5 Stars NY: Palace of Spirits Recap

Anthony visits the New York Palace Hotel in the middle of Manhattan. It opened in 1981 and has been a standard for NYC luxury hotels. Originally it was a private home built in 1882 and the hotel is built around it. In 1974, the Helmsley picked up the property and added a 55-story tower above the original mansion.

The Villa'd Lobby connects the new tower to the old mansion. The wood railing is encased with leather to protect the wood from women's rings and fingernails. There are 870 dedicated staff and Anthony meets with Anna Marie to ask her what guest request that she worried she couldn't fulfill. Football player Drew Brees asked if he could throw a ball in the hotel, and Anna Marie sent him to the ballroom. She started at the front desk and her mother was the director of housekeeping, and there are 300 housekeepers.

Anthony goes up to see the $25,000 per night Martin Katz Jewel Suite. It has a view of the city and designed with the help of Martin Katz, one of the most exclusive jewelers in the world. The three-room 5,000 square foot suite has a jewelry décor, and is equipped with dozens of automated amenities. There's a private elevator going to the third floor and a rooftop outdoor lounge with a Jacuzzi. The room rate includes a $159,000 chauffeur-driven car to take the guest anywhere they want to go.

When Anthony examines the jewelry in cases, an alarm goes off. Richard with security comes in and explains that it's real jewelry. He tells Anthon that if a king comes there, they provide personalized service and a security team if the guest doesn't have one. The managing director, John Talbot, also came to investigate the alarm. He says that they have anywhere from 2.5 to 40 million dollars of jewel on display. Anthony gets a $2,500 ring as a gift for staying.

John explains all of the services that they provide, and then shows Anthony a trip to Rarities, the hotel's invitation-only club. He shows Anthony a keg of wine worth $100,000 and shares a tasting experience with Anthony. The manager, Rafael, makes handcrafted ice with the hotel logo inside of it. He then pours a 104-year-old rye whiskey that costs $225 per serving. John says that after they finish the bottle, there's no more of the whiskey.

Next, John takes Anthony to the hotel's Trunk Club. The club provides designer clothing to the guests, and Anthony tries on several outfits before picking one. The watch engineer, Edgar, takes Anthony to see the micro-turbines that produce electricity for the hotel. They recycle the heat in the winter time, and use it as an absorber to produce cooling in the summer. The hotel is independent of the NYC power grid, and Edgar says that the hotel is a great place.

Later, Anthony meets with Edgar again and gives him his $5,000 five-star employee super-tip. Edgar figures that his work has paid off and sys that he's going to take his family on vacation with the money. Anthony then reveals that he said his daughter Nina was coming. The hotel had a chef prepare homemade ice cream for her and they went out on the terrace to eat.

Written by Gadfly on Dec 28, 2016