Waldorf-Astoria Presidential Suite tour

November 8, 2012 2:39:30 PM PST
Whenever a sitting President is here in New York City, he stays in the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf.

It's been a tradition since 1931. Obama, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush, and even Hoover; When a sitting President is in our city, he stays at the Waldorf, but not just in any suite, this one sits on the 35th floor and has all of the comforts and conveniences of the White House.

With changes in the law, Presidents are no longer allowed to gift any original items to the Waldorf. Those pieces are now considered property of the people. The suite has a kitchen and four other separate bedrooms. If you want to stay in the suite, get ready to pay $10,000 a night.

Right away, you know you're at the Presidential Suite or somewhere very special. If these walls could talk, history would reveal itself. The suite is undeniably a place like no other, where any request, big or small, is fulfilled.

"Bath towels are monogrammed for each president, so when an administration changes, new sets of towels are brought in," said Jim Blauvelt, of the Waldorf-Astoria.

Blauvelt gave Eyewitness News a tour and said while this isn't the most luxurious apartment at the hotel, it's unique, designed to make sure our Commander in Chief literally feels right at home.

"He needs to feel like he's in a residence and have surroundings that are reflective of the White House, the phones, the keypads are identical to the ones at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Blauvelt said, "If number four is Michelle's office at the White House, button number four is Michelle's at the Waldorf."

Heads of State, royalty, and "A" list celebrities have also stayed here, but before you can book, you must clear a background check.

"It's important that we understand who's in residence in the apartment, because of the sensitivity to its regular occupant, so we need to understand what's happening," Blauvelt said.

Throughout the suite, you'll find pieces that were gifted to the Waldorf from President Kennedy, General McArthur's desk and a collection of White House China from President Carter.

But perhaps the most alluring thing about the suite is imagining the conversations that unfolded here, the deals that were brokered here, and when Eyewitness News asked Blauvelt for the details, he laughed and politely said "no."

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