Hotel on the Hudson: Interview With Eva Ziegler
Travel Blog • Alexander Basek • 04.24.09 | 1:10 PM ET
W Hobokens opening party was last night, complete with ladies in giant martini glasses, a Jamie Foxx musical performance and W-shaped fireworks over the Hudson. (With some M’s and E’s mixed in, depending where you stood.)
Before the festivities began, I sat down with Eva Ziegler, W’s Global Brand Leader, in the W Hoboken’s “Chandelier Room,” the bar and club space with wall-length picture windows overlooking the New York City skyline.
World Hum: You’re originally from Austria. When was the first time you visited New Jersey?
Eva Ziegler: The first time? Two months ago. I was surprised how close it was.
Perhaps coming from outside the area, you didn’t have the traditional negative opinion of Jersey?
We could see it from our office across the river. I just hadn’t been there because I travel about 70 percent of the time. There was nothing negative about it.
Since you’re on the road so much, do you have a routine when you get to a hotel room? Do you like things a certain way?
The first thing I do is plug my iPod into the dock and put on some music. I am in meetings or outside engagements most of the day, so by the time I get “home,” it’s all about efficiency. I like a room that has a master switch by the bed to turn off the lights—otherwise you have to make an excursion.
Do you think Hoboken will be a hard sell for New Yorkers?
The whole concept is to provide a view. It’s a reflection of Manhattan in New Jersey. And I think that, combined with the architecture—the building is designed by Gwathmey Siegel—says something to the people of Manhattan.
How has the response been on this side of the Hudson?
Since the soft opening at the beginning of March, they’ve already booked 20 weddings. Plus, we’re really trying to push the Sinatra connection, which is why the building is nicknamed “The Ladies Man of the East Coast.” Ultimately what we’re trying to achieve is to make the hotel the coolest place in town.