Published March 12, 2011
One of the most expensive hotel suites on the planet, the Ty Warner Penthouse at New York’s Four Seasons hotel, doesn’t allow pets.
And that begs the question, who does Ty Warner think he is? Sure, he owns the hotel and several others and brought the world Beanie Babies, but anyone else who stays at the Four Seasons gets to bring up to a 15 lb. pet, so why can’t the guest who ponies up $35,000 a night?
Well, part of the answer lies in the suite’s master bedroom, with its king-sized Hastens Vividus mattress –- at around $60K the most expensive mattress in the world – which took about 160 hours to make by hand in Sweden. Surely you don’t want Fido tinkling on that, even if you can afford to replace it. But then you’ve got the canopy bed itself, Thai silk spun from 22 carat pure gold thread. Certainly not so easy to replace if Whiskers got her claws on it.
And that’s the thing about the Ty Warner penthouse. Its 4,300 square-feet of bling is more the stuff of the Metropolitan Museum than MTV Cribs. The master bedroom and bath, living room, and library – there are also rooms for dressing, breakfast, powdering, and meditation – are filled with one-of-a-kind interior designs – from walls laced with mother of pearl or Tiger’s eye or covered with soft calf-skin leather to what’s reportedly the largest glass sliding door ever made.
The penthouse is also jammed with plenty of original paintings and sculpture, so to fully appreciate the price tag on this place, you sort of have to be into art, so much so that if you’re in the mood to purchase some while in the Big Apple your penthouse’s 24-hour on call butler (you read that right) will set you up with a local gallery. It also helps if you’re an architecture fan, as the masterminds behind the suite are architects I.M Pei, who designed the hotel itself (along with the Javits Center, the Louvre Pyramids, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few) and Peter Marino, who brings to the suite the same slick sensibility he brought to designing Barney’s, Chanel, and Fendi stores as well as various residential commissions around the world.
That’s not to say that if you’re not an art and architecture fan, you won’t feel the love that $35K a night will buy you. There are, after all, killer views from the 52nd floor, most notably from the swell chromo therapy infinity soak tub in the master bathroom as well as the suite’s four cantilevered glass balconies with 45-degree diagonal views of the city.
If the décor and views don’t make you feel like the Thirty Five Thousand Dollar Man, the services might, especially since their cost is included in the cost of the suite – specifically, according to the hotel, “all spa treatments, fine dining selections, and anything else offered in the hotel are offered as part of the suite experience.” And just so all you freeloaders are clear on this, the penthouse sleeps either two adults and one child or three adults, so the amenities in the room and available services at the hotel are for up to three people. For instance, for all the hoi polloi checked in beneath your 52nd floor perch, The Four Seasons has its own full-service spa, but your penthouse has its own spa with exercise equipment and a massage table, so up to three of you will have a personal trainer assigned to you.
Feeling peckish? Your butler will reserve your guaranteed table for dinner at in-house restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon or will make arrangements for the meal to be served en suite at your convenience. For between meal snacks, the hotel’s Calvisuis caviar lounge will send up a taste of caviar and a glass of champagne. And since the hotel stipulates that “anything else” offered within the hotel is included in the suite, this reporter had to ask if penthouse guests could get unlimited amounts of caviar and champagne. The word on that is that it is to Calvisius' discretion to the amount of caviar served to the guests in the suite.
Also included in your nightly rate -- should you tire of slinking from room to balcony to room within your suite -- is unlimited use of chauffeured Rolls Royce and Maybach cars. And to top it all off, the penthouse amenities list indicates you can make all the unlimited free calls worldwide you want. So, if upon checking in you just felt like calling a buddy on the Wallis and Futuna Islands in the South Pacific and left the line open during the duration of your stay, that would work out to about $200 an hour that you wouldn’t get jacked for on your final bill.
Evidently, one more thing that a night here buys you is privacy. For starters, the three elevators that go up to the 52nd floor will only open up there for penthouse key holders. As for who some of those key holders have been, the hotel won’t divulge the names of anyone who has stayed in the Ty Warner Penthouse. But you can be sure its occupants had some quiet, powerful money. And should you have some of your own, you need only call the hotel’s reservations department or your travel agent –- as much fun as it would be to pull the trigger on a $35K a night room through an online reservation, that just isn’t possible – and if the penthouse is available, you can book it for a minimum of one night or for as long as you like. Evidently there’s no waiting list.