State Dept. to desert Waldorf Astoria for UN General Assembly

American government officials will stay at the New York Palace Hotel
June 18, 2015 10:30AM

UPDATED, June 18, 1:19 p.m.: This September, members of the U.S. State Department will stay at the New York Palace Hotel during the UN General Assembly, rather than the Waldorf Astoria, where they have stayed for decades during the annual meeting of world leaders.

The decision to move comes after Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf for $1.95 billion in October from Hilton Worldwide, Crain’s reported. Though Hilton will continue to operate the hotel for 100 years, Anbang is planning a major renovation.

While the White House and the State Department did not comment directly on the choice, at the time of the sale, officials said that it could affect the U.S. government’s longstanding relationship with the hotel.

Concerns about Chinese cyberespionage have been running high, as the Chinese government is suspected of being involved in a massive U.S. federal employee data breach that occurred earlier this year.

The purchase of the Waldorf Astoria was the largest ever by a Chinese investor in a single Manhattan property, The Real Deal reported. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann

Correction: A previous version of this story said that the UN General Assembly would take place at the New York Palace Hotel. While government officials hold meetings there, the hotel will be used mainly as a base camp.