Sitting demurely on the corner of 77th and Madison since 1927, in a handsome but unremarkable red-brick building, the Mark has long been overshadowed by its splashier Art Deco neighbor, the Carlyle. But the hotel is set to open any day now with some downtown-style pizzazz, thanks to a $150 million makeover from Jacques Grange. “It’s a project that I could not resist,” says the French interior designer, whose clients have included Yves Saint Laurent and Princess Caroline of Monaco. Now, when you enter the lobby, you’ll find a dizzying Op Art marble floor and wildly eclectic furnishings (an upholstered Mattia Bonetti bench tiptoeing on impossibly skinny oak legs; a swirling Ron Arad lamp), all commissioned by Pierre Passebon, owner of the impeccably curated Parisian furniture boutique Galerie du Passage. The 118 rooms are no less detailed, with soothing tones of brown and beige; Bar Mark, on the other hand, is a vivid fantasy environment with a shiny, undulating bar created by contemporary artist Guy de Rougemont.
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