Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Royal Family: the New New York Palace

While the world awaits the royal baby in London, The New York Palace has unveiled its newly renovated Royal Suite.

This palatial suite, larger than most NYC apartments, and costing more per night than most starting salaries - per year! - is how the top 1% of the 1% of the 1% live.

I got to experience this luxury for a few hours on a sweltering NYC summer night. Perched high above Madison Avenue, the subway a distant memory, I drank in all the details (plus super cold white wine).

The 3600 square foot suite has three bedrooms, three and a half baths, a dining room, living room, and sitting rooms, all on the 45th floor. There is a pantry where your staff can serve meals; we had canapes, cheese and our unfulfilled dreams.

The antique barber chair in one of the bathrooms is a great touch.

For an evening, we were all royalty.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ritzy Schvitz - Sweating at the Ritz-Carlton

Exercise can take place in a park, a cramped basement or a sun-drenched, temperature-controlled fitness center. Guess which one the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in White Plains, NY has?

The tricked out gym has everything you could ask for: state-of-the-art cardio equipment, with individual TVs and headphones, a variety of hand weights, stability balls, bosu balls and box steps, and weight machines.

There are also exercise mats, weight benches and medicine balls. And if you don't know how to use the equipment, the hotel has trainers (for a fee). I saw a woman being trained by a very competent, encouraging trainer.

I was about to exercise when my 15 year old daughter came from the pool next door.  She and her friends couldn't swim without adult supervision, so I grabbed an apple and a fruit-infused water and hydrated before working out, lounging by the pool while they swam.

Then I hit the weights.

The Ritz fitness center (Ritz Fitz?) has a wall of mirrors so you can watch your form, but you may want to orient yourself the other direction.  That way you can see outside and feel on top of the world while you sweat away.

Leave that cramped basement work out space for another day.