Christoph Schmidinger

Regional Vice President & General Manager

“I got the travel gene early.”That’s Christoph Schmidinger, son of an Austrian diplomat, encapsulating the happy result of the “very cultured”grand tour of the Continent he enjoyed before settling with his family in Germany. Yet when it came time to choose his own career, the regional vice president and general manager of Four Seasons Hotel New York sidestepped his father’s calling for something similar in the private sector. “I always wanted to have a lot of contact with people, yet I wasn’t interested in government work,”he recalls. “There are few jobs that embody this to such an extent. Diplomacy and hotels are really quite similar, only you’re dealing with different characters and aspects of quality.”Schmidinger’s plunge into the hotel world has served him and Four Seasons well over the years. Drawn to the vibrancy and complex infrastructure of sizable addresses, he worked for major hotel groups throughout Asia before joining Four Seasons Residences Singapore in 1993. Transferred to the United States in 2000, he became general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta and then moved on to The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel).

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  • On July 10, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What are the best rooms at Four Seasons Hotel New York?

    All Four Seasons Hotel New York rooms are special in their own way. It is all based on preference. There are city and park views on every floor and some rooms have terraces. The most expensive and luxurious suite of all would be the $40,000-a-night Ty Warner Penthouse Suite, a result of a multimillion-dollar project.
  • On July 10, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What is the design style of Four Seasons Hotel New York?

    Working closely with architects I. M. Pei of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Frank Williams of Frank Williams & Associates, the hotel has an interior design that conforms to a statement of volume and height, embracing warm, personal spaces. "We selected interior elements that were very sensitive to the architectural features of the building," says Don Siembieda, whose former firm Chhada, Siembieda, Remedios, Inc. handled the design. Fabrics, finishes and colors complement the neutral honey tones, soft grays and beiges of the limestone and marble. The finest silks, wools, leathers, woods and metals in soft shades of gray, bronze, celadon, caramel, green and cognac adorn public areas and guest rooms. These colors complement the English sycamore, beech, maple, limestone, bronze, nickel-silver and onyx materials used extensively throughout the hotel.

    In the guest rooms, there is an extensive use of a creamy-colored English sycamore wood —  a color value of the French limestone used predominantly on the building's exterior and interior. "In the 1920s and '30s, English sycamore was a very sought-after material," Siembieda says. "It is a luscious, beautiful wood with a unique fiddle-back grain, which gives it a very rich feeling."

    Upon entering the guest rooms, the English sycamore is immediately apparent. It serves as the wide architectural moldings around each window and is the principal wood used in the furniture and in the built-in dressing room cabinetry. Each guest room consists of four separate spaces and features 10-foot-3-inch-high coffered ceilings, giving it strong vertical thrust. Large picture windows frame the view of New York. The rooms are finished with soft, neutral tones like gold, cream, copper and pale yellow. Each room features limited-edition art from the 1900 to 1950 era — a period closely associated with the birth of the modernist design scheme.

    In order to create a residential and welcoming feeling, each room features an entrance foyer with a built-in refrigerator/mini-bar, with a marble top and mirrored wall. Bedroom furnishes of creamy English sycamore with slightly darker wood marquetry are spacious and sleek, designed to blend seamlessly into the subtle color scheme. The use of oval shapes lends a feeling of even greater spaciousness.

    Oversized beds with Rivolta linens are flanked by oval nightstands and CD alarm clocks. A sitting area contains an upholstered, softly rounded full-size sofa, comfortable armchair, lamp and coffee tables; an adjacent executive area is furnished with an oval partner-style desk (5 feet by 3 feet), two upholstered chairs, a telephone, desk caddy, fax hook-up, stationery and directories. DVD players, plasma TVs and fax machines are also offered. The dressing room is paneled in the same English sycamore, with a mirrored walk-in closet and built-in drawers beneath a spacious covered luggage bench. In this area, storage shelves, a safe, clothes hangers and shoe brushes can be found.

    The large bathroom is entirely of peach, beige and gray marble, from floor to cove-lit coffered ceiling. A marble vanity with wall-to-wall mirrors surrounds a porcelain sink. Conveniently located under the sink are creamy sycamore shelves and drawers holding a hair dryer, towels and other toiletries. The toilet is set into its own marble alcove with a phone; a deep-soaking tub sits within a marble deck, backed by a glass-enclosed shower. Chrome fixtures highlight the marble surfaces, and all bathrooms offer a flat-screen TV.

    The hotel's four specialty suites include the Royal Suite, Presidential Suite 5101 and Presidential Suite 5102, and the $40,000-a-night Ty Warner Penthouse. The 4,300-square-foot penthouse, located on the to floor of the hotel, is the most expensive accommodation in the world.

    While similar colors and materials are used in all rooms, the suites feature a variety of different design schemes and artwork. "The individual areas of the hotel contain many of the same colors and materials to create strong cohesion, yet each space is individually treated to evoke a distinctive residential and elegant feel — one that is both restful and symbolic of New York," Siembieda says.
  • On June 27, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What restaurants does Four Seasons Hotel New York have?

    Four Seasons Hotel New York is very lucky to have a variety of restaurants for our guests to choose from. The Garden Restaurant is home to power breakfasts and lunches; TY Lounge offers a cozy place to have tea, drinks and dinner in front of the fireplace; and The Bar is the best place to be seen in NYC.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What is the best way to see New York City in a day?

    Clearly the best way to see New York in one day is to hire a personal, professional guide to show you the major areas and landmarks and point out the hidden jewels the city has to offer.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    When is the best time to visit New York City?

    Anytime of the year works in New York. The spring and fall are our favorite times of the year, when culture is "in season." One can find all the culture – such as the ballet, opera and symphony – featuring opening nights galore.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What is New York City's cultural scene like?

    New York is one of the cultural capitals of the world. It has more cultural events that any other city. On any given day one can enjoy a performance watching the Metropolitan Opera and then attend the Puerto Rican Parade and anything in between.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Christoph Schmidinger answered the question: Christoph Schmidinger

    What are the best places to stay in New York City?

    Of course we are going to say Four Seasons Hotel New York, but if we should be sold out we’d recommend the following hotels:

    The Mandarin Oriental

    St. Regis

    The Ritz Carlton Central Park

    The Peninsula

    The Carlyle