Statler Hotel completes final phase of major renovation, modernizing public spaces & guest bathrooms

Aug 18, 2015

Contact: Cynthia Wild, 607.254.2539,

Recently, the Statler Hotel—which operates in concert with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA) on the Cornell campus—completed a major renovation of its public spaces and 153 guest room bathrooms. This project represents the second and final phase of the most ambitious upgrade since the hotel opened in 1989. Phase I was completed in 2010 and addressed guest room décor and amenities; for Phase II, the focus was common areas and guest room bathrooms.

For Phase II, the Statler engaged Richard McElhiney Architects and the New York Hospitality practice of HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm. The team was charged with renovating the main corridors that serve each of the hotel's seven floors, and with redesigning the bathrooms for each of the property's guestrooms. The overall goal: to create distinctive identities for both spaces reflective of the property's traditions, but with a modern and elegant feel.

"It's been my pleasure to see both phases of this comprehensive renovation through to completion," said Rick Adie '75, Statler Hotel general manager. "The Statler has always been both a renowned teaching hotel for the School of Hotel Administration and a highly regarded destination in its own right. Our updated accommodations allow us to continue offering our guests a truly exceptional experience, while giving SHA students the opportunity to develop their skills in a state-of-the-art facility."

Led by Richard McElhiney as partner-in-charge, and Christina Hart, a Cornell alumna and HOK senior principal, hospitality interiors, the project took inspiration from Ithaca's surrounding topography as well as the Ivy League institution's distinguished history. The intent was to transition visitors to guestrooms in a way that is both relaxing and tranquil but also complementary to the hotel's other public areas. In homage to Cornell, the corridor wall coverings are accented with Cornell red, which also appears in the custom-designed carpet.

Guest room baths were replaced with state-of-the-art glass showers with sliding doors on both sides. A custom-designed open vanity with ventilated shelf cabinet not only modernizes the space, but also provides ample storage. Lighting was enhanced with the addition of sconces as well as a fog-free mirror and LED magnifying mirror with nightlight. A sliding "barn door" not only gives the space a residential feel, but also creates more room. Care was taken so that bathrooms seem designed in tandem with the existing bedrooms, imparting a sense of continuity and luxury.

About the Statler Hotel                             
Located in the heart of the Cornell University campus in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region, the Statler Hotel is not only a first-class property, but also a teaching hotel where SHA students apply classroom learning to practical experience. More than 200 student employees work alongside seasoned professionals across all hotel and restaurant operations. The Statler Hotel bears the name of SHA's seminal benefactor, Ellsworth M. Statler, a self-made millionaire who founded the largest hotel chain of his day. The idea that a teaching hotel would greatly enhance SHA's educational value proposition dates back almost to the school's founding in 1922, but it wasn't until 1950 that the 36-room Statler Inn was completed. In 1986, it was demolished in favor of the 150-room Statler Hotel, which also boasts three restaurants, banquet rooms, and a conference center.

About the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University
The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit