The luxury hotel Waldorf Astoria was sold for $1.95 billion. The New York City icon was bought by the Chinese insurance company Anbang Insurance Group. At this price, the Waldorf Astoria New York becomes the most expensive hotel in history with $1.38 million per room. Hilton will continue to manage the unit for the next 100 years as part of the agreement.
Waldorf Astoria is one of New York’s most famous buildings and an official landmark since 1993. The present building was erected in 1931. After 18 years as Waldorf Astoria property, Conrad Hilton bought the hotel. The beautiful art-deco example has a couple of features breaking industry records at the time of its construction. The 47-story 625 feet tall building was the largest hotel in the world when it was finished and remained so for a while. There are 1,413 rooms available for guests.
Waldorf Astoria is famous for housing celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. Moreover, the hotel is the main setting of the 1955 film “Weekend at The Waldorf”.
“This relationship represents a unique opportunity for our organizations to work together to finally maximize the full value of this iconic asset on a full city block in Midtown Manhattan,” Hilton stated. The hotel will be fully renovated to restore its 1930s grandeur.
Although the total sum paid for the hotel turns the New York City Waldorf Astoria into the most expensive hotel ever as a whole, the 157-room Setai Fifth Avenue was sold for $1.5 million per room in 2012.
Anbang Insurance Group easily afforded the acquisition, as the company already manages $114 billion worth of assets. The Chinese group could recover the investment in 10 years if the rooms are occupied at the lowest rate.
However, the hotel has another sector, Waldorf Towers. The Tower apartments are even more luxurious and enjoy a separate entrance. A night in the most expensive suite can cost up to $1,609. Analysts believe that Anbang could sell a number of condominiums to recover part of the investment.
Hilton will use the money to buy hotels in the US. The company owns properties in world cities such as Chicago, Amsterdam, Dubai and Shanghai. Hilton Worldwide Holdings owns or franchises more than 4,200 hotels.
Chinese investors now have the means and the will to invest in New York. Anganb is not the first Chinese company making a large acquisition in the area. Fosun International paid more than $700 million last year for the office building One Chase Manhattan Plaza.