Arts & Entertainment

Robert Treat Hotel's historic Crystal Ballroom in downtown Newark now fully renovated

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The new Crystal Ballroom at the Robert Treat Hotel in downtown Newark. Credits: The Berger Organization
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The Robert Treat Hotel in downtown unveiled its new Crystal Ballroom, a hallmark of the hotel since its opening in 1916, earlier this month.

The glittering highlight of the ballroom’s makeover includes a new centerpiece - a three-tier chandelier with 30,000 hand-cut and polished crystals and technology that enables the staff to change the chandelier’s color across the rainbow spectrum. The fixture is designed as a cascading halo of light overhead.

Artie Wassif, director of sales for the Robert Treat, described how the renovated room, crowned with crystalline beauty, accentuates the hotel's clients experience. 

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"We have the Old World elegance of all that crystal with the contemporary touch of customizable lighting colors that shine right through,” Wassif said.

“We hosted a wedding here in late May that was the first to use the new system; the bridal couple selected a range of blue colors to match the party décor," he said. "We were able to program the lighting to change from deep blue to baby blue throughout the party; the effect really added to the elegance of the room.” 

Adding to the Crystal Ballroom’s luster are two dozen crystal wall sconces around the room’s perimeter.

The ballroom, which measures 4,200 square feet, can accommodate up to 300 people at a banquet, over 800 theatre style and over 150 people classroom style (with long tables) for conferences, presentations and other business or organization meetings. There is also a removable dance floor that can be laid out in different sizes for parties.

“We can host any event for business or social occasions, from a corporate breakfast, seminars and conferences to Sweet Sixteen or quinceañera parties, communions, weddings, bar or bat mitzvah and other receptions,” Wassif said. 

The Robert Treat Hotel has long been a cornerstone of the foundation of downtown Newark. The more-than century old hotel has hosted five U.S. presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy. Many public figures, including Albert Einstein, have also stayed at the hotel.

Sometimes political and public standouts have converged at the Robert Treat: an apocryphal story holds that J.F.K. and Frank Sinatra, star singer and Jersey icon, partied at the hotel during the 1960 presidential campaign. 

The hotel's notable history was recognized in 1980 when it became the first hotel in Newark to be listed on both the state and national Registers of Historic Places.
 
The hotel was purchased in 1987 by The Berger Organization, a multi-faceted real estate development and management firm. Under the direction of CEO Miles Berger, the building’s lobby was refurbished and new systems were installed to start the process of upgrading the hotel in a way that modernized its amenities while retaining its historic look.

The hotel, located across the street from the recently refurbished Military Park, down the block from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), and close to public transportation, is in prime position to benefit from downtown Newark's revival. 

Proud of its history, those behind the hotel look forward to being a part of Newark's future. 

"We take great pride in working closely with civic leaders and companies from Newark and the surrounding area,” Wassif said.

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