This $6,000-a-night fairytale hotel suite ruined budget travel for me


I am usually a budget traveler as I had to be historical if I wanted to see the world.

Until recently, I didn’t understand the appeal of luxury accommodations and scoffed at people paying thousands per night for hotel rooms. “Why would anyone spend that?” I wondered, rationalizing my frugality with the idea that a one-night stay in some luxury accommodations could fund an entire week-long vacation.

Honestly, I didn’t know what I was missing. Cue The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, in Manhattan’s Financial District. (Thompson Hotels are part of the World of Hyatt footprint.)

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Built in the late 1800s — at the same time as the Brooklyn Bridge — the property charges from $6,000 per night to stay in the rooftop Turret Penthouse East and Turret Penthouse West suites. I had the pleasure of spending 20 hours in one of them.

The experience set the bar so high that it will be hard to go back to my penny-pinching ways. This is what makes De Beekman’s penthouses so spectacular.

Ownership

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The building, at 123 Nassau St. in New York, was completed in 1883. At the time, it was Clinton Hall, which housed the Mercantile Library Association. It contained several libraries and writing rooms that Edgar Allen Poe visited. It was also the site of some of New York University’s first classes.

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It has changed hands many times over the last 130 years, but it opened in 2016 as The Beekman. Many of the original features, such as the beautiful historic atrium and many of the original tiles around it, have been carefully preserved.

For areas where the tile was too worn, The Beekman tracked down the family business that originally produced the tile and convinced it to make replacements. To protect the tile in high-traffic areas, the hotel also ordered custom floor covering that exactly resembles the tile pattern underneath.

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In addition to its 287 rooms—38 of which are suites, including the turrets—The Beekman offers three restaurants, as well as a basement nightclub that was still under construction when I was there.

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Chef Tom Colicchio’s Bar Room and Temple Court take up most of the ground floor real estate.

The former forms the basis of the breathtaking atrium and is open all day for food and drink with a distinct writer’s and speakeasy atmosphere. (Think dark colors, bookshelves, fringed lamps, and artwork that resembles Poe.)

The latter, a five course lover, is located just off The Bar Room and is only open for dinner each evening. Finally, Chef Daniel Boulud’s Le Gratin is a French bistro-style restaurant with Lyon-inspired dishes.

The room

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The Turret Penthouse rooms, which are mirror images of each other, are actually small apartments (albeit larger than many residences you’d find in New York) built on top of The Beekman. Originally designed as office spaces, they have since been converted into comfortable and well-appointed two-story loft suites with great amenities.

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After check-in, a porter will take your bags and escort you to the first of two elevators. When you reach the ninth floor, you access a second floor that takes you an additional floor for keycard access to the private entrance of the Turret Penthouses.

I stayed in the west wing. As if that wasn’t enough to give me serious ‘Beauty and the Beast’ vibes, the covered terrace leading to the suite is something straight out of a fairy tale, complete with fake wisteria and plenty of seating (often used for gatherings such as weddings or showers ).

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Once inside you get a serious “Sleep No More” vibe – dark colors that exude early 20th century decadence. There’s a bit of intrigue to it all, from the mismatched rugs and furnishings to the bright white one and a half bath found on the first floor, contrasting sharply with the rest of the dimly lit space.

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If one terrace wasn’t enough, you can escape through a side door to an outdoor terrace with city views and plenty of seating in case you and a few friends want to raid the suite’s well-stocked minibar. Room service is also available, with some fantastic small plate options for entertainment.

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The two tower suites share the outdoor space, so when both rooms are occupied, a large fake flower wall is added to split it down the middle and provide some privacy. The space can also be opened up for weddings and other events if the hosts book both suites.

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The loft area on the second floor of the suite will also amaze you. In addition to a huge (and super comfy) king-size bed, there’s a huge TV, a stand-alone bathtub (yes, me did take a bubble bath) and the actual turret, from which hangs one of the largest and most glittering chandeliers I have ever seen.

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While the actual structure was built in the 1800s and decorated to look like something from the 1920s or ’30s, modern luxury touches abound.

I loved the underfloor heating in the bathroom. While the technology was seamlessly integrated with the aesthetic, some of it proved a bit too much for me. The electric blinds were difficult to master at first; some light switches didn’t seem to control anything at all; the Chromecast from the TV downstairs wouldn’t connect; and at one point the speakers in the room started playing music that took me 10 minutes to turn off.

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However, the sheer over-the-top character of the space, the efficiency of the staff, the deliciousness of the room service items I ordered, and the gorgeous terrace spaces made me feel like an absolute princess. I also slept like a baby and had one of the best bubble baths ever the next morning. (I was even able to get a late checkout at 1pm.)

What this means for my travel behaviour

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After staying in one of the Turret Penthouses, I admit I’ll struggle to go back to the less fancy hotel rooms my budget allows.

Unfortunately, this suite at The Beekman cannot be booked on points, but other rooms and suites are available. A sampling of data in December saw standard king and queen rooms earn 29,000 points, a one-bedroom standard suite earns 44,000 points, and a one-bedroom premium corner suite earns 58,000 points. Top World of Hyatt elites, globalists, are eligible for standard suite upgrades, subject to availability.

As much as I hate to admit it, I may have gravitated to the dark side and will probably set my sights on another splurge-worthy stay, location yet to be determined.

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