Industry Update
Press Release 7 October 2010

Morgans Hotel Group Announces the Launch of Forty Four at Royalton, the Original Iconic Hotel Lobby, With the Debut of 'The Cocktail Collective' (Video)

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Morgans Hotel Group (MHG)

NEW YORK -- Morgans Hotel Group Co. (Nasdaq: MHGC) ("MHG") the original boutique hotel company, today announces the opening of Forty Four at Royalton, a new cocktail lounge headlined by a global all-star team of bartenders known as "The Cocktail Collective".


Selected from the best cocktail bars in the country, the renowned members of "The Cocktail Collective" have developed a dynamic world-class beverage program that will establish Royalton as the epicenter of the igniting cocktail culture in New York City and beyond.

The founding members of "The Cocktail Collective" include:

  • Richard Boccato from Dutch Kills in New York City
  • John Lermayer from The Florida Room in South Beach and Woodward in Boston
  • Simon Ford a global cocktail ambassador based in New York City
  • Willy Shine from Contemporary Cocktails, Inc. in New York City
  • Misty Kalkofen from Drink in Boston
  • Eric Alperin from The Varnish in Historic Downtown Los Angeles

"This is the first time that a group of bartenders of this caliber has come together to create an original beverage program to compliment such an iconic hotel destination," said Howard Wein, of Morgans Hotel Group. "From the cocktail classics to the modern punch bowls, each and every item on this menu was created exclusively for Forty Four, combining artisanal techniques with sophisticated style."

Morgans Hotel Group tapped this talented team of bartenders to author Forty Four's opening cocktail menu, which focuses on pre and post prohibition cocktails presented over crushed, cube and freshly chipped rocks of ice. The "Classics" section of the new cocktail menu pays homage to the finest hotel bars from around the globe with cocktails such as the "Hotel Nacional" and the "Vieux Carre". New "Originals", created by "The Cocktail Collective", include dynamic Gin drinks like the "English 75" and the "Hocus Pocus", and a soothing and witty Rye based contribution called, "The Reconciliation". The organic fresh juices powering the cocktail program are squeezed daily through a partnership with New York City's own healthy lifestyle company Organic Avenue, the leading provider of organic cold pressed juices, raw food and cleansing programs. Organic watermelon, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and ginger juices are provided by Organic Avenue and highlighted throughout the menu.

The Collective is also introducing exclusive signature items such as a custom boutique barrel program and a modern punch bowl menu. Already in place, the punch menu features four rum based recipes presented over blocks of ice and served tableside. All punches feature full bottles and organic juices and are designed for sharing. The proprietary barrel program showcases the development and selection of barrels of agave based spirits, sugarcane based spirits and an American whiskey. In addition to the existing cocktail featuring the Classics and Originals, the menu will soon feature a unique cocktail experience called "From Barrel to Bar", which will highlight stirred cocktails created from the custom Collective barreled spirits.

Complimenting this ground breaking cocktail program is a new Forty Four food menu created by Royalton's Executive Chef Scott Ekstrom. Ekstrom has an extensive culinary pedigree, which is influenced by time spent at both Daniel and Oceana. Scott's ability to layer modern ingredients on a foundation of classic culinary technique makes him the perfect chef to launch the new menu offering at Royalton. Ekstrom's menu, available throughout the Royalton lobby, includes such signature items as: Duck Confit Flatbread, Black Garlic Hummus, Pork Belly Soft Tacos, Parmesan Risotto Poppers, Toasted Cheeseburger Sandwiches and Crispy Potatoes with Nueske Bacon.

Salvatore Imposimato, Morgans Hotel Groups' Regional Director of Nightlife, is curating Forty Four's music and nightlife programming, inspired by 1960's Paris. In authentic Morgans' style, Imposimato has created an environment for midtown that tastefully combines the eclectic, playful and sophisticated.

Through the creative energy of "The Cocktail Collective" and their unprecedented combined expertise, a new menu for both grazers and diners and a bold series of events from Morgans Hotel Group, Forty Four at Royalton will emerge as the hotel lobby to meet after work and into the late night hours.

Spanky Van Dyke's webisode featuring "The Cocktail Collective " and Forty Four. The full webisode will be released in mid-October.

About Morgans Hotel Group

Morgans Hotel Group Co.(Nasdaq: MHGC) is widely credited as the creator of the first "boutique" hotel and a continuing leader of the hotel industry's boutique sector. Morgans Hotel Group operates and owns, or has an ownership interest in, Morgans, Royalton and Hudson in New York, Delano and Shore Club in South Beach, Mondrian in Los Angeles and South Beach, Clift in San Francisco, Ames in Boston, and Sanderson and St Martins Lane in London. Morgans Hotel Group and an equity partner also own the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and related assets. Morgans Hotel Group also manages hotels in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Morgans Hotel Group has other property transactions in various stages of completion, including projects in SoHo, New York and Palm Springs, California. For more information please visit .

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

This press release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the operating performance of our investments and financing needs and prediction of certain future other events. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate" "believe," "project," or other similar words or expressions. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause our actual results or other future events to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Important risks and factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to economic, business, competitive market and regulatory conditions such as: a sustained downturn in economic and market conditions, particularly levels of spending in the business, travel and leisure industries; continued tightness in the global credit markets; general volatility of the capital markets and our ability to access the capital markets; our ability to refinance our current outstanding debt and to repay outstanding debt as such debt matures; our ability to protect the value of our name, image and brands and our intellectual property; risks related to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes; hostilities, including future terrorist attacks, or fear of hostilities that affect travel; and other risk factors discussed in MHG's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, and other documents filed by MHG with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date hereof, based upon information known to management as of the date hereof, and MHG assumes no obligations to update or revise any of its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes show that indicated results or events will not be realized.

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