One of the most reknown luxury hotels in New York is the ‘Waldorf-Astoria‘ – the original one was built on the site now occupied by the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue. Since 1931 a 47-story Art Deco building on Park Avenue in Manhattan is the home of the hotel. 1893 William Waldorf Astor built and opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site of his parents’ house. In 1897 his cousin John Jacob Astor IV opened the Astoria Hotel which was four floors higher than the Waldorf. The way connecting the two hotels became known as ‘Peacock Alley’ and is now symbolized by the double hyphen: “Waldorf = Astoria”. The Waldorf-Astoria which maintained the high standards of the original Waldorf Hotel became the largest hotel in the world at that time. The name goes back to the ancestor of the founders – John Jacob Astor, who was born in 1763 in Walldorf (Baden, Germany) and became in America the richest man of his time by trading fur and china trade and doing real estate business.
As most of the buildings on Park Avenue below the 54th Street the hotel is not built on natural ground but on a steel structure above the railways running to and from Grand Central Station. The Waldorf-Astoria is part of the Hilton hotel chain and the upscale hotel brand – The Waldorf = Astoria Collection – is as well named after the hotel.
Todays Waldorf-Astoria houses three American and classic European restaurants, a beauty spa salon and several luxury boutiques.
The upper part of the Waldorf-Astoria, known as ‘The Waldorf Towers” is even more luxurious. The two towers are housing 500 apartments from 28th to the 42nd floor of the Waldorf Astoria. Here you will find the widest range of apartments and suites in New York City. They can be connected or seperated as desired – to suit specific requirements. Elegant extras such as fine antiques and are creating a welcoming atmosphere. A discreet side entrance and seperate elevators that serve only the Towers enhance the intimate atmosphere.
Permanent guests of the hotel are and were for example the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the U.S. President Herbert Hoover, General MacArthur, Henry Kissinger and the Mafia boss Lucky Luciano. The Waldorf-Astoria has its own platform at Grand Central Terminal, which was among others used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adlai Ewing Stevenson, and Douglas MacArthur. A private underground passage leads exclusively for guests on this platform. Paris and Nicky Hilton grew up in the Waldorf-Astoria. The family has their own suites in the hotel. The U.S. government obtains a spacious suite on the 41st Floor of the Waldorf-Astoria as the seat of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.