Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pierre draws NY brides and grooms, includes 5-day honeymoon in wedding package

The Pierre Hotel
By Lauren Elkies 

In its 80-year history, the Pierre Hotel has seen its share of distinguished visitors from all of over the globe. Everyone from President Richard Nixon to Russian President Boris Yeltsin to Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl has enjoyed wine and caviar in the Grand Ballroom. Celebrities such as Mary Tyler Moore and Barbara Walters have gotten hitched at the legendary hotel.

While the 714-room Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces-owned hotel overlooking Central Park may be known for its famous customers, it also attracts a local clientele, at least as a wedding venue.

“We cater to a very select group," Bill Spinner, catering director at the Pierre at 2 East 61st Street, at Fifth Avenue, told Wedding-Scoops.com during a recent tour (see slide show below). “They are mostly New Yorkers and a little more affluent."

But there are deals to be had. Although the average price for a wedding is $300 per person, it includes a bridal suite the night before and the evening of the wedding as well as a dressing room suite for the groom.

What’s more, the hotel throws in a free five-day honeymoon (room, only) for the lovebirds to any of a number of Taj hotels from Boston to San Francisco to London to Dubai. Those rooms usually fetch more than $1,000 per night, Spinner said.

At any wedding event (the hotel only holds one a day), the Pierre requires a minimum of 200 guests, but can hold up to 400. It can also service 600 for a buffet dinner.

The Pierre -- which saw a $100 million renovation, including new bar, lobby, guest rooms and new restaurant, Le Caprice (operated separately), and reopened June 1, 2009 -- has three separate spaces for the ceremony, the cocktails and the reception.

"We have the best flow," Spinner said. "You don't have that reset."

He added: "That's what sets us apart," referring to the Pierre's competitors, such as the Plaza Hotel, the St. Regis New York and the Metropolitan Club of New York.

The Grand Ballroom, which is typically the location of the receptions, is 8,526 square feet while the Cotillion Room, where ceremonies are held, is less than half, at 4,050 square feet. As an added bonus, the Cotillion Room has stunning Central Park and Fifth Avenue views.

And the spaces are decorated by the hotel in seasonal décor (see image of the rotunda).

"You don't need to do a lot with our space," Spinner noted.

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