It may seem ironic to say The St. Regis New York, completed in 1904, is the Big Apple’s newest ultra-luxury property, but the hotel is successfully selling itself as a new kid on the block following a $100 million renovation finished in 2014. Leading the new era of The St. Regis is General Manager Hermann Elger. We spoke with Elger, a second-generation hotelier, about the repositioning of The St. Regis and the pressures of managing the hotel he says boasts one of New York’s highest-average rack room rates.
How would you describe the renovation?
It’s a total rebirth in some respects—the kind of project that happens only a few times in the life of a hotel. It was a delicate balance. You had to respect the tradition that made The St. Regis what it is while appealing to the next generation of luxury travelers.
Two years later, how has it paid off?
There are nearly 460 hotels in New York City, and we compete with a group that tends to be top-tier hotels. If there was a paradigm that The St. Regis is a 110-year-old hotel and a client is looking for something newer and fresher, once they stay here and experience the renovation, they see it as a combination of new and, at the same time, a place that has served generations of high-end society and the most renowned travelers in the world.