Friday, October 10, 2008

Check out this check in

There may not be huge demand for this hotel room anytime soon, but the NY Times the other day had an article about a $30,000 per night hotel suite at The Four Seasons Hotel in NYC.

And given the times, the article's author, Alen Feuer, pretty much gets it right when he characterizes the rack rate as "Bolshevik Revolution-producing."

Well, before we all grab out red flags and head to the Finland Station, I thought I'd check the digs out for myself.Hotel Suite - 2

With cantilevered glass balconies and floor-to-ceiling bay windows, set beneath 25-foot (7.6-metre) cathedral ceilings, the Ty Warner Penthouse offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of all Manhattan. Custom-commissioned in every detail, from semi-precious stone surfaces to fabrics woven with platinum and gold, the nine-room suite creates the sense of living within a multilayered work of art. It raises the bar for even the most seasoned travellers.

I really like that nice, British-y upper-crust touch of the double-l in traveler, don't you? Some people might poo-poo it as la-di-dah. And Congressman Westmoreland, R-GA, might call it "uppity." But I think it sets the right tone. As does that use of metre vs. meter. No one does posh better than the Brits.

If you want to know a couple of "the basics", the suite:

  • Has 4,300 square feet of space
  • Can, if you insist on shoe-horning an extra bed or two into those cramped quarters, accommodate 4 adults and 2 children
  • Has - unspeakably - only one full bath and one powder room, so if you do insist on crowding folks in, you may end up queuing up for a shower. But at least the powder room is "completely clad in semi-precious tiger's-eye stones." Good gosh, one would think so!

Before I'd cram any extra souls in to those 4,300 square feet, I'd take the hotel's advice:

If the number of guests travelling exceeds the maximum occupancy stated, please book more than one room or contact the Hotel directly for alternate accommodation options and assistance.

Beyond the basics, the "TVs [are] programmed for every channel worldwide." So there's no excuse that there's nothing on: you can watch all the Al Jazeera, Bollywood classics, Korean weather channel, and reruns of The Streets of San Francisco dubbed in German that you want.

Or you can tickle the ivories on the baby grand. Or grab one of the books off the library shelves - assuming they're real books, and not Potemikin village shellacked spines. But travellers' warning:  eve if the books are real and not faux, I'll bet those shelves are heavy on coffee-table books, rich-people-buy-stuff hard cover catalogs, and "classics" that no one wants to re-read, if they read them for the first time to begin with. Betcha find a copy of Middlemarch and Bleak House before ya find what you really want to look at: the copy of People with Sarah Palin on the cover.

Betcha can get the personal butler that comes with to go find People and Us for you.

The Penthouse Suite also comes with a "personal trainer/ therapist", and I got to wonder if that's like a physical therapist, an aroma therapist, or a therapist-therapist. And if it's a therapist-therapist do you get unlimited access during your stay, or just a measly psycho-analytic hour? (Sort of equivalent to a hotel day, that only lasts 20 hours.)

If it's not a therapist-therapist, you may well wake up in the middle of the night with hotel guest remorse, and want to get your head examined by a real therapist-therapist, who will help you explore the inner- and outer-whatever that got you to check in to a $30,000 a night hotel room to begin with. In that case, you can get the all-included private chauffeur to get you to the couch in a Rolls Royce Phantom or Mercedes Maybach.

Ah, the rich are different from you and me.

And, no, it's not just that they have more money.

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A nod to Rick T for pointing the Times article out to me.

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