Behind the Scenes at the Waldorf Astoria's Posh Presidential Suite

Whenever the president or first lady is in residence, personally monogrammed towels are placed in the master bathroom. Even the phones can be set up to identically match the White House phones. If the second button on the left in the White House calls the first lady, so will the same button at the presidential suite.

From time to time there are even multiple presidents in the hotel.

Take one single day back in 1963: President Kennedy and former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Hoover were all honored at separate events, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor arrived at their U.S. home at The Waldorf Towers and then Vice President (soon to become president) Lyndon Johnson moved in, which also happened to already be the home to then former vice president Nixon (before he became president.)

Other past guests include: Former French President Charles de Gaulle, Israel's David Ben-Gurion, Romani's Nicolae Ceausescu and the Soviet Union's Nikita Khruschev. One floor away from the presidential suite is the permanent residence for the American ambassador to the United Nations.

While the hotel has in the past talked about the suite, the Waldorf refused to comment for this story.

"We take pride in the fact that every United States President since Herbert Hoover has called The Waldorf-Astoria home when in New York City. Yet in keeping with our long-standing tradition of discretion, we will have no comment on particular Presidential visits. We consider ourselves host to the office," said Matt Zolbe, director of sales and marketing for the hotel.

While the presidential suite goes for $7,000 a night -- the White House usually negotiates a government discount at hotels -- his presence in the hotel is worth a lot more to the Waldorf in marketing.

Not just anybody can stay in the room. The hotel does special security checks on an unknown guest attempting to book the presidential suite and if you don't quite fit the room's profile, they might deny it from you just to keep up appearances.

Even if you do manage to get a key to the room, you might be kicked out at a moment's notice. If the president makes a last-second trip to New York, the room is his, no matter what. (The Waldorf will find you another suite, just not as presidential.)

What About the Ritz, Four Seasons?

So why in a city with two Ritz Carltons, a Four Seasons, Peninsula, St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental, as well as local favorites, such as The Plaza, Carlyle and Pierre, does the president always pick the Waldorf-Astoria?

Some say it has to do with the experience of the staff, others say it is because of the hotel's unique design. The Waldorf is one of the few New York hotels to have a driveway that goes under the building. In hotels without such drives, the Secret Service typically puts up a tent. But having this extra layer of security can't hurt.

The hotel also used to have its own underground train platform that connected to the nearby Grand Central Terminal. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt could reportedly be driven in his car right off the train and straight into the hotel's freight elevator.

The Waldorf isn't the only hotel to host world leaders this week.

Over at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, there are several heads of state getting some shut-eye, although the hotel wouldn't say how many or who they are. Several stay there each year since the 7-year-old hotel opened, according to Cynthia Chung whose job is dedicated to serving the visiting dignitaries.

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