Waldorf Hotel in New York Sold to a Chinese Firm

December 18, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. acclaimed /əˈkleɪmd/ (adj.) – highly praised
Example: We are lucky to stay at the acclaimed hotel in the United States.

2. renovation /ˈrɛn əˌveɪʃən/ (n.) – the process of making changes to a building to make it look new
Example: The hotel’s second floor will undergo a minor renovation because of its damaged floors.

3. speculate /ˈspɛk yəˌleɪt/ (v.) – to make a guess
Example: Analysts speculate that the company will experience a decline in sales next year.

4. reside /riˈsaɪd/ (v.) – to live or stay
Example: They reside in an apartment.

5. suite /swit/ (n.) – refers to a set of rooms in a hotel or apartment
Example: We stayed in the hotel’s executive suite.


Read the text below.
Chinese insurance company Anbang paid $1.95 billion for the acclaimed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

Analysts find this investment as one of the most expensive deals for a US hotel. Each of the 1,413 rooms of the hotel was paid $1.38 million.

Hilton Worldwide, previous owner of Waldorf Astoria, will continue to manage the hotel for the next 100 years under a strategic partnership agreement with Anbang. A joint statement from Hilton and Anbang said the 83-year-old property will undergo a major renovation to restore its classic look.

According to analyst Christopher Jones, the sale and renovation of Waldorf Astoria is aimed to attract Chinese travelers. He speculated that the changes in the hotel will be a mix of modern and classic designs that will include advanced technology.

Experts view Anbang’s purchase as Hilton group’s strategy to promote Waldorf Hotel in the Chinese market. Hilton group recently opened Waldorf Astoria Beijing. The company also operates Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.

In 1945, Waldorf Astoria served as the movie location of “Weekend at The Waldorf,” the first film not shot in studios. Actress Marilyn Monroe and composer Cole Porter were among the famous people who resided in the hotel.

Waldorf Astoria was built at Park Avenue, New York in 1931. Hilton group acquired the hotel in 1949. Currently, its lowest room rate is worth $329 while a presidential suite costs $1,609.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the hotel will improve under its new ownership?
·         Do you think that changing management of such a successful hotel will be good? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How do you think opening businesses to new markets will help a company’s success?
·         Do you think reinventing or innovating a business is a good move? Why or why not?

December 18, 2014