The Royal Treatment
The St. Regis Hotel is already drop-dead gorgeous, but the new Bentley Suite on the hotel’s 15th floor, overlooking glam 5th Avenue and Central Park, puts these digs in a posh new category.
By Tara Weingarten
My Suite is Swankier Than Yours!
It’s nearly impossible to wow a jaded New Yorker. The “I’ve seen that before” crowd is thick here. But book the Bentley Suite at Manhattan’s St. Regis hotel, and watch a city slickers’ scowl fade.
The suite is imperial, rich, high design, and surprisingly understated. It’s decorated with bespoke furnishings, including a one-of-a-kind hand-made desk and credenza created in a Union Jack pattern with the same maple wood used in a Bentley. Throughout the one-bedroom suite, guests are treated to exceptional beauty and the finest creature comforts, like a champagne bar, and the St. Regis’ legendary butler service.
The Darling Of Fifth Ave
When the St. Regis hotel opened in 1904, it was the epitome of stylish living. Though situated just blocks from New York’s Central Park at the corner of 5th Ave. and 55th St., it was the embodiment of a fine Parisian hotel, with brass accents on the grand marble staircase (which was constructed for an unheard of $1 million, a fortune at the time!), intricate ceiling moldings, hand-carved wood wainscoting, and a marble lobby. It offered patrons butler service and a residential look in guestrooms. It also had something very few properties in the world had at the time: air conditioning and telephone service. The hotel’s exceptional service, perks and decor has made it the choice for visiting presidents, celebrities and artists for more than 100 years.
Bentley Parks On 5th Avenue
Those design elements are as alive as ever throughout the hotel. Original wainscoting has been retained, crown moldings are everywhere, and the brass is shiny and sparkling, with a deep golden luster only time can bring. In the hotel’s bar, a delightful original Maxfield Parish painting of Old King Cole hangs and is recently restored after 40 years of enduring a cigarette smoke haze. Indeed, the patina of The St. Regis in Manhattan is superb. It is an isle of calm and beauty in a sea of fabulous urban chaos just outside its pair of polished wood revolving doors.
Take the elevator up to the 15th floor, where the Bentley Suite’s painted lacquer double doors are front and center. The grand entryway is carpeted in the same leather that adorns all Bentleys. A carbon fiber-framed mirror hangs on the foyer’s wall, whose surface is diamond-tufted cream-colored leather, again, like a hand-crafted Bentley interior. Immediately, there’s a new car smell! Seriously.
The Bentley Suite is a creative expansion on the style, ennui and purpose of this elegant British marque, which has carried members of the Royal family around London for decades. But the Suite, like the car itself, is no throwback. Contemporary lines are everywhere, especially in the suite’s dining room, which wears an extraordinary emerald-cut crystal chandelier of three simple inter-connected rings, like three gorgeous wedding bands linked together. The dining room’s original wainscoting is painted in shiny black, while the walls are a soothing and rich cream color. Manhattan regency. Against one wall, an array of Breitling clocks keep time in New York, London, Moscow, and Riyadh. And a flat-screen television is there to allow the fellows a room in which to enjoy sports, without bothering the ladies in the living room, who are likely hitting the Champagne bar! For a touch of whimsey, the suite’s curtains are lines with seat belts. Funny!
Take a Ride Through The Park
Some say it’s imperative to take a carriage ride through Central Park. The St. Regis does it one better. Guests of the Bentley Suite have access to the hotel’s very own chauffeur-driven Bentley Mulsanne. Take a spin through the park, or anywhere in a 10-block radius of the hotel, included in the price of the suite. Oh, yes, the price. Get ready for it….$9,500 per night. And for those traveling with family and friends, an additional adjoining suite, with its own bedroom, living room and two baths, can be added for $1,000/night. Truly imperial living in modern-day Manhattan, for those few who can and are willing to splurge on a dream.