The Pierre, one of New York City's most luxurious five-star hotels, has an elegant lobby with an entrance on Fifth Ave., directly across the street from Central Park at one of the city's most coveted addresses.
But some of the hotel's guests don't enter through the lobby. Instead they enter through a plain old entrance on the side of the building. Instead of using the elevators that come complete with their own attendants to push the buttons for guests, they ride up a service elevator to their rooms.
It's not luxury, but it's one of the most important amenities offered by The Pierre, which has become the temporary home of many a celebrity and socialite recovering from plastic surgery under the care of Dr. Robert Grant, chief of plastic surgery for the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Ali Wentworth, who recently got some work done herself, said on the "Rachel Ray Show," "The people who supposedly hadn't gotten any work done, they were saying, 'Anyway, if you do get work done you should go to Dr. so-and-so and you should book a hotel room for 10 days.' And I said 'Well what hotel?' And they said, 'Well, there's a back exit at The Pierre.'"
Dr. Grant has a partnership with the hotel, though you won't find any information about it on the hotel's web site. You just have to be in the know. And among the rich and famous, everyone knows The Pierre is the place to go when you've had a little nip or tuck.
Besides having a leading plastic surgeon on call 24 hours a day, the package includes a car service from the procedure to the hotel; a private escort to your room; extra ice, towels, and pillows to be delivered each day; in-room pedicures, manicures, and full hair care services; a masseuse on request; and pretty much anything else you can dream up -- and are willing to pay for.
Grant and the hotel will work with patients to find a room that suits their budget, but one of the most popular is the Escoffier Suite, one of the hotel's so-called Grand Suites. It's just a few steps away from the door that leads from the hotel's private entrance and comes with two bedrooms -- the master with its luxurious king-size bed, and the guest suite with two twin beds. Twin beds in a hotel room? Of course -- for the patient's private nurse.
The room itself -- with its private kitchen, Turkish marble baths, custom furnishings and Murano glass chandeliers -- is luxurious indeed, but perhaps the most luxurious part of the package Grant offers is the two people who come with it. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist, and Jacqui Stafford, stylist -- the two women, along with Grant, are known in plastic surgery circles as "the dream team." Alpert, who designed the Wellness menu at The Pierre, will show you how to eat, while Stafford will show you how to dress and act as your personal shopper to find clothes that compliment your new look.
"After surgery I have to make sure they're eating the best way they can so they heal faster and get optimal results," said Alpert, founder of B Nutritious. "Then on top of that I have to make sure they have access to all healthy foods because if the hotel or wherever they're staying doesn't have healthy food they're not going to maintain their weight loss.
"This is a luxury service we're offering here. This isn't just any hotel, this isn't just any doctor or any practice. You're getting pure luxury by working with the three of us," she said.
So how do those going under the knife make sure their secret is safe?
"You're registered at the hotel in advance. If you've asked for a nurse the nurse will meet you at the Center for Specialty Care which is just a few blocks away," said Grant. "They will come with you in the car service that's arranged and bring you to the discreet private entrance that the hotel has. The elevator is there waiting for you, you don't have to deal with anyone else, you just get whisked to your room. Everything is done in advance so all you have to do is walk out of the car and right to the room."
And for New York society, that's priceless.