One-Bedroom Suites boast plenty of space, eye-opening views, and refreshing terraces. Step into a stylish parlor with clean, simple contemporary décor, a plush sleeper sofa, and a 42-inch LCD TV, also compatible as a monitor for your laptop. Make yourself comfortable as you surf the web with complimentary High Speed Internet Access, and stow your laptop securely in the in-room safe. Enjoy a complimentary Starbucks® coffee inside the suite or on the terrace.
Our Pool Suite offers all the amenities you need to relax and enjoy your downtime, including an elegant dining table for four for enjoying private meals together. The 200-square-foot private terrace beckons with its comfortable furnishings for enjoying coffee over the morning paper or reclining with a book. The terrace, with its south-facing pond and fountain views, is divided by a three-foot gate from the hotel's seasonal outdoor sundeck, which offers passage to the indoor pool area. (450 square feet)
For privacy and spaciousness in a light-filled, modern setting, choose our Terrace Suite. Upscale amenities and entertainment options abound, and separate working desks are found in both bedroom and living room. This suite opens onto an expansive 600-square-foot terrace which is amply furnished with seating for four, ensuring generous amounts of fresh air and sunlight. (550 square feet)
The bedroom comprises a sumptuous king-size Westin Heavenly® Bed for superb sleep as well as a 32-inch LCD TV and a small sitting area, providing a private, soothing space in which to decompress. The spacious bathroom is appointed with the Heavenly® Bath for a spa-like shower experience that increases circulation, stimulates the immune system, and melts tight muscles. White Tea by Westin™ bath amenities and a plush bathrobe add bliss to your bathing routine.
Originally fitted with colonial-style furnishings, it was redecorated in a Georgian style in 1969, “to be evocative of the White House, without trying to copy it,” said Matt Zolbe, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
There’s no great original art to speak of, but the living room is graced by an upholstered rocking chair that belonged to John F. Kennedy; wall sconces donated by Richard M. Nixon; and books by Homer, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and J. K. Rowling (she stayed there). Facing the king-size bed and Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress (with 400-thread-count sheets from Anichini) is a desk owned by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who had a suite at the hotel.
When the Waldorf opened at its current site in 1931, having moved from Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, President Hoover delivered a congratulatory message live on radio from the White House. He moved in 1933 to a suite on the 34th floor of the Waldorf Towers, where he lived until his death there in 1964. Eisenhower also lived there (on the seventh floor; his wife, Mamie, was afraid of heights), from 1967 until he died two years later.
Presidents rarely stay anywhere else in New York. President Obama overnighted at the InterContinental New York Barclay across the street last May after attending a Democratic fund-raising event there, in keeping with the administration’s policy of diversity even in the choice of hotels, but he has stayed at the Waldorf.
If you pay federal taxes, rest assured that while the president and his entourage typically fill three floors of the Waldorf Towers, they don’t pay what you would.
“Someone from Des Moines might say, ‘That’s my mortgage for a month,’ but the president pays less than that,” Mr. Zolbe said. “The goal for us is, he’s the magnet that brings in the other delegations.”
When the United Nations General Assembly is in session in the fall, the hotel can play host to as many as two dozen heads of state simultaneously, he said, “and each can feel that they’re the sun around which everyone orbits.”
The only time they don’t feel that way is when they’re jockeying with 23 other entitled heads of state for an on-call elevator, which most guests don’t expect, anyway. Nor do they assume a private train will be available to beat Midtown traffic, which is another amenity the president receives for security reasons.
Riding on Metro-North near East 49th Street, you may have seen what looks like a rusted blue boxcar on a spur directly under the Waldorf. Depending on the telling, it either carried Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential automobile or is an abandoned maintenance car. The spur is accessible by a freight elevator, which opens onto 49th Street, just east of the Waldorf garage.
President Roosevelt used the spur, in part to hide his disability (a result of polio) from the public, on at least one occasion. It was Oct. 21, 1944, when he capped a full day of campaigning with a speech to the Foreign Policy Association. William D. Hassett, Roosevelt’s correspondence secretary, later recalled that the spur was built “for the accommodation of the private cars of ‘economic royalists’ ” and that night it was used “of all persons, by the arch-foe of the privileged group for whose delectation this extravagant convenience was devised.”
Even without the special train, to say you slept in the presidential suite places you in a privileged group. For eight decades, history has happened there, and the radio days of big bands and fireside chats resonate for anyone who can afford it.Continue reading the main story