One of the most iconic if not the most iconic hotel in the world Waldorf Astoria in New York has been sold by Hilton Worldwide to a little known Chinese insurance company the Anbang Insurance Group. The transaction worth $1.95 billion makes Waldorf Astoria the most expensive hotel ever sold in the US or perhaps the world. The new record was confirmed by Daniel Lesser, CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors who do consulting for the hospitality industry. The earlier record was held by The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas which was bought by Blackstone for $1.73 billion. However that transaction was not purely for a hotel as the deal included a Casino as well.
The iconic hotel housed in a 47 storey building first opened in 1931. The new owners have plans of investing substantially in renovating the building to restore its historic grandeur. The hotel has not been called “The Greatest of Them All” for nothing as it features cosmopolitan restaurants, bustling lounges and bars. The hotel boasts of over 60,000 square feet of space for functions backed by high tech equipment. Its state of the art business center and intriguing boutiques are major attractions for the hotel. However the Guerlain Spa is the pride of the hotel. The hotel and its building occupies an entire square block in Manhattan.
The service at the hotel will not be disturbed at all as the Hilton Worldwide will continue to operate the property for 100 years under a new agreement. The mega deal is being compared to the Japanese buying of the Rockefeller Center in the late 1980s. Hilton Worldwide has a portfolio of 27 premium properties located in important destinations like Amsterdam, Beijing, Chicago, Dubai, Jerusalem, Ras Al Khaimah and Shanghai. They are adding nine properties to their portfolio in destinations such as Bali, Bangkok and Beverly Hills. However, their spokesperson clarified that the proceeds from the sale of Waldorf Astoria will be used to acquire additional hotel assets in the U.S.