I spy: Obama shunning Waldorf-Astoria over espionage fears

Top US officials no longer stay at the Chinese-owned hotel

New York /
Sep.September 14, 2015 08:32 AM

The Waldorf-Astoria’s walls have eyes, federal officials fear.

Top national figures like President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have broken with the long-standing tradition of staying at the landmark hotel following its purchase by Chinese insurance giant Anbang.

The Waldorf’s sale agreement allowed Hilton Worldwide continues to operate the hotel at 301 Park Avenue, but also called for a “major renovation,” which raised suspicions of among government security personal of the possible installation of bugs and other tools of espionage, the Associated Press reported.

“We are evaluating our options,” said State Department spokesperson Mark Toner. “The decision about the location of the U.S. Ambassador’s residence must necessarily take into account numerous factors, including costs, the needs of the United States government and the U.S. Mission to the UN, as well as any possible security concerns.”

National officials have instead made their temporary home at the New York Palace Hotel at 455 Madison Avenue in Midtown. [AP] – Ariel Stulberg

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Roger New York hotel at 131 Madison Avenue, Larry Korman of AKA Hotel Residences and Joe Lubeck of Electra America (Google Maps, Getty, Electra)
Electra America JV nabs Roger hotel for $71M discount
Electra America JV nabs Roger hotel for $71M discount
The grand reopening: As restrictions lift, CRE markets race toward recovery
The grand reopening: As restrictions lift, CRE markets race toward recovery
The grand reopening: As restrictions lift, CRE markets race toward recovery
The commercial market was hit hard by the pandemic, and property tax revenue is expected to fall 5 percent. (iStock)
Tax bills show how much Covid devalued NYC real estate
Tax bills show how much Covid devalued NYC real estate
Acting Katara CEO Andrew Humphries and 355 West 16th Street (Google Maps, AHIC)
Katara Hospitality takes over Dream Downtown’s $125M ground lease
Katara Hospitality takes over Dream Downtown’s $125M ground lease
About 38 percent of New York hotels with loans in commercial-mortgage backed securities were 30 days or more past due in May. (iStock)
Hotels’ recovery taking longer in NYC than elsewhere
Hotels’ recovery taking longer in NYC than elsewhere
Gowanus Inn & Yard at  645-651 Union Street, Brooklyn, Sonder CEO Francis Davidson and Red Pine Principal Michael Federman (Google Maps, Sonder, Federman Steifman)
Sonder takes lease for 76-key Gowanus Inn
Sonder takes lease for 76-key Gowanus Inn
Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman (Getty)
Blackstone, Starwood up bid for Extended Stay America
Blackstone, Starwood up bid for Extended Stay America
Abraham Merchant of Merchants Hospitality, 11-01 43rd Avenue and Frank Brosens of Taconic (Merchants Hospitality, Getty, Savanna Rooftop)
Merchants Hospitality sells dormant LIC hotel for $38M
Merchants Hospitality sells dormant LIC hotel for $38M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...