Hilton to sell NY’s Waldorf Astoria to Chinese firm

Anbang to pay $1.38m per room for the Manhattan hotel that was once home to Marilyn Monroe

The hotel was the setting for the Weekend at The Waldorf, starring Ginger Rogers, and its $1,000-per-week Suite 2728 was home to Marilyn Monroe in 1955 after she left behind her troubled life in Hollywood

The hotel was the setting for the Weekend at The Waldorf, starring Ginger Rogers, and its $1,000-per-week Suite 2728 was home to Marilyn Monroe in 1955 after she left behind her troubled life in Hollywood

 

Hilton Worldwide is to sell its flagship Waldorf Astoria New York hotel to a Chinese insurance company for $1.95 billion, one of the highest prices per room ever paid for a US hotel.

Anbang Insurance will pay $1.38 million per room for the Manhattan hotel that was once home to Marilyn Monroe, in a deal that will see Hilton continue to operate the property for the next 100 years.

“The hotel will undergo a major renovation to restore the property to its historic grandeur,” Hilton said in a statement.

The Waldorf Astoria is the latest iconic New York property to be bought by a Chinese company, after last year’s sale of One Chase Manhattan Plaza to Fosun International, controlled by billionaire Guo Guangchang.

Beijing-based Anbang manages about 700 billion yuan ($114 billion) worth of assets, according to its website. Based on full occupancy at the Waldorf’s lowest room rate of $329, Anbang would recover its investment in about 10 years.

But some rooms are much more expensive. A night in the Towers presidential suite will cost a single guest $1,609, according to the hotel’s website. The hotel has 1,413 rooms.

Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels chain, bought the Waldorf Astoria New York in 1949, nearly two decades after the hotel opened on Park Avenue.

The hotel was the setting for the Weekend at The Waldorf, starring Ginger Rogers, and its $1,000-per-week Suite 2728 was home to Marilyn Monroe in 1955 after she left behind her troubled life in Hollywood.

The per-room price paid by Anbang is more than that fetched by some other high-end hotels in the past few years, though less than the $1.5 million per room paid in 2012 for the 157-room Setai Fifth Avenue near the Empire State Building.

Hilton’s luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, owns 27 properties in cities such as Amsterdam, Chicago, Dubai and Shanghai.

Hilton said it would use the proceeds from the sale to buy more hotels in the United States.

New York Times