20006 Travel Guide
The Irish flag flying out front of the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. makes a lot more sense now.
If Irish billionaire Dómhnal Slattery had a drink or two this weekend for St. Patrick's Day, it’s unlikely they were as celebratory as those thrown back by others as last week a high court ruled he owes approximately $10 million resulting from a personal guarantee to help fund the purchase of the St. Regis.
The kicker? Slattery said he didn’t even know the contract he signed was a personal guarantee, and that he didn't necessarily intend to splash the pot. So much for the luck of the Irish!
The good news is Slattery is one of Ireland’s wealthiest citizens. His airline leasing company, Avolon, has raised over $5 billion in capital since its 2010 beginnings. We’re guessing he won’t lose too much sleep over this multi-million dollar payout.
Political Hotels / Hotel Packages / Extended-Stay Hotels / Barack Obama / AKA Hotels / Washington D.C. Hotels / → All Tags
We saw President Obama on “The View” this morning just as we were taking a look again at the AKA White House's “Presidential Pampering Package” that had landed in our inbox. We’d been going back and forth on it because the price tag is just so hefty, it’s just one of those things where you 1) you wish you were friends with someone who could afford it 2) know there are people who can afford it, and you hate them.
But, as we begin our own Presidential-election hotel coverage, we thought we’d kick it off with this bit of fantasy for your daydreaming pleasure.
The AKA White House’s “Presidential Pampering Package” is designed for 12 guests to take over the Washington D.C. residential-style hotel’s entire penthouse floor during the presidential inauguration. Four suites comprising of two, one-bedroom suites and two, two-bedroom suites, and a 1,100-square foot outdoor terrace are just the living basics, but it’s the perks that dazzle enough to make one wonder if they have $57,000 (in honor of the 57th inauguration) to blow on a seven-day stay with 11 of their closest friends.
Let’s list them, and you do the math:
*Daily continental breakfast served en-suite
*Personal 24/7 on-call butler
*Personal 24/7 chauffeur
*A private two-hour en-suite cocktail party with open bar and appetizers
*Daily housekeeping service & turndown service
*Twelve plush AKA robes
Way back in 2007, we declared the iPod docking station to be the "Must Have Amenity" of that year. From then on, we've rarely ever seen a hotel that didn't have such a device. Sure, the brands were different and some worked better than others but there was always an output for our MP3 players so that we could always have personal soundtrack with us.
But a friend told us last night that during his stay last week at The Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, DC, there wasn't an iPod docking device, much to his disappointment.
The hotel does have a Bose CD player but let's be real, who carries CDs with them anymore? Still, before we get all indignant on the hotel for their lack of iPod hookups, we have to point out that the Hay-Adams does have free WiFi and you know how much we love that.
Have you stayed at a hotel recently that didn't have an iPod or MP3 docking station? Were you pissed about it or did you not even care? Tell us your strongest convictions on this very serious topic in comments below.
[Photo: Courtney May]
The Obama family really does love the Hay-Adams Hotel. Not only did the first fam spend the weeks leading up to Barack's inauguration occupying the Presidential Suite at the iconic old-school luxe D.C. hotel, but now Michelle Obama has shown the hotel the ultimate love: the opportunity to be forever immortalized with her on the cover of Vogue.
According to People, the new first lady was photographed by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz recently, and the portrait which shows Mrs. Obama leaning on the arm of a beige Hay-Adams couch appears on the cover of Vogue's March issue. While almost every first lady has appeared in the mag, only Hillary Clinton was ever featured on the cover before Michelle.
Naturally, we got to thinking: if we were being photographed for a Vogue cover (by Annie L., no less), which hotel would we want to serve as the backdrop for our portrait? A super cool and sleek design hotel? Or more of an older classic like the Hay Adams?
Eh, we might as well go with the Hay-Adams especially if we knew Vogue was picking up the tab. Rates for standard rooms start at around $395.00 these days, but going rate for a one-bedroom suite (which we'd probably request because a suite would have a variety of furniture upon which to artfully arrange ourselves) is up around a staggering $3,200 a night.
