Onetime epicenter of cool, the Royalton Hotel, reopens next week after a sweeping redesign aimed at recapturing the film, fashion, and media elite who once swelled its halls. The relaunch has been plagued with misfortune so far, including the resignation of Morgans Hotel group CEO Ed Sheetz after the death of his girlfriend. The week Sheetz resigned, a Morgan Stanley analyst wrote to clients noting that it was difficult to advise they put “fresh money” into Morgans, which also runs New York’s Morgans and Hudson Hotels, Miami’s famed Delano, and L.A.’s Mondrian, given the economy and debt related to construction of new Vegas properties. Now, the latest news is that Morgans took the unusual step last week of adopting a “poison pill” stock structure that shields the company, largely credited with inventing the chic boutique hotel concept, against a hostile takeover.
As for the Royalton, it shuttered four months ago as part of Morgans’ first expansive redo of one of its signature properties. The Roman & Williams renovation tosses out the aquamarine-and-silver Philippe Starck design that originally put the hotel on the map in 1987 in favor of a graduated palate of colors that changes as the guest strolls down the lobby’s famous runway. The goal of the redesign, says a spokeswoman, is to bring “the drivers of culture” who once made the Royalton “a second home” back to it. —Alexandra Peers