Q: Can a pleasantly plump non-supermodel have as much fun at a boutique luxury hotel as the “beautiful people” in their ads?
Let’s find out.
I arrived at The Viceroy at 3:30pm for a 3:00pm check-in. The woman at the front desk informs me that the room HAS been serviced, however, a manager is required to inspect it to make sure it’s ready. She apologizes and hands me a drink ticket which is good for The Roof, (their rooftop bar) or Kingside, their lobby bar. It’s a bright, sunny, almost too hot day, so I choose The Roof.
I hand my drink ticket to the gorgeous bartender, (could be a model or actress or both) and she informs me that it’s good for drinks UP TO $20. My margarita rings in at $19, so we’re all good. This place is EPIC, but it’s also tiny, so getting a table, even at 4:00pm on a Thursday, is no easy task. Each table is marked “reserved” but I ask the bartender what the scoop is and she tells me that I can sit at any of the tables until 5:00pm. (SWEET!) At 5:00pm, the tables then go to those who have reserved them in advance. When I ask to reserve a table for a group of friends, I’m told that there’s a $150 minimum per person and they require a credit card to hold the reservation. These tables really ARE at a premium. (Ouch!) I guess it costs big money to be a beautiful person.
The front desk calls me on my cell phone to let me know my room is ready. (How cool is that?)
There’s only one problem. The rooftop elevators are not interested in going down. After an unsuccessful exchange with one of the staff, where I explained, “Yes, I really did press the button, and no, nothing happened,” they immediately send a manager over who calls someone on an industrial walkie talkie. After a quick consult, the manager presses some button and I am magically on my way.
My room is BEYOND amazing!! The bellman rings 30 seconds after I’m in my room and brings my bag. This guy LOVES his job or should win the Oscar for most convincing performance. He shows me one of the cool features in the room, a Beats by Dre Sound System, (which I tried, but could not get to work, in spite of following the instructions they printed on a note card near the unit.)
The Bellman asks me where I’m from and pauses to listen. “I’m from the Upper West Side; so this is kind of like a ‘stay-cation.’ “So, you live in the city AND you are staying here, THAT is so cool!!” I agree. It’s a luxury to stay in a posh hotel in my home city.
At midnight, last night, I decide that I want to have a photographer take some photos of me in the room for this blog post. It will be my goofy version of the Viceroy’s official #IAmViceroy ad campaign. Why I could not have come up with this idea several days in advance is beyond me, all I know is that I need a photographer to show up and snap some good photos. I message my favorite photographer on the planet, but she is booked already, no surprise. I post a request on my Facebook page and it reads: “Need photographer who can photograph one person against an ultra fancy backdrop.” To my AMAZEMENT friends start dropping links to their photog friends and there’s one who has a website that looks great. Within one hour of posting, I have a meeting set up for 6:00pm on the following evening. I am ready to rock and roll.
The next day, the photographer, Syed Yaqeen, arrives early, (love that!) and we’re off. I explain my grandiose vision for the photo shoot—to convey the awesomeness of being a “digital nomad” (I hate this term, I’ll need to craft a new one!) and being able to work from anywhere.
I show him some of my Pinterest boards as he studies the light in the room to find the best places to shoot some of the photos. I give him some vague direction about the kind of photos I want and somehow, he nails each one of them. AMAZING.
Syed was referred by a friend in my mastermind group, so I’m at ease chatting with him. We talk about the challenges of being entrepreneurs: unsteady cashflow, big corporations that don’t pay you because they’re so big they can get away with it, insane client deadlines and the occasional insane client (of which I am not one. At least I don’t think I am).
Gabby’s book 48Hours IN…Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Global Jaunts is inspiring me to want to do more travel.
Gabby and I are launching a new endeavor called, ReVerb Retreats. These are one-of-a-kind retreats designed especially for entrepreneurs who want to offer a totally unique experience to their clients.”
The shoot is quick and painless, FOR ME, AT LEAST!!! I thank Syed for indulging all my silly requests for these shots.
And now, I’m ready to meet my husband for drinks at The Kingside lobby bar. This place looks like a cross between a 1950s American Diner and Blade Runner. There is a sleek, industrial coldness about the décor. In contrast, the bartender is cheerful and friendly.
Then we’re off to eat dinner at a place that is a New York institution, Trattoria Dell’Arte. I fear that there won’t be many places like this left in the city, where the staff knows your name and literally runs across the restaurant at full speed to grab two glasses of champagne so you can “toast the day” while you wait for your waiter to arrive at the table. The staff gathers to sing “Happy Birthday” to a woman who is 100 years old. Our server tells us how the woman was in the White House Press Room during Kennedy’s presidency and how she was a dogged reporter at a time when not many women were. (This sounds an awful lot like Helen Thomas, but I know that she passed at age 92 a few years ago, so it can’t be the same person.) There were TWO awesome kick-ass ladies like this in the world and I learned about the second one here at dinner. That’s really cool!
Our food arrives and it’s totally over the top, taste-wise and visually.
It’s BACK to the hotel where there is now a line down the block, along with the obligatory velvet rope, to wait to get up to The Roof. Glad I went in the daytime!
Checking out of the hotel is a breeze. They let me know if I stay NINE more times then I’ll get a free upgrade. Note to self: might need to raise my coaching rates (a lot!) to cover this!
MY #15SecondPitch for the Viceroy Hotel
The Viceroy made me feel like a super model, with top-notch service and amenities. Don’t miss the rooftop bar, especially if you can sneak off and check it out in the afternoon when it’s not as crowded. My room was plush and quiet and lux. Am I Viceroy? Why, YES, I think I am.