Caruso, Cohan, Martini, And Parrish Return To The Knickerbocker As Iconic Hotel Unveils Tribute Suites Inspired By Its Own Legends

Hotel Mines Illustrious History for Inspiration; Enrico Caruso and George M. Cohan Were Longtime Residents, and Maxfield Parrish Painted Famous "King Cole" Mural Commissioned for the Luxury Hotel

Dec 09, 2015, 18:34 ET from The Knickerbocker Hotel

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The history of The Knickerbocker Hotel reads like a glittering history of New York itself. Originally opened in 1906 by financier John Jacob Astor IV, it quickly became home to art and music royalty including American painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish and world-famous tenor Enrico Caruso.

Now, a reborn Knickerbocker is giving guests the chance to touch some of that stardust. Four spectacular new suites debut this week, each inspired by a Knickerbocker legend: the Caruso Suite, the Cohan Suite, the Martini Suite and the Parrish Suite

As the only five-star hotel on the edge of Times Square, the landmark building reopened its doors in February 2015 after undergoing a spectacular $250 million renovation.

These four tribute suites were designed by acclaimed architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates, which also oversaw the renovation of The Knickerbocker's grand public areas and 330 guestrooms. Each suite evokes a magical story from the hotel's past while keeping a foot firmly planted in modern New York luxury and comfort.

"Our new tribute suites represent classic New York glamour enhanced with the very best in design, technology, and amenities," said Jeff David, managing director at The Knickerbocker. "The fusion of Manhattan's glamorous past and future is what the new Knickerbocker is about."

Michael Gabellini, partner at Gabellini Sheppard, agrees. "We looked to classic materials like oak, steel, and leather to give each of these suites its own unique personality and each as big as the people that inspired them," he said. "At the same time, we chose finishes, colors, and lighting that very much convey a contemporary sense of what New York luxury means today." 

The Caruso Suite: As dramatic and glamorous as the maestro himself, this suite boasts unrivaled views of Times Square from its spectacular top-floor perch. Its bedroom, expansive living room, and spacious bathroom are grand stages themselves, with an option to convert the suite to include a second, en-suite bedroom, expanding the size to 1,200 square feet. Rooms glow with exquisite unique oak-veneer custom millwork, fabricated and hand-finished by millwork artisans. Muted neutral tones are accented by hints of purple throughout the space. The custom-designed headboard is upholstered with aniline-dyed hair-on hide with cascading floral vine motif within a lacquered headboard frame - deeply sensual and boldly textured. Hand-selected, deeply veined Breccia Capraia marble slabs from Italy bring grandeur to the bathroom, and glow with regal hints of purple. Guests who reserve the Caruso suite will be welcomed with martinis at the signature restaurant, Charlie Palmer at the Knick, and enjoy full breakfast for two daily; access to the hotel's Aston Martin Rapide (based on availability); and complimentary pressing for up to two garments.

The Martini Suite: Legend has it that the original martini was invented in 1912 by a Knickerbocker bartender, Martini di Arma di Taggia, for tycoon John D. Rockefeller, a frequent guest. With rich textures and tones, its namesake suite carries the same air of cosmopolitan glamour. A focal point of the suite is the Gabellini Sheppard-designed coffee table, upholstered in ribbed black leather. An amber shell tray, bronze grazed side tables, and blackened steel and oak pieces with unique grey-toned oak wood - creating a tone-on-tone effect - bring timeless class. The sofa, also custom-designed by Gabellini Sheppard, is made of butter-soft, gunmetal-grey leather. Taupe-colored leather-clad walls, a specialty of the designers and inspired by the French Art Deco Designer Paul Dupre-Lafon, reflects ambient light from bedside tables. Dramatic wood columns and ash grey oak floors are accentuated by a high-gloss light taupe lacquered minibar, disguised in a compartment of the armoire, with an ash interior, replicating the lining of a tailored jacket. Guests of the Martini Suite enjoy two complimentary martinis prepared table-side at Charlie Palmer at the Knick by a martini sommelier, using the property's signature, custom-built martini cart.

The Cohan Suite feels as effervescent as longtime Knickerbocker resident George M. Cohan himself, a giant of American musical theater. "Choreographed" lighting drops from the ceiling to capture the energy of Broadway - which lies right outside The Knickerbocker's door. Solid metal-in-antique bronze millwork with a hand-applied finish is used for a floating desktop and ledge on the Morado desk unit, offsetting the theatrical embellishments; the custom coffee table comes in lush walnut and dark-stained anigre. Morado rosewood floors are contrasted with honed Cervaiole marble in the bathroom, imported from Italy and exclusive to The Knickerbocker, giving an extra-theatrical touch. This is a suite with a larger-than-life personality, just like Mr. Cohan's. In fact, the spirit of Mr. Cohan will be captured by guests who reserve the suite as they enjoy pre-theatre dinner for up to two guests at Charlie Palmer at the Knick before experiencing the city's world-renowned Broadway scene.

The Parrish Suite: Maxfield Parrish, a giant of 20th-century art and illustration, was commissioned by John Jacob Astor IV to paint one of his most renowned works for The Knickerbocker - the famous "King Cole" mural - which was sold after the property's original closure in 1921. In the suite inspired by the artist, a lush tone-on-tone palette creates a serene shelter from the outside world. A specially commissioned mural by Michael Glickman from Art Space NYC, in Parrish's signature colors, lines the headboard wall; it's designed to emulate reflected water at twilight. Bedside pendants in peacock green and grey are suspended by walnut wood links. Custom furniture pieces enhance rich tones and textures throughout. The suite is smart, whimsical, and sensual, just like Parrish's unforgettable artwork. Guests can tap into their inner artist, as the suite is fully stocked with hand-selected art supplies including sketch pads, pencils, watercolors and more, as well as a list of the top spots in the city for artistic inspiration. For a full immersion of the arts, guests can also check in with the concierge for a full guide on the latest museum and gallery exhibitions to visit while in the city. 

The Knickerbocker invites guests to be one of the first to experience these spectacular suites, and each reservation will include a gift of a limited edition, specially commissioned coffee table book highlighting the illustrious history of this iconic New York property. Guests may also ring in the New Year high above the crowds and a mere 150 feet below the Times Square Ball at the first black-tie New Year's Eve gala at the hotel in nearly a century. For reservations or more information visit or call 855.86K.NICK (5.6425).

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SOURCE The Knickerbocker Hotel