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New York Palace Hotel's Manager Fired For Religious Remarks

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  Site Where: 455 Madison Ave [map], New York, ny, United States, 10022
March 25, 2009 at 12:09 PM | by | ()

Yikes. There's been some major drama at the New York Palace Hotel — and this time, it has nothing to do with Gossip Girl.

According to the New York Daily News, managing director Niklaus Leuenberger has been released from his position at the Palace after not-so-nicely ordering a Catholic employee to clean the ash off his forehead on Ash Wednesday.

NYDN reports:

"Wipe that f-----g s--t off your face," managing director Niklaus Leuenberger told a bell captain at the New York Palace Hotel on Feb. 25, sources said. [...] "As of Monday, March 23, Leuenberger is no longer employed by the New York Palace," hotel spokeswoman Teresa Delaney told the Daily News Tuesday. The incident was deemed so severe, Christopher Cowdray, head of the London-based Dorchester Collection, which owns the Palace, flew here to hand Leuenberger the pink slip.

Oh, and one more thing: the NYDN says the Palace actually leases its land from the Catholic church. Goodness gracious.

Archived Comments:


Double ouch about that land leasing. This is absolutely not cool; a case of getting what is deserved.

I wondered about his background...

...and found this online from June 2007:

The New York Palace Hotel today announced that NIKLAUS J. LEUENBERGER has been appointed Managing Director of the renowned landmark luxury property located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. He joins The Palace following a distinguished tenure with The Peninsula Hotels. A 35-year veteran of the luxury hospitality industry, Mr. Leuenberger brings a wealth of experience to his new role in which he will oversee all aspects of the hotel and serve as Chairman of the Palace Executive Committee.

Thirty five years in the business and he didn't know about Ash Wednesday? Hell, I'm an agnostic who was born Jewish and I know about it. The worst part is that this clown will have no trouble finding another job when he should be deported back to whatever planet he came from.

NY Palace's GM

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  Literally.