By Terry Trucco
When a hotel opens its doors for the first time, it stays open 24/7, 365 days a year. For 85 years and five months, the Waldorf Astoria did just that, treating the world to innovations like room service, Eggs Benedict and Waldorf salad without ever locking its massive doors.
But at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the mighty Waldorf closed up shop two hours after check-out time for the last guests craving a final night in the Art Deco tower where every U.S. President from Hoover to Obama spent the night. The hotel won’t be reopening any time soon (two to three years is the estimate). And when it does, it’s anybody’s guess what it will look like.
Anything can happen when a grande dame hotel gets a full-throttle makeover. Consider The Plaza (beautifully restored but chilly) and The Ritz Paris, where the humblest room will cost you $1,100. (more…)