I’m lucky that I get to visit NYC often. Granted I’m usually there working, but being in the city and in the middle of the hustle energizes me. I always return from the trip with new ideas, a faster stride, and a happy belly.
I’m also lucky that I get to stay in different areas around the city with each visit, so I have a different experience every time. For this trip I had the pleasure of staying at The St. Regis New York on Fifth Avenue, just a skip away from Central Park. Talk about bespoke.
It’s old world elegance — French Beaux-Arts style — through and through. It’s classic and rich with mirrors, gold, and chandeliers at every turn. My suite had a writing desk that looked like something I once saw at Versailles, extremely plush seating, silk curtains, a marble bathroom, and a bed that feels like you’re sleeping in a cloud. When you return to your room in the evenings, you’re even greeted with a bespoke soundtrack. And, of course, the ballrooms are named after French monarchs and royal French chateaus. But what makes the St. Regis the St. Regis, and not just any other super luxury hotel, is the extraordinary butler service.
Upon arriving to your room for the first time after check-in, you’re greeted by your butler. And by butler I mean tuxedo, white gloves, amazing posture, impeccably groomed, extremely knowledgeable about the property and surroundings, and insanely attentive to your needs whatever they might be. My butlers — as I had a few during my stay — were pretty much like the “good” staff people from Downton Abbey (i.e., Mr. Carson, Mr. Bates, Anna; and not at all like that nasty O’Brien and evil Thomas). And yes, I felt like a princess in my suite.
This probably sounds silly, but what I loved most about the butler service was the complimentary garment pressing. When I travel for business, I’m usually rushed; and knowing that I’ve got business attire wrinkled up in my suitcase that needs ironing stresses me out because I have to figure out when I can fit that task in (in between meetings, social events, prepping for more meetings, taking care of the daily work at night, and trying to catch some sleep). And — this is an embarrassing story, but oh well — one time I stayed at a “luxury” hotel that didn’t have an iron and ironing board in the room because you were encouraged to use their paid pressing service. And because I had a very late check-in and an early morning the next day, I couldn’t get my clothes taken care of in enough time. (I suppose I could’ve asked the front desk to bring an iron and ironing board to me, but by that point in the night I was too tired to deal with people.) Thankfully I had a hair straightener with me, which, combined with my ingenuity, I used to help de-wrinkle my trouser pant legs and shirt sleeves. So anyway, I LOVED the garment pressing service, and it was so nice to have my butler take care of my business clothes as soon as I unpacked. It was pleasing to find freshly pressed clothes back in my closet that night after I got back from dinner. It also meant that I could sleep in for a few extra minutes the next morning.
There are other great services that the St. Regis bulters offer. Within minutes of getting your morning wake up call, your butler shows up at your door with hot tea or French pressed coffee and your newspaper of choice (mine was the New York Times). There’s also fresh fruit and bottled water available in your suite at all times. And on the coffee table sits a candy dish loaded with dark and milk chocolates. Needless to say, I finished up all the dark chocolates.
If you ever need to get a hold of your butler, there’s a “butler” button on your phone that pages your butler. And if you’re not in your room but could use butler service, the St. Regis even has an “E-butler” service so you can email your requests to your butler at anytime. All of this is 24/7, as my kind butler told me when I arrived. I felt like I was in a dream.
Maybe I enjoyed having a butler a little too much, but I think it’s nice to get super-served like this every once in a while. Here’s hoping for more butler service in the future!