Sad List: All The Hotels In New York City That Have Closed For Good Due To COVID

by SharonKurheg

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus has hurt the entire travel industry for over a year now, and countless travel agencies, tour operators, restaurants and airlines have closed their doors due to lack of business. For many, the closure is (or at least hopefully is) just a pause, with plans to reopen when things are better. But for some, their closing was a solid “goodbye forever.”

The names of some travel and travel-related entities that have closed for good are well known. TUI travel service in the U.K. (which then reopened, but under a new owner who merely bought the name). The Cheers replica bar in Boston. The Standard in Los Angeles. And, of course, thousands of restaurants. Business Insider says that roughly 17% of U.S. restaurants have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic.

In 2018, New York City saw about 65.2 million tourists, who spent about $44 billion during their visits. Although tourism isn’t the only way New York makes money (as an idea, according to Center for an Urban Future, before COVID, tourists were responsible for about 24% of all credit card sales at NYC restaurants and drinking places), it’s a big moneymaker for thousands of entities in the Big Apple.

In 2019, there were roughly 123,000 hotel rooms in New York City. Since COVID, about 200 of the city’s 700 hotels have closed their doors. Most, at this point, consider themselves to be “on pause,” and hope to reopen sometime in the future. However, these hotel properties in Manhattan announced in 2020 that they would (and subsequently have) close(d) permanently:

AKA Tribeca 85 W. Broadway 100
AKA United Nations 234 E. 46th St. 95
AKA Wall Street 84 William St. 132
Best Western Bowery Hanbee 231 Grand St. 102
Comfort Inn Manhattan Bridge 63 Chrystie St. 60
Courtyard New York Manhattan/Herald Square 8 Herald Square 167
Excelsior Hotel 45 W. 81st. St. 116
Hilton Times Square 234 W. 42nd St. 460
Hudson Hotel 356 W. 58th St. 876
Marmara Manhattan 301 E. 94th St. 109
Maxwell Hotel 541 Lexington Ave. 698
New York Marriott East Side 525 Lexington Ave. 636
Novotel Times Square 226 W. 52nd St. 480
Omni Berkshire Place 21 E. 52nd. St. 399
Roosevelt Hotel 45 E. 45th St. 1,015
Salisbury Hotel 123 W. 57th St. 196
The Blakely 136 W. 55th St. 118
W Hotel 8 Albany St. 217

All told, that’s a total of 18 hotels, with 5,976 rooms. It figures out to be 3.5% of all hotels in NYC and 5.8% of all hotel rooms.

Of the 18:

  • 5 (Excelsior, Roosevelt, Hudson, Marmara & Salisbury) were independent
  • 4 (the three AKAs & The W) were luxury
  • 4 (Hilton, Maxwell, NY Marriott & Omni Berkshire Place) were upper-upscale
  • 1 (Courtyard) was upscale
  • 2 (Blakely & Comfort Inn) were upper-midscale
  • 2 (Novotel & Best Western) were midscale

Notes Of Interest:

  • Originally called Hotel Standish Hall when it originally opened in 1922, the Excelsior Hotel (named as such in the 1950s) had been doubling as a homeless shelter since 2016
  • The Hudson Hotel was originally constructed as the American Woman’s Association clubhouse by Anne Morgan (daughter of J. P. Morgan) in 1929. It had quite the history.
  • The Maxwell was Manhattan’s original W hotel. Built in 1930, it became the Maxwell in 2018 when it was sold, after being labeled a “particularly poor performer.” It was also one of the first hotels in NYC to close due to the pandemic, back in the spring of 2020.
  • The Blakely original opened as the Gorham Hotel in 1929. It was already in financial trouble in very early 2020, after its employees unionized.
  • The Roosevelt Hotel, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, opened on September 22, 1924. Its history is fascinating, and its closure was classy.
  • The Salisbury Hotel was originally built in the 1930s. As per, it was owned by the Calvary Baptist Church next door and was “tired by clean.”
  • Omni Berkshire Place was where many guest stars of Saturday Night Live used to stay, waaaaaaay back when (this video is from 1987. I remember seeing them as advertisers back in the late 70s).

Frankly, when I read that only 18 hotels had closed permanently, I was kind of relieved – I really thought, a year in, that it would be a significantly higher amount. However, the closure of any hotel is sad, if for no other reason than the loss of jobs. Granted, more than one admittedly appeared to be not doing very well even before COVID hit, so the closure of at least some of them was probably not super surprising.

As a fan of architecture and history, I always feel particularly sad when old hotels close their doors. For those classic buildings built in the 1920s and 1930s, I hope they’re eventually sold and can continue to be used for lodging. I would love to see them reimagined into some semblance of their former glories, rather than razed and turned into parking garages or modern office buildings.


Feature Photo: The Roosevelt Hotel

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


derek February 26, 2021 - 4:20 pm

I am saddened to learn the Marriott on Lexington Avenue in New York has closed. There was a political assassination of a rabbi there around 1990. However, I remember the hotel as where there was a reception in a dark room that might have been a bar. In the room was a decorative pool. I almost stepped into it. Awhile later a woman stepped into the pool by accident. She was really mad (and wet). They later put a few candles along the edge of that decorative pool.

Anyone remember that decorative pool?

Jason February 26, 2021 - 4:52 pm

Just to temper the sadness, many of these are historic buildings that developers will be lining up to take on. The Omni, Roosevelt, Maxwell, Salisbury and East Side Marriott are all prime locations and will undoubtedly see new lives as renovated hotels, apartments, or perhaps complete rebuilds.

The Hudson is slated for renovation by a new owner and reopening as a hotel.

The Hilton Times Square is really the odd outlier to me, as it is a fairly new, purpose-built property. I’d assume it will return under another flag before too long, though.

Yigal February 28, 2021 - 11:07 am

I say good riddance of tired properties that charged resort fees.

SharonKurheg February 28, 2021 - 11:15 am

I’m not sure which of them charged resort fees or not. But even if they didn’t, if they “rise from the ashes” and are reimagined as hotels, even if they didn’t charge resort fees before, I suspect they will now 😉

Carol Ann Pickett July 11, 2021 - 4:13 pm

Can you tell me if the Lex boutique hotel on 26th street and Lexington Avenue is still open. I can’t find them listed anymore. Thank you

SharonKurheg July 11, 2021 - 6:18 pm

No idea, sorry.

Virginia Machado December 20, 2021 - 2:03 pm

I see the hotel my family stayed in for 30 years is also closed. The Metropolitan Doubletree on Lexington Avenue. My family was saddened to see it all boarded it up on our recent visit.

SharonKurheg December 20, 2021 - 2:11 pm

I’m sorry to hear that. We originally wrote this list in Feb. 2021 – other places have closed since, including the one you mentioned. We plan to hopefully write an updated post in Feb. 2022.

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