Oprah Slept Here: Outrageously Expensive Washington D.C. Hotel Suites (PHOTOS)

by Julie Wolfson Subscribe to Julie Wolfson's posts Posted Jun 14th 2011 07:30 AM



During a recent tour of the most exclusive hotel suites in Washington D.C. we learned how hotels prepare for VIP visits from world leaders, CEOs, and influential media moguls. Oprah Winfrey has made many appearances in the capital to visit the first family for the inauguration and to attend the Kennedy Center Honors. Washington D.C. is a city that knows how to welcome the queen of daytime TV, business magnates, and heads of state from around the world. The Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton offer lavish suites to pamper the powerful people who visit Washington D.C.

Prepping for VIPs: It Takes an Army...Or a Security Detail

When asked how the hotel staff prepares for the arrival of a VIP, Mandarin Oriental General Manager Amanda Hyndman leads her team to understand the specific requirements for each guest. The staff confers with their travel agent or butler to find out how the room should be prepared.

With many guests arriving from around the world, we asked Hyndman how the Mandarin Oriental handles caring for guests who speak so many different languages. The staff at the hotel represents 58 countries and many languages, so they can plan accordingly. Last year delegations from China, Thailand and the Ukraine were all met and cared for by staff members who speak their language.

Hyndman tells of times when high-level delegations have sent their security team to the kitchen to help choose a piece of meat then taste it before the meal is sent up to the room. Extreme requests have included 20 vases of gardenias, particular brands of candles, and precise food requests. Recently one musician required a specific set of ingredients for a shake that included kale, broccoli, lettuce and spirulina ready for when he checked into the hotel.

When asked how the Four Seasons prepares for VIPs, Head Concierge Javier Loureiro responds, "Things change. Needs change. Our job is to respond to the changes."

On call 24 hours a day, a hotel butler is the main point of communication between the delegation and our hotel staff. "During a VIP's visit we get very little sleep. Our job is to take care of immediate needs of the VIP at any time of day." When asked about unique requests, Loureiro adds, "Some guests are interested in fast automobiles. One man wanted the hotel to arrange a choice of four to five ultra-luxury cars parked downstairs for him to choose from."

Suzie Sims, director of diplomatic sales at The Ritz-Carlton, emphasizes the importance of a security plan. The Ritz-Carlton on 22nd Street has two entrances, required by the Secret Service, including a separate diplomatic entrance. Most teams set up cameras in the hallway and a command post.

Anything a Guest Wants, They've Got It

Some Ritz-Carlton guests have been known to reserve a connecting room to be transformed into a gym, lounge, or formal meeting room. The hotel staff has also transformed adjoining rooms into dressing areas for their butler to iron, steam, and arrange extensive wardrobes. Some guests have arrived with such a large number of suitcases delivered by moving truck, that an extra room was reserved to store the luggage.

Recently, Sims was asked by a VIP to help with a birthday surprise for a guest. Hotel staff got to work pre-dawn to quietly fill the suite with hundreds of balloons while the guest was sleeping in the next room. The staff often gets requests for specific TV channels. Sims remarks, "We bring in a cable guy to reconfigure the channels. There is always a way to make it work." If the President of France wants to watch Bravo, they will make sure the giant TV in his suite has Bravo.

The Ritz-Carlton staff represents more than 30 nationalities. "We need to speak their language and be ready to cook their food. I work closely with the ambassador's protocol office to learn how to communicate with each guest properly and be as culturally sensitive as possible. Since we have Ritz-Carlton hotels throughout the world, we reach out to our colleagues in that country for resources and recipes. We can recreate the club lounge experience from another country."

The Ritz-Carlton Suite, the Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental, and The Royal Suite at the Four Seasons were designed to entice the rich and powerful with the highest level of luxury, service, and security. Now that Oprah has wrapped up the 25 year run of her show, we may see her enjoying the posh hotels of Washington D.C. more often, unless she has already reserved the Lincoln bedroom.

Filed Under: Hotel, Luxury

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Talia T

Its really hilarious before i actually strolled down to the comments i was actually thinking the same thing and when i actually did read the comments I could not stop laughing at how we turned some local news into a political discussion when there are Forums for that .. We sit here and complain which is Cool, Vent , Rant nice.. But we are the people who constantly put these jerks in office to do things like this..now i must agree 95 % of you guys are correct with the whole what else the money could be used for and how celebrities over indulge without thinking about the less fortunate.. why not come together and do something about all the senseless spending they do and lets make them accountable for their lack of responsibility and there misuse of American funds ... and they really need to stop complaining about all the deficit that america is in.. look at where the money is spent and that will be a solution to this big controversial discussion..;0

July 03 2011 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

stop by 203 and get a bag before heading there..........

June 15 2011 at 2:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Vulgar, conspicuous consumption. While folks are struggling to hang on to their homes, people are paying - for ONE NIGHT - amounts that would / could make mortgage payments for a year! That, my friends, is what is wrong with America. Such blatant waste is indefensible no matter what your station in life.

June 14 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

So, after Obama puts everyone into a universal medical system, and then there is never enough money, so medical services are continually reduced, what do you think government officials and corporate executives will do? Do you really think that the $6,000 per night crowd will submit some form to the government requesting that they be put on the list of surgery? Of course not. The government officials and the corporate executives will still have their perks of very expensive health insurance paid for by the taxpayers and the corporations. There will be a two-tiered medical system. One for the people who will deal with the death panels and one very, very secret system of the very best for those special people who will get it all for free. The point is that Obama is not your friend.

June 14 2011 at 10:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Mega jerks spend enough money for one hotel night that could instead provide a used car for the poor to get to work. 98% of our national income goes to 2% of US citizens. Time to revolt.

June 14 2011 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

In a dead sleep, no one knows what room they're in. How many homeless could find a place to sleep for $6,000? Motel 6, leave the light on for me...

June 14 2011 at 9:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

$6000 A NIGHT?!?!?...................................Cough!........Gag!............;0)

June 14 2011 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It always amazes me that the very rich Hollywood types support liberal politics - that uses other peoples' money to pay for those who make less. Unfortunately, it doesn't affect their way of life like it does the ordinary person. So what if their taxes go up? When you're worth millions and billions....doesn't really matter.

June 14 2011 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

eeewwww thats gross. I would hate to find out I slept in the same bed that oprah slept in. YUUUCK

June 14 2011 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to okl9rea's comment

You need not worry you poor little head about that. You will not attain that station in life. How's that double - wide working out for you?

June 14 2011 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At six thou a night, it's a bit out of my range...good for the Oprahs of the world...pocket change for her, although she probably doesn't walk around with tons of cash on her. Certainly don't need digs that pricy for me to be comfortable...English works fine for me, don't need a staff that can speak in 58 languages...

June 14 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nnealj1's comment

and damn sure don't want to stay where the hired help speak mexican

June 14 2011 at 7:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply