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March 12, 2009updated Feb 07, 2013

The Pierre To Re-Open As A Taj

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Pierre, the iconic U.S. flagship of Taj Hotels on New York’s Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, will re-open June 1 following a meticulous $100 million renovation to create new guestroom and bath interiors and to reconfigure first floor public areas to accommodate a new restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, as well as 2 East, a new lobby lounge, and a graciously welcoming reception area.

“We’re extremely pleased with the results of our transformed residential-style interiors. The designs perfectly complement The Pierre’s classic ambiance of quiet refinement and restore a sense of the property’s original grandeur,” said Heiko Kuenstle, General Manager, The Pierre. “We look forward to welcoming guests to our distinctive world of luxury. We’re also excited to join forces with Le Caprice to introduce our new brasserie-style restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, the first restaurant outside of London for this celebrated UK favorite.”

All guestrooms and suites are being transformed to feature a warm, inviting residential-style décor with a feeling of quiet luxury. High ceilings and abundant natural light evoke a gracious, airy experience that enhances the new interiors. Color palettes, comprised of soft neutrals in pale ivory and taupe with tones of corals or blues, are contrasted with rich woods, tufted leather headboards and matching benches. Richly textured silk and brocade fabrics in elegant neutrals with tasteful accents of color adorn upholstery, pillows, draperies and bed throws. Hand-carved carpets ensure comfort and superb acoustical sound control. Fine arts consultant Mortimer Chatterjee, a former Christie’s UK auction house executive turned Mumbai gallery owner known for recognizing emerging talent and who researched the extensive art collection at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in preparation for its centenary in 2003, is hand-selecting artwork to complement the designs.

All bedrooms will feature an interactive 40-inch flat screen television, a Bose Wave Studio with iPod docking station, WiFi, a working desk with built-in data and power outlets, comfortable upholstered chairs and large new sound-insulated, energy efficient windows with both blackout draperies and sheers. Closets will be outfitted with an electronic safe complete with power outlet that accommodates laptops. Access to all guestrooms will be via a new state-of-the-art electronic key system.

A significant portion of the renovation focused on updating all guest bathrooms. New Turkish marble-clad guest bathrooms will feature a glass-walled shower with oversized showerhead and steam-free makeup, shaving and wall mirrors. A majority of the baths have been enlarged to also incorporate a separate soaking tub and a flat panel television.

The new restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, is due to open in summer 2009. Le Caprice first opened in 1947 and was re-fashioned in 1981 with contemporary black and white décor, David Bailey photographs and a long bar to break the mold of established restaurants and offer flexibility in the menu, but with a high level of quality and service. Long-said to be one of the jewels of London’s restaurant scene and a popular theatre haunt — “For nearly two decades a table at Le Caprice has been the stock exchange for the arts,” said AA Gill, Sunday Times restaurant critic — it is now part of Richard Caring’s Group, joining his other exclusive London dining establishments that include The Ivy, Annabel’s, Daphne’s, Wentworth Golf Club and Soho House. Caring and The Pierre have joined forces to recreate the celebrated brasserie-style restaurant within the hotel, which will feature timeless classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including its legendary Thai-baked sea bass and salmon fishcakes, in a convivial modern brasserie setting.

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