Thursday, December 13, 2007

St. Regis Hotel, NYC

Built in 1904 by the world's wealthiest man, John Jacob Astor IV (later to perish in the Titanic sinking), the St. Regis stands as a lasting tribute to his vision of bringing the style and comforts of the "grand hotels" from Europe, coupled with innovations unique to America. The St. Regis is the most highly acclaimed luxury property in North America. A white marble staircase cost $1 million (in turn-of-the-century dollars). That old-world grandeur is still on view in the intricate carved moldings, inlaid marble floors, gilded mirrors and doors, and crystal chandeliers that are the hallmark of this urban palace. Apart from the lavish style, though, every experience is a classic here, from formal afternoon tea in the Astor Court to a Bloody Mary (which was invented here) in the King Cole Bar with its famed Maxfield Parrish murals.
With the hub traveling the world all year round, my trip to NYC was free-of-charge--that is less the wear and tear of the hub. With all the miles he had accumulated over the past year and since we have decided to stay local after Christmas, he used his miles this year to fly me to New York and put me up at The St. Regis Hotel. Oh my. Of course, I have always walked by the St. Regis with no thoughts of ever staying there. What a treat it was, to say the least, to actually spend several days. I called my brother Jim, knowing his appreciation of all things nice, and asked him if he wanted to meet me up there and spend the night. I am happy to say he took me up on the offer.

(Chocolate replica of the St. Regis in the lobby)

I arrived on Sunday and when I checked in, I was given a deluxe room. With my brother arriving the next day, I asked, politely, if there happen to be a suite available on Monday, would I be able to change rooms in order to accommodate a guest. The sweet Ophelia behind the desk smiled, disappeared for a moment and then returned to say they would prepare a suite for my entire stay. Sigh. How nice is that. Of course I didn't mind having to wait for one to be cleaned. And so my luxurious journey began, Christmas NYC 2007.

I did all my walking, as noted in my previous posting. I was truly ready to sit back and take a load off by the time Ophelia phoned to let me know my suite was ready. When I arrived back at the hotel, she saw me walk in and met me in the lobby. She then personally escorted me to my suite. My bags were already in the room, situated perfectly. My clothes case was put in the bedroom, my small roll on was placed by the desk in the living room. Schweeeeet. (I didn't take the picture above but this was pretty close to my suite. I don't know why I didn't get a pic of this view because it was the loveliest of views.)

The bed was made for a queen. Let me tell you, Sunday night, I slept like a baby. The duvet was as soft and fluffy as a heavenly cloud. I have never felt anything as soft. The TV raised from a base, ala Ozzy Osbourne style; and a remote box in both the bedroom and living room gave me the ability to do just about anything with a push of a button--control of the lights, the temperature, do not disturb, make room, radio and several more dozens of things including, of course, a buzzer for my butler! Geesh. Of course, as soon as I arrived, I put classical music on to keep the mood flowing. I then ordered dinner through room service--a grilled cheese with a vegetable salad. As my food arrived, my brother phoned to give me the details on his arrival on Monday around noon via train. He told me to find some restaurants to look into some restaurants to go to. My first suggestion was a deli. No go. You know, food snob (again, lovingly named). While in NYC must do the best of NYC. I don't do the best, I do the local, as if I lived there, NYC. And so, while eating my dinner, I puroved the internet and again ended up at Chowhound looking for good restaurants that brutha would enjoy. I came up with three or four, maybe even five that I would show the concierge the next morning in order for him to give me suggestions and to make a luncheon reservation for us.

I went in the bedroom to get into my jammies and the bath was calling me. I don't take baths at hotels--ew. But this tub was as sparkly clean as if it had just been built. There was a back brush and special bubble bath, even a TV in the corner, so there was no saying no. It was heavenly--except I kept hitting the stopper with my foot and releasing all the lovely warm bubbly water! And, as I said before, as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was in la-la land. I never did watch that fancy TV popping up from that stand.

I set the remote box to wake me up to classical music at 7. Of course, I rolled back over after hitting the snooze button several times and finally got up around 8 (7 a.m. Nashville time, mind you). Called room service for a continental breakfast with pastries and coffee. It arrived in record time--no more than 15 minutes--being delivered by my butler. Simply perfect. I lingered for a while and I was out the door into the hustle and bustle of the city by 9:30.

I first hit a shop that I hadn't seen before. Perhaps it wasn't there last year. I've always wanted to visit the American Folk Art Museum, but it has odd hours. It was closed again this day but the little shop was open and enticed me in, of course. It was fabulous. I picked up some little stocking stuffers and then went next door to one of my favorite shops, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). I always enjoy their selection of books and little toys at this time of year. To my surprise, Frank Zappa's Hot Rats was playing in the shop. I sang and hummed along as I filled my hands with little goodies. It was about this time that my brother called and said he had arrived! Early!! Oh my. I wasn't expecting him until 12 and it was barely 11 a.m. Okay, so I finished up at MoMa and headed back towards 5th Avenue.

I knew it would take Jim a little while to get to the hotel from Penn Station so I made one more stop at Takashimaya, the Japanese department store on Fifth. I had never been in, and I was in for a real treat. I only made it to the main floor before deciding I better head back to the hotel and meet my brother. I found some goodies for various family members and loved ones and asked the lady to wrap them and told her I would come back to fetch them. I was then off to the St. Regis once more to meet up with my brother.


Storybook Woods said...

Akkk, I am so green with envy. You lucky girl. Clarie

Vallen said...

I've never been to NYC so I am having a little vicarious vacation. Give me more!!!!

Beth said...

You was stylin Miz Rose,,uptown girl. That room looked like something out of the movies,,wowza!!!! God I wish I was up there right now, snow and all. I miss NYC,,and I will see it at Christmas before I croak,,lol.
Luv ya!!!!

Stephanie said...

Wow! I would feel kinda like Julia Roberts there--TOTALLY out of place--but how absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the serial! Am truly enjoying it.

PEA said...

You called your brother to join you? Why didn't you call ME????? hehe Oh Rosa, look at that suite, you go girl!! WOW! I would think I had died and gone to heaven! I get excited if I get a motel room that has extra pillows! lol I've so enjoyed catching up on your news and looking at all those fabulous pictures...can't wait to hear more about your trip. xoxo



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