Whenever President Obama is in New York to attend a U.N. meeting or to fundraise for his party, he stays at the Waldorf-Astoria, the storied hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Every president since Herbert Hoover has stayed in the posh Waldorf Towers, which has a separate entrance and far more security than the hotel itself.
What does it cost to stay in the 3 bedroom, 2, 245 sq. ft. suite, which features a “dramatic entrance, a large parlor, and a dining room that seats 10? Well, when you’re booking any accommodation in the travel business, you don’t really know. The Waldorf says that depending on the season, it can be as high as $15,000 a night.
Maybe that’s why the Waldorf’s new owners, a Chinese insurance company, thought $1.95 billion was a reasonable price for the Art Deco structure – one of the highest amounts ever paid for a hotel. The new owner, Anbang Insurance Group, plans to restore the Waldorf to its former gilt and glory and possibly convert some of the residences in the towers into condos.
U.S. presidents aren’t the only heads of state that frequent the Waldorf. You know who’s in town when a national flag is unfurled at the main entrance. This begs the question—what kind of technological renovation will the new Chinese firm be installing? Will it be awkward for President Obama and whoever follows him to stay at a hotel where cyber security may be an issue?
Let’s assume the NSA can detect any nefarious devices that may be lurking in the presidential suite. And let’s hope that the Secret Service didn’t spend the night before the president’s arrival at the Bull and Bear drinking Johnnie Walker Blue.
Top Reads from The Fiscal Times: