Inside the $120M Renovation of Four Seasons Hotel New York

Four Seasons Hotel New York is the only I.M. Pei-designed hotel in the Western Hemisphere,” explained Mehdi Eftekari, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel New York. In an interview with Eftekari, we discussed the recent spate of renovations in terms of their décor and design, the Ty Warner Penthouse, The Garden restaurant, and signature offerings of the L. Raphael Beauty Spa. 

Tell me a little bit about the history, location and recent mega-renovation of the iconic Four Seasons New York. 
Four Seasons Hotel New York opened in 1993 and the 52-story hotel is amongst the tallest luxury hotels in New York. The hotel’s owner, Mr. Ty Warner, curated each and every design element for the recent $120 million renovation. Contrasting textures and unique architectural details combined with unmatched views of the city create a beautifully designed, tranquil escape. All of the interiors remain true to the celebrated modern-deco style of I.M Pei, the architectural mastermind behind the building’s iconic design. Four Seasons Hotel New York is the only I.M. Pei-designed hotel in the Western Hemisphere.

How would you describe the decor, spaciousness and luxury of the newly-remodeled suites? 
Four Seasons Hotel New York offers the largest accommodations in New York City averaging 500 to 600 square feet. Mr. Warner traveled around the world to select the most luxurious fabrics, stones surfaces and furnishings to go into these newly remodeled suites. One of my favorite features in the newly designed 368 studio and suite accommodations are the oversized windows that can actually be opened, a rarity in New York City,  and offer sweeping panoramic views of Manhattan and an abundance of natural light. In contrast to the activity of New York City, guests will be immersed in serenity in this new extraordinary collection.

Central Park Junior Suite

As one of the most expensive, exclusive and luxurious suites in the world, what makes the Ty Warner Penthouse so unique?
A seven-year collaboration between I.M. Pei, Peter Marino and visionary hotel owner Ty Warner, the Ty Warner Penthouse is an architectural and artistic masterpiece that soars 52 stories into the sky, portraying an altitude and an experience unrivaled in luxury hotels. At $50,000 per night, it is one of the most expensive one-bedroom hotel suites in the world. Mr. Warner convinced famed architect I.M. Pei to come out of retirement specifically for this project. The entire 52nd floor was demolished and redesigned as part of the $50 million investment. The Ty Warner Penthouse boasts four glass balconies, all cantilevered over the metropolis, giving guests unequaled panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and the city’s architectural landmarks. Warner’s vision was to create the four balconies on the diagonal of the north-south, east-west grid of Manhattan to capture unique 45-degree diagonal views of the city.

In terms of cuisine, what are some of your favorite dishes from The Garden restaurant? 
I love the forest-like setting at The Garden. Many of our guests rave about The Garden’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, and I would highly recommend this dish when dining for breakfast or brunch. For lunch, I prefer to stick with a lighter meal and suggest the Local Kale Salad. For those looking for a heartier meal, I would go with the Gotham Burger—a specialty of Executive Chef John Johnson. Chef Johnson and his team work closely with local producers on a regular basis, and both the beverage and food program are reflective of their efforts to frequently source ingredients from as many neighboring purveyors and producers as possible.

With regard to the L. Raphael Beauty Spa, a world-class brand with advanced, unmatched technological offerings, what signature treatments are most popular?
The L. Raphael Beauty Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York was the skincare brand’s first location in North America. The 3,800 square foot spa offers ten treatment rooms on-site along with a full-service hair salon, two nail stations, and saunas in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The most popular treatments, and two of my personal favorites, are the Perfection Anti-Aging Facial with Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants and the Four Hands Massage.

Rahim Kanani is the author of critically-acclaimed hotel management book and hospitality management book A Wealth of Insight: The World’s Best Luxury Hoteliers on Leadership, Management and the Future of 5-Star Hospitality.