 37 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds where our guests can enjoy
nature, just minutes from New York.”
Cheery flames dancing inside a glass-enclosed fireplace welcome guests as they walk through the porte cochere and enter the new, spacious lobby. Gone are the multiple interior walls that previously divided the lobby, bar and restaurant, replaced by an open space that maximizes use of natural light and views of the outdoors.
“The dramatic impact achieved by this renovation was brought about as much by selective demolition as it was by the new design,” said Michael Maurer, principal in charge of the project for Gettys, a leading hospitality design and interior architecture firm that directed renovation of the hotel’s public spaces.
Maurer added, "removing the walls that had previously separated the lobby, lounge, restaurant and bar created a large open floor plan with a variety of functions that all contribute to a dynamic lobby and food-and-beverage experience, enhanced by the daylight and beautiful exterior views that now stream in from both ends.”
Travelers also will discover upgraded guest rooms richly decorated in sophisticated color schemes, each featuring a large desk with ergonomic chair, high-speed Internet service, 42- inch flat-panel TV, plush chair with ottoman, MP3 dock and the luxurious Hilton Serenity bed by Serta. Many rooms offer views of the surrounding gardens.
Luxury or junior suites feature first-class amenities and are available in one or two bedrooms. Suites include an additional full bath and a pullout sofa bed in the parlor. ADA guest rooms feature lowered in-room thermostat controls and entry-door port holes, easily accessed closets or armoires, elevated toilets and roll-in showers.
Hilton Westchester welcomes all types of groups including conventions and corporate, association and social events with 32,000 square feet of newly renovated flexible space. It is the only hotel in Westchester County with two ballrooms, one of which – the 9,520-squarefoot Westchester Ballroom – is the largest of its kind in the region. Twenty-eight rooms provide panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows, and most offer outdoor terraces where attendees can take a break and breathe in the fresh country air. The Westchester Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,110 attendees theater-style or 900 for a banquet, both with unobstructed views. For a more intimate setting ideal for executive conferences, there are eight boardrooms that can accommodate groups up to 204 theaterstyle.
The hotel’s wooded setting provides a storybook backdrop for outdoor weddings and other social events. Groups can take advantage of an on-property business center, audio-visual equipment rental, concierge, Precor® fitness center, Olympic-size indoor pool, outdoor pool and three year-round tennis courts. Other on-property recreational facilities include basketball courts, saunas, indoor whirlpool, jogging track and a walking trail.
The hotel formerly was known as Hilton Rye Town in a tribute to its hometown: suburban Rye Brook, 20 minutes north of New York City. The new name reflects the hotel’s commitment to the entirety of Westchester County and the 45 municipalities within it, according to Alon Ben-Gurion, general manager.
The hotel’s new name will help visitors identify the hotel as part of a larger region and its many tourist attractions, recreational opportunities, historic sites and corporate offices, he said. The hotel’s smoke-free campus is a short drive from White Plains, the county seat; New Rochelle; Harrison; and offices of PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley, MasterCard and IBM.
Also nearby are The Westchester (mall), historic Hudson Valley attractions of Van Cortlandt Manor, Sunnyside (author Washington Irving’s home), Lyndhurst, Hudson River Museum and Old Dutch Church (Sleepy Hollow), Rye Playland amusement park on Long Island Sound, and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Local airports include La Guardia, 45 minutes away; John F. Kennedy International, 55 minutes; and Westchester County Airport, 10 minutes. Amtrak and Metro-North trains serving the Northeast Corridor stop at nearby New Rochelle, N.Y. The hotel is owned by an investment group led by Lodging Capital Partners LLC, which purchased it in March 2011 for $35.5 million. The firm, formed in 2005, owns and manages a $1.5 billion portfolio of upper-upscale and luxury hotels that also includes the Fairmont Orchid in Mauna Lani, Hawaii; The Drake Hotel in Chicago; the Four Seasons Austin, Texas; the Le Meridien Chicago; and the Snake River Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyo., among others.
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
One of the most recognized names in the industry, Hilton Hotels & Resorts stands as the stylish, forward thinking global leader in hospitality. From inaugural balls and Hollywood award galas to business events and days to remember, Hilton is where the world makes history, closes the deal, toasts special occasions and gets away from it all. The flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide continues to build upon its legacy of innovation by developing products and services to meet the needs of tomorrow's savvy global travelers while more than 144,000 Team Members shape experiences in which every guest feels cared for, valued and respected. Today, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio includes more than 550 properties in 80 countries and the brand remains synonymous with "hotel." Access the latest Hilton news at www.hiltonglobalmediacenter.com or begin your journey at www.hilton.com. Social media users can engage with Hilton at www.twitter.com/hiltonhotels, www.facebook.com/hilton and www.youtube.com/hilton. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton Worldwide’s ten market-leading brands.