“Neil,” at The George, has a sectional with a chaise, exposed brick walls, and framed images of its namesake, including Neil Armstrong. NEIL GRABOWSKY/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL


Bobbi Brown wanted Nespresso machines in every room of the new hotel “The George.”

Husband Steven Plofker wasn’t sure.

Steven Plofker and Bobbi Brown at The George. NEIL GRABOWSKY/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

Plofker asked why they needed them, “and I said because we do. Trust me on this,” Brown said.

There are Nespresso machines in every room of The George, the new 32-room hotel the couple created together, that will open at the end of February/beginning of March. The hotel is carefully decorated as a boutique hotel, with top-shelf products everywhere, and modern furnishings in its large rooms.

Brown was responsible for the decor of the large hotel. The building itself was originally constructed in 1902, by Charles Van Vleck, said Gretchen Berra, head of communications for Bobbi Brown. Much of the original architecture has been retained. “We like to call it a modern twist with the historic hotel,” Berra said. Rooms will be priced between $200 to $400 a night, she said.

All the rooms are slightly different, and most have names, with related decor inside. “Neil,” for example, has images of Neil Patrick Harris and Neil Armstrong. “Shirley” has Shirley Bassey and Shirley Temple. Many have exposed brick walls, low settees, interesting benches.

And don’t forget George: There’s a drawing of George Washington on the round center hall table.

All have clean lines, a color palette of neutrals, upholstered headboards, and modern-retro furniture. And, said Berra, guests can purchase anything, including the furniture. There’s also a pop-up Bobbi Brown store. “Bobbi partnered with a lot of her favorite brands,” she said.

The library in The George.


Casper did all of the mattresses. Dyson blowdryers are in every room. At a press walk-through today, attended by Elle Magazine, Architectural Digest, Goop, the Instagram influencer A Guy Named Patrick, as well as local press, Dyson was offering blow-outs, and representatives demonstrated their products, such as Hello toothpaste. Flaneur made the duvet covers. Some of the furnishings come from One Kings Lane.

The hotel plans to have a formal tea, and offer rooms for events. Brown said she hoped all different kinds of people would stay: former Montclairites, business travelers, people coming to the Montclair Art Museum, the Montclair Film Festival, the Wellmont, bar mitzvahs, graduations, birthday parties.

The grand stairway at The George. NEIL GRABOWSKY/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

She and her husband had worked on some projects before, but not like this, she said. The hotel has been in the works for two years. “The day I told my husband I was leaving the cosmetics brand, he said, ‘I’m so glad, because I need your help on this project.’ I love design. My husband loves renovating. So the combination of being able to create something that we believe is really comfortable and interesting is so awesome and to be able to do it in Montclair is so important to me, because I have lived in Montclair for 30 years. It’s my adopted hometown. I love it.”

Plofker said he wanted to turn the building into a hotel because that’s how it felt to him, “with the grand entry, the exterior.” The most challenging thing was not the decoration and design, but, he said with a laugh, “getting the approvals.”



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  1. […] Historic house fans are rejoicing at the chic boutique hotel, The George, which opened in 2018 as an adaptive reuse masterpiece that repurposes Charles Van Vleck’s 1902 house. Van Vleck was the architect to the Rockefellers, Bloomingdale’s, B. Altman and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. The project was achieved by the collaboration of architect Paul Sionas, developer Steve Plofker and his wife Bobbi Brown, the world-famous cosmetics and style genius. Under the supervision of the Plofkers’s Willow Street Partners, The George renovation project recently won Montclair’s Historic Preservation Commission’s “Brick & Mortar Award.” The project also includes the re-purposing and moving of the carriage house, which is a replica of the 1600s Crane Homestead that once was on the site and demolished a century ago. Read more on The George. […]

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