Waldorf Astoria Sold to Chinese Company for $1.95 Billion

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The famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the fading Art Deco symbol of New York elegance, is being sold to the Beijing-based Anbang insurance company for $1.95 billion. Hilton Worldwide Holdings, which owns the hotel where presidents, dignitaries and movie stars have stayed for decades, will continue to operate the property for the next 100 years, Hilton says.

The Waldorf Astoria, which has lived on Park Avenue since 1931, is Hilton Worldwide's flagship hotel. Hilton says it plans to use the proceeds to renovate the Waldorf and to buy more hotels in the U.S.

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The Waldorf has been a featured player in more than 20 films and televisions shows, beginning in 1945 with "Week-End at the Waldorf," starring Ginger Rogers and Lana Turner. Al Pacino danced the tango at the Waldorf in "Scent of a Woman's" most memorable scene. And Don Draper met with Conrad Hilton in Waldorf suites during "Mad Men" episodes.

Many presidents have stayed at the hotel over the years.

"No sitting president since 1931 has stayed in any other hotel in New York but the Waldorf," Matt Zolbe, the Waldorf's sales director, told the New York Daily News. "We're legendary."

Marilyn Monroe sublet a suite on the 27th floor, and John and Jackie Kennedy spent the first night of their honeymoon at the Waldorf Towers, according to NewYork.com.
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