Ian Schrager has lived more lives than Super Mario. There was the club owner, the convict, the boutique hotelier, the developer.
Now, according to The Journal, Schrager is launching two new hotel chains with plans of world, or at least hotel, domination.
This prince of pillow mints pioneered the small, quirky boutique hotel concept in the 1980s with his Morgans Hotel, which blossomed to a handful of properties that he later sold off.
One of his last holdings from that era is the storied Gramercy Park Hotel, where he is set to split ways with fellow macher Aby Rosen. The buyout is scheduled for today, when the new hotels will also be officially announced.
The plan appears to be to supersize the hip, no nonsense boutique model, splitting it into luxury and budget versions.
Mr. Schrager said his “luxury lifestyle” brand will charge rates slightly below the average luxury rates in each market and will deliver top-notch service without pretense.
“Not the kind of service my grandmother liked,” he said. “I don’t care if my coffee gets served by waiters with white gloves and brass buttons. I only care if it’s fast, hot and served in the right way.”
His other new line of hotels will be less expensive and “very stylized,” targeting big hotels of several hundred rooms in city centers.
The Journal also notes that Schrager has not abandoned his partnership with the Marriott chain. That three-year-old partnership remains “nascent,” though “bikini boot camps,” a program to help guests get in shape for the beach or the bedroom, has been announced.