As we reported last week, Barack Obama and his family has moved out of their Chicago home and the gang has headed to D.C. For the time being, they're living in the historic Hay-Adams Hotel; word on the street is that the girls started school today.
No doubt the fam is up in the Presidential Suite (duh), where the views are probably even better than this one from a Junior Suite at the same hotel: imagine waking up every morning and gazing out the window to see the White House your new home for at least the next four years.
President-Elect Barack Obama and his family have found a temporary home in Washington, DC until he takes office--the old-school luxury Hay-Adams Hotel. The Obamas were hoping to stay in the Blair House, an official government guest residence across from the White House but they were told by the Bushes that the house was all booked up until Jan. 15th.
So with the girls starting school on Monday, the Obamas decided to get a room at the Hay Adams. Or make that "rooms." No doubt he is going to take the Presidential Suite--which has views of the White House, a huge master bedroom, one and a half bathrooms, a large dining area and a gaslit fireplace--but also Obama's staff, security team and other aides will need some rooms too.
If you want a peek at Obama, you can try booking a room at the hotel. Rooms were open next week starting at $395 a night for a superior queen guest room.
Celeb chef Alain Ducasse may be a suave Frenchman, but he is so en vogue with the American political landscape. That's right, he's bringing his own recipe for change to Washington (straight from a pundit's talking points!).
If you weren't impressed by Kimpton Hotels' DC offerings over Labor Day Weekend, then maybe you need to step it up a notch here.
The Hay-Adams is offering its usual "Monuments by Night" package where guests can take a private night tour of the town's best known historical monuments without having to leave their hired luxury sedan. In other words, it's a drive-by sightseeing trip.
The package also includes a specially packed goodie basket and Champagne. In the morning, a full American Breakfast for two will be served in hotel's restaurant, The Lafayette. Package rates start at $599 per night, based on availability.
If you plan on staying a little longer in DC, for the month of August, the hotel's "Summer Sizzling Package" gives guests staying four nights the fourth night free. The package also includes complimentary valet parking and a full American breakfast for two each morning. This package starts at $479 a night.
We're not sure who stays four nights in DC just for pleasure and these aren't necessarily "deals" but the nighttime drive-by tour of DC does sound fun.
The St. Regis in Washington, D.C., closed since September 2006 for a top-to-bottom renovation, will start accepting reservations today (Wednesday 11/7] for bookings February 1 and beyond. Guests can expect modernized amenities, an updated but traditional look as well as larger rooms. The hotel went from 193 rooms to 175 while building an addition. Before next year is out, the hotel will open a new restaurant and a spa.
Located two blocks north of the White House, The St. Regis has long been one of D.C.'s top luxury hotels. The $150,000- per-room re-do was designed by the New York-based firm Sills and Huniford, which, in addition to decorating for celebrites ranging from Tina Turner to Anna Wintour, redecorated the The St. Regis New York several years ago.
Published rates start at $795 per night for a superior room. Suites start at $1,495. The Presidential Suite will set you back $10,000 per night. The hotel aims to open the restaurant by next spring. As for the spa, the hotel's first, the time frame there is a summer of 2008 launch. To add more space, the hotel purchased an adjacent one-story flower shop and built up eight floors. The spa will take up three stories, with the remaining five being used as suite space.
To book, call 202-638-2626 or 877-787-3447.
· DC Hotel Scene Hoppin' with Flips [HotelChatter]
The Hotel Helix in Washington DC has funky bedding that's for sure. But not everyone's a fan of the decor:
The room appeared to have been decorated on an unaired "Trading Spaces" episode. There were problems with frayed upholstery and unmatching pieces in rooms....Pieces were all retro, to be sure (perhaps they were found at a good garage sale), but they did not work together, and were mismatched both in color as well as period.
Five Star Alliance is giving away a big time hotel room usually reserved for shenanigans of the politicos.
The giveaway prize is for a two-night stay at The Hay-Adams
in Washington DC, in a junior suite, valued at $2,400. Entry is free, and the winner will be picked in a random drawing.
Contest particulars are this way.
Looks like you have to sign up for the newsletter in order to earn a shot at the free suite. But, hey, you gotta give a little to give a little sometimes.
The winner will be contacted by August 15, 2006.
[image via hwro]