It’s a Friday in August, and a full nine days before the start of the first of the two presidential nominating conventions. It’s also apparently the right day for some shameless and extravagant election-season self-promotion. The attention-getting missive arrived from a luxury West End hotel, the Park Hyatt. Since we got it twice, and our colleagues got it, too, we assume every journalist within a 50-mile radius received the same promotional announcement.
Simply put: The Park Hyatt is offering a perk-packed four-night stay during the 2013 inauguration for a lottery winner’s all-inclusive rate of $57,000. So it’s going to be that kind of inauguration, is it?
Here’s what the $57,000 gets:
• The hotel’s presidential suite (bedroom, living room, sitting area, grand piano, and “bath butler”) from January 18 to January 22
• A “welcome” magnum of the hotel’s signature Cabernet Franc wine
• One hotel cheese tasting for up to 12 people
• Late checkout on the 22nd (phew!)
• At bedtime, warm apple pie from the hotel’s restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern
• A set of hardcover books “highlighting American crafts, heritage, and art”
• A collection of photography from Park Hyatt hotels worldwide
• Chauffeured airport transfers
• Personal shopping assistance from Saks Fifth Avenue
• A one-night-only five-course dinner for 12 at the “chef’s table” at Blue Duck Tavern, “based on availability”
• Daily breakfast in the room or the restaurant
• A Kennedy Center backstage tour and box seats for two for a National Symphony Orchestra performance
• The hotel will make a “minimum” $500 contribution to the USO
To gain a little perspective, we called the Inn of Rosslyn. You know it. It’s on Route 50, just across the Roosevelt Bridge, formerly known as the Route 50 Motel. We asked what the room rate there would be during the inauguration. The friendly desk clerk, Cece, told us: $189 a night. Alas, that does not include a bath butler.