April 22, 2013 -- New York City is home to the most expensive hotel rooms in the country. But the price tag on some of the Big Apple's most expensive – and exclusive – hotel rooms is high enough to make even a luxury traveler's jaw drop.
There's the Royal Suite at the Palace Hotel: Currently between $15,000 and $18,000 depending on the season, but going up to between $25,000 and $35,000 once the hotel completes its $135 million property-wide renovation.
Then there's the Ty Warner Penthouse Suite at the Four Seasons. That's $45,000 per night. No, that is not a typo.
But perhaps the most iconic, over-the-top, high-priced suite is at New York's famed hotel landmark: The Plaza.
I got a rare look inside the hotel's $30,000 per night Royal Plaza Suite. And apparently, I was lucky to do so: The hotel tells me the 4,400 square foot, three-bedroom suite is almost always booked. Did I mention it's $30,000 a night?
What can you possibly get to justify paying tens of thousands of dollars a night for a place to sleep?
First, guests can only access the suite through a private elevator. No rising the normal elevator with the commoners. Although the people who book rooms at The Plaza can hardly be called riffraff.
The Royal Plaza Suite overlooks Fifth Avenue. Cynthia Scherer, director of sales and marketing, said that the experience of staying in the Royal Plaza Suite starts well before a guest arrives. A hotel guest relations employee will call the guest to find out their likes and dislikes when it comes to pretty much everything: Food, beverages, pillow type, room temperature, flower preferences – you get the idea.
There's a dining room that seats 12. And of course the suite comes with a private chef. For those who prefer to do their own cooking (um, at $30,000 per night, no way would I be doing any cooking, but O.K.) there's a state-of-the-art kitchen with Viking appliances.
The powder rooms (not called bathrooms when they cost $30,000 a night to use) have Cheryl Wagner gold-plated fixtures and the sinks are lined with The Plaza insignia. The floor is hand-laid mosaic Italian tile.
And no 4,000 square-foot hotel suite would be complete without your own private gym. The gym comes with a personal trainer at guests' request. (At these prices I would expect the trainer to burn my calories for me.)
There's also a state-of-the-art study for those who have to get some work done – after all, someone needs to pay the bill – that houses a collection of books selected by Prosper Assouline, owner of Assouline Publishing, a luxury book publisher.
There's two standard bedrooms and one master suite. Scherer said they pre-make the beds and select the pillows based on the guest's preferances. "There's really no request we can't fill," she said. Even a quick escape, it seems. The adjoining master bathroom – or salon, as it's called – has a secret panel in the wall in case guests need to make a quick exit.
While The Plaza won't name names when it comes to their rich and famous guests, I suspect that secret panel is how celebs keep their private moments private.