Not sure why the hotel rings a bell? The New York Helmsley was founded in 1981 by the "Queen of Mean" and self-styled hotel sovereign Leona Helmsley. A hatmaker's daughter from Marbletown, New York, Helmsley spent her early years working in a New York Real Estate firm before eventually working her way to billionaire status as an independent hotel operator. She was jailed in the 1990s for tax evasion and died in 2007, leaving most of her fortune ($12 million) to her beloved Maltese.
The hotel joined the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide group in 2009, and soon will be a part of the Westin group when these massive renovations are complete.
Debuting later in 2012, the multi-million renovation includes a complete redesign of the hotel’s 774 guestrooms, and each will feature full Westin signature amenities including the Westin Heavenly® Bed. Starwood (the parent company of Westin) said the new lobby bar and restaurant will be extended to 42nd street and the entire façade of the building will be completely transformed.
According to the Starwood statement, the renovation is expected to take about six months and finish in June 2012, but the hotel and rooms will remain open during the remodeling.
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