For guests used to staying in the best rooms at luxury hotels, the top suite at the Four Seasons Hotel New York may offer the ultimate in bragging rights: To sleep in it, you have to stomach its $35,000 a night price tag.
The Ty Warner Penthouse, named for the Beanie Baby mogul and the hotel's owner, is the most expensive hotel room in the country outside of Las Vegas, an important distinction in the industry since rooms in the gambling capital are often comped for high rollers.
以豆豆娃（Beanie Baby）大亨、该酒店所有者的名字命名的泰•沃纳顶楼套房（Ty Warner Penthouse）是拉斯维加斯（在这个赌博之都，豪赌者通常都会获赠客房住宿，因此这里是美国重要的酒店业地区）之外美国最昂贵的酒店客房。
The suite has sweeping views of Manhattan in every direction, bathroom sinks made of solid blocks of rock crystal and a personal butler on-call 24 hours a day. Guests have the use of a Maybach or Rolls-Royce--with driver, of course. Room service from the hotel's restaurants, including one run by celebrity chef Joel Robuchon, is included in the price and nearly unlimited (though one guest was charged for a $1,000 order of caviar).
The suite, which opened in 2007, cost $50 million to build and took seven years to design, the hotel says.
Mr. Warner says the room is important because it gives the entire hotel an air of luxury and exclusivity. "By having a suite in there that kind of sets the standard and gets talked about...gives a halo effect to the rest of the hotel," he says.
The Ty Warner suite is only occupied about 25% of the year. And the 368-room hotel says it never gives a discount on the suite. Instead, the nightly rate jumped by $1,000 in 2009. The hotel also has two suites listed at $18,000 a night and one for $14,000. Penthouse guests are usually billionaire businessmen traveling with their significant others, says Christoph Schmidinger, general manager for the hotel. The I.M. Pei-designed hotel's least expensive room is listed at $855.
The hotel staff boasts that it goes to almost preposterous lengths to maintain the room at a mega-deluxe level.
"Everything is different in that room" compared to other rooms in the hotel, so it requires extra attention, says Joe Graziosi, director of engineering at the hotel. Only the most skilled and tidy members of his 24-person engineering team are allowed in the suite.
Most of the furnishings in the four-room 4,300 square-foot penthouse are custom made and difficult to care for, from the hand-lacquered walls with mother of pearl inlay to the fabric surrounding the canopy bed with its Thai silk with lines of 22-carat gold threads to the handmade Venetian silk bedspread. The abundant wood paneling is prone to warping.
"When somebody is in the room it changes the dynamic of everything we do," says Mr. Graziosi. The room's high ceilings and numerous floor-to-ceiling windows make regulating its temperature a challenge. To get it right, Mr. Graziosi's staff raises or lowers the entire building's temperature.
The suite has about 850 light bulbs: Mr. Graziosi keeps about 30 different types on hand for quick replacements. The dark mahogany lacquer bookshelves in the library alone feature about 400 bulbs illuminating a history, art, and biography collection. The $120,000 chandelier over the dinning room table is made of more than 100 tiny fiber optic bulbs.
Only four of the 42-person housekeeping staff are allowed to clean the room. They receive two extra weeks of training, says Margie Garay, director of housekeeping at the hotel, learning how use special chemicals that won't erode the room's delicate surfaces. "We don't use Pledge," she says.
Linda Aslanian, an architect with an MBA, who is Mr. Warner's representative at the hotel, maintains a stock of the room's handcrafted textiles, exotic stones, and artwork in case anything needs replacing.
Staff say they try to anticipate penthouse guests' preferences. The hotel keeps files on all return guests detailing their habits and favorite food, drink and even toilet paper. After reviewing one incoming guest's file, staff discovered they needed to track down a particular 'tissue,' says Ms. Garay. It wasn't easy. Two employees went out separately searching to find the needed 'ultraplush' paper product, she says.
Once the penthouse is booked, it's 'all hands to the fire,' says Anthony Zamora, executive chef at the hotel. The kitchen staff wants to know 'do they like tea sandwiches automatically throughout the day or just on request? Should we pre-order caviar from our supplier just in case they request it?' says Mr. Zamora. If a guest is from the Middle East, he may preorder Hildon water, a brand bottled in southern England and popular among guests from the region, he says. Louis Roederer Cristal, the champagne that retails for around $200, is pre-stocked in the room unless the guest prefers something else.
一旦顶楼套间被预订，就进入了“全员备战状态”，该酒店的行政总厨安东尼•扎莫拉（Anthony Zamora）说。厨房工作人员希望知道“客人们喜欢全天自动送上茶点三明治，还是根据要求送上？我们是否应该提前从供货商处预订鱼子酱，以备他们点餐？”扎莫拉说。他说，如果某位客人来自中东，他可能会预订希尔登（Hildon）矿泉水，这种牌子的矿泉水是在英格兰南部灌装的，很受该地区客人的欢迎。这间客房里提前备好了零售价约为200美元的路易王妃水晶香槟（Louis Roederer Cristal），除非客人更喜欢其他酒水。
If the guest is coming to the hotel for the first time, intelligence gathering is harder. The three person 'special services department' or the general manager's assistant will speak to the guest or his or her assistant about the reason for the visit and the guest's preferences. Employees also scour the Internet for clues and check in with other Four Seasons properties where the guest has stayed. While some guests enjoy the personal service, "others are a little taken aback--why do you need all these details?'' says Mr. Schmidinger, the general manager.
During a penthouse guest's stay, their personal butler, often Johannes Walz, a soft-spoken 45-year-old from Germany, acts as intermediary between the guest and all hotel staff.
The placement of every object in the room is detailed in a book of more than 50 pages. Then housekeeping staff knows "how many hangers are in the closet, where flowers are placed on tables, how far is a table placed from the piano. How far is the Montblanc blotter from the lamp on the desk," says Ms. Garay. The room is dusted daily and cleaned weekly even when there are no guests in residence.
Changing any aspect of the set up goes through Ms. Aslanian and is ultimately Mr. Warner's decision. It's 'like amending the constitution,' says Leslie Lefkowitz, director of public relations for the hotel.
There are only small glimmers of practicality in the room. Though the room features real 18th century Chinese lamps, when the room's well known architect, Peter Marino, suggested using a real antique French bureau plat as the room's desk, Mr. Warner said the piece would suffer too much wear and tear, says Mr. Marino.
Mr. Warner said, "in the end, it's a hotel room and we have to be careful."