A little more than a year, ago, we posted a list of the (then) 18 hotels in New York City that had permanently closed due to COVID. These weren’t “on pause” like some hotels were for months or years. Instead, they formally announced they were closing up shop for good.
Here’s an update.
The good news
Happily, two of those 18 wound up reopening, after all!
Omni Berkshire Place, the 399-room hotel located at 21 E. 52nd. St. reopened its doors on November 1, 2021.
The classic hotel, which was known to host guests of Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s, originally opened in 1926. It was designed by Warren & Wetmore, which was the same architectural firm that designed Grand Central Terminal.
The historic property was set to close for good, citing COVID, after suspending operations in June 2020. They said the property was permanently closed.
Then, in October 2021, New York City passed legislation requiring hotels that closed or laid off 75% of their staff during the pandemic to provide severance for 30 weeks if they didn’t recall at least 25% of employees by Oct. 11 and reopen by Nov. 1. After that law was enacted, Crain’s reported that property owner TRT Holdings chose to reopen the Omni Berkshire Place that Nov. 1, rather than permanently shutter the hotel and pay the severance.
Hey, whatever works, right?
More good news – AKA Tribeca, located at 85 W. Broadway (on the corner of Chamber St.), reopened with a new name, Smyth Tribeca.
The bad news
Unfortunately, more hotels closed (or, more appropriately, we found out about more past closures) after our February, 2021 article.
- The Marriott East Side closed soon after COVID was declared a worldwide pandemic, in March 2020.
- The Assemblage had three co-working/co-living facilities (short term/long term hotel buildings). All 3 closed around June 20, 2020.
- Only about a year old, The Times Square Edition closed sometime around August 13, 2020.
And there are a handful that are still…questionable?
- Hotel Plaza Athénée has not officially closed, but their website still says they’re closed due to COVID. Wait, they’re STILL closed?!?!?
- Although not officially permanently closed, The Surrey‘s website says they’re currently not taking reservations at this time. Their last review on TripAdvisor was from the summer of 2020. So once again, well, I have questions.
- SoHo Garden Hotel no longer has a website. Its last review on TripAdvisor, from June 2021, suggests the hotel was closed. However TripAdvisor ALSO now lists the name of this hotel as “Wanderlofts.” Meanwhile, if you search for “Wanderlofts,” there’s also a website for “Hotel Wanderlofts New York” (soho-garden-hotel.hotels-innewyork.com) that (A) has 2 1-star ratings on Google and had a lot of European style spelling. “Centre” Street, “underground station,” measurements in “metres,” etc. And they mention “New York Private Research University”…there’s no such place). So I’m wondering if the space is going to reopen under a new name vs. the website is a scam? (I suspect the latter)
- To be honest, Wagner at the Battery has the more questions of all. Their last review on TripAdvisor was from January, 2022, when the reviewer said the building was closed. Yet they got reviews (1 star followed by a 5 star???) in May and June of 2021. Their website is under the “Magellan Luxury Hotel” brand, which, if you look at it, just SCREAMS “scam” and “rip off.” They advertise “Exclusive” hotel perks and insider rates, and you have to call to get “member benefits.” Oh, and if you Google “Magellan Luxury Hotels,” Google only has 7,950 hits, their Facebook page has a whopping 4,597 followers, and their Instagram has 908 followers. I don’t trust them as far as they can spit.
The final tally
With tourism continuing to grow, I think it’s safe to say at this point that any hotels that were going to close “because of COVID” have done so.
Our original article, from February 2021, listed 18 hotels in Manhattan that said they had “closed because of COVID.”
Two of those reopened, after all, bringing the total down to 16.
Five others had closed and we didn’t know it. That brings the total up to 21.
Plus 4 more than we have no idea what’s going on.
- One’s still closed, but not permanently, blaming COVID.
- One hasn’t had a TripAdvisor review in 2 years and isn’t taking reservations.
- One appears to be closed and maybe is changing hands? Or might be a scam?
- And one is….well, I don’t know WHAT’S going on with it, but I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could spit.
So somewhere between 21 and 25, I guess? Depending on how you look at it?
There were roughly 700 hotels in NYC in late 2019. The fact that only somewhere between 3% and 4% of them closed due to COVID? Pretty darn good, if you ask me.
Feature Photo: pxhere
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