There's a waterfall in my room
The pranksters over at The Wall Street Journal are taunting us common folk again. Sniper-eyed trend spotter Sarah Nassauer was dispatched to the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, at $35,000 a night reputed to be the most exp...
The pranksters over at The Wall Street Journal are taunting us common folk again.
Sniper-eyed trend spotter Sarah Nassauer was dispatched to the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, at $35,000 a night reputed to be the most expensive hotel room outside of Las Vegas.
That distinction is apparently important in the hospitality racket. The distinction of America's most expensive hotel room goes to the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at the Palms Casino in Vegas. The room, along with a 12-person whirlpool, since it wastes hot water to bubble alone, goes for $40,000, but if they think you're solvent enough to risk losing a half-million dollars at the tables, they'll let you stay free.
The Four Seasons doesn't do discounts on the Penthouse, so it's not surprising it's only rented about 25 percent of the time. And you can't amortize the cost by inviting a couple of dozen of your buddies to come along, because the hotel limits the number of people in the room. Saves wear and tear on the white silk carpet.
Nassauer's story has no news that I can see -- the Penthouse opened in 2007 after seven years and $50 million -- but it makes for fascinating reading. Trivia buffs will recognize Ty Warner as the guiding genius behind Beanie Babies, one of those unfathomable but enormously lucrative fads. He owns the hotel.
The suite includes a personal butler named Johannes on 24-hour call and a car and chauffeur, your choice of a Maybach or a Rolls-Royce. I don't know about you, but when I'm forced to choose between a $255,000 Rolls or a $344,000 Maybach, I become paralyzed with indecision.
The living room has a $120,000 chandelier, which would rule out my sons ever staying there, and the Zen Room -- every home should have one -- has a waterfall that Nassauer says "flows over semiprecious granite from South Africa." The staff goes to great pains to ensure that the water flows evenly over the rock.
Room service is free, and if you don't specify a brand, the hotel stocks the suite with $200 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne.
The Penthouse has high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows with a commanding view of the city, and that makes heating and cooling the space something of a challenge to engineers. To get the Penthouse just right they raise and lower the temperature in the entire hotel.
You would think one of the perks of working at the hotel would be hanging out in the Penthouse when it's unoccupied, but, Nassauer reports, "only the most skilled and tidy members" of the engineering staff and only four of the 42-person housekeeping staff are allowed in the room.
That doesn't mean the others miss out entirely on the excitement. The hotel keeps records of the likes and dislikes of previous guests and tries to anticipate the needs of new ones. One time, two staff members were dispatched to track down a particular brand of "ultraplush" toilet paper. ("Hi, honey. How was your day?")
Nassauer didn't say, but instead of leaving a chocolate on the pillow at night, do you suppose they just leave 100 shares of Nestle? As they say in the hotel business, we'll leave the light on for you.
-- McFeatters writes for Scripps Howard News Service.