Omni Berkshire Place Hotel History
Omni Hotels believes in allowing a property to speak for itself. Each of their hotels and resorts stand alone in design and history. Omni believes in merely augmenting that tradition, with renovation if necessary, but mostly with a standard of comfort and service that compliments an already time-tested property’s reputation. When Omni took over The Berkshire Place Hotel, it was taking over a piece of Manhattan hotel royalty.
Warren & Wetmore built this historic landmark hotel in 1926 as part of their “Terminal City” vision. When they received their most famous commission—The Grand Central Station Terminal—part of the plan was to then develop residences and hotels in the blocks surrounding the new beaux-arts terminal to continue the aesthetic out into the neighborhood and more naturally integrate the transit-hub with the rest of the city. Originally the Berkshire Place Hotel, the building was held-up as a shining example of the Classic-Revival movement sweeping cosmopolitan centers.
Artists and socialites were known to make their permanent addresses here because the rooms and suites were exceptionally large for New York and provided them a residential experience with all the services and amenities of a five-star hotel. In 1942, America’s single greatest writing team, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, collaborated on the play that changed Broadway, and American musical theater forever, writing “Oklahoma!” in suite 2100, now called the Rodgers & Hammerstein Suite in their honor.
The Dunfeys Hotel Corporation (which included Omni Hotels and Dunfey Hotels groups) purchased the hotel in May 1978 and, a year later, gave the property a $9.5 million face-lift. In 1988, Hong Kong-based Wharf Holdings purchased the Omni Hotels chain and in 1995, Omni Berkshire Place underwent a complete historic restoration of more than $70 million. TRT Holdings, Inc. purchased the Omni Hotels chain in 1996.
In the Fall of 2003, the hotel completed a $4 million enhancement to all the guest rooms, suites and hallways. In 2007, the hotel redesigned the lobby, added an additional 1,200-square-foot meeting room and updated all the existing meeting rooms.
Which brings us to our most recent renovation, a partnership with world-renowned designer, Alexandra Champalimaud, to bring this historic building fully into the 21st Century. Her unique expertise allowed us to modernize our experience while still honoring that glorious midtown past.