The Most Luxurious Holiday Experience in NYC Costs $175,000

Leena Kim
·4 min read
Photo credit: Angela Pham
Photo credit: Angela Pham

From House Beautiful

New York City is arguably one of the world's most iconic destinations during the holiday season. There's the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the Saks Fifth Avenue light show across the street. Department stores go all out on their decorations, as do all the nicest hotels. Christmas markets line the edges of the city's great parks. It's no wonder so many of the best holiday classicsElf, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2, Die Hard—were filmed in this city.

Photo credit: Scott Frances
Photo credit: Scott Frances

But times are certainly different this year. Covid-19 will force the temporary suspensions of many crowd-luring traditions. No Alvin Ailey or Rockettes. Lincoln Center and Broadway remain dark. Strict social distance protocols are in place at the Rockefeller tree (which actually may be more of a blessing). Advance reservations required to skate at Bryant Park (again, another blessing).

For all those who couldn't bear the thought of missing out on the holiday season in New York City, but who also shudder at the idea of even socially distanced interactions with strangers, the Mark Hotel has a solution: the Penthouse Holiday Spectacular experience, for a cool $175,000. It's just a small price to pay for what could turn out to be the most extravagant—and safe—way to enjoy the holidays in New York, during a pandemic.

Photo credit: Matte Projects
Photo credit: Matte Projects

So what's included on the itinerary? First, the digs: the palatial 12,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, $75,000-a-night penthouse, which famously hosted Meghan Markle's star-studded baby shower last year, is already one of the largest and most expensive suites in the world. Your private 2,400-square-foot terrace, which overlooks Central Park and the Midtown skyline, will have been transformed into a personal ice skating rink so you don't have to fight for space with the plebs at 30 Rock. And the Nutcracker may not be on offer at Lincoln Center this year but the performers will come dance for you in the penthouse's great room.

Photo credit: The Mark Hotel
Photo credit: The Mark Hotel

Watching all the pirouettes and arabesques will surely work up your appetite. Cue the four-course holiday feast, personally prepared by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and served in your own dining room. But before you dig in, cleanse your palate with a glass of Cristal and some golden Osetra caviar.

Photo credit: Matte Projects
Photo credit: Matte Projects

Do you suddenly have a post-dinner urge to sing carols? Good thing the suite has a grand piano. A Juilliard-trained pianist will do the hard work for you. He serenades, too. Then maybe it's time for a cozy movie by the fire before bedtime. Take your pick of any holiday classic, or really whatever you want to watch, even if it's not in theaters yet. Popcorn, candy, and s'mores courtesy of Jean-Georges.

Photo credit: Scott Frances
Photo credit: Scott Frances

The next morning, if you're feeling a little guilty for having had one too many snacks the night before, call the hotel's personal trainer. He'll come up for a quick sweat session. While you're at it, ask for the massage therapist, too. You don't want to deal with sore muscles—there's still much too much to do!

Photo credit: Francesco Tonelli
Photo credit: Francesco Tonelli

Once you've fought the bloat, head down to the Frederic Fekkai salon for hair, makeup, and nails. Why? Well first of all, you've paid for it, and second, you're going to get your portrait taken by world-renowned photographer—and T&C contributor—Alexei Hay. He's shot everyone from Prince Harry to Uma Thurman, so you're in exceptionally good hands.

Finally, what's a trip to New York without some shopping? You'll get Bergdorf Goodman all to yourself after hours. Got kids? The Penthouse already has a dedicated play room full of toys and Ladurée will have stocked a cocoa and macaron cart out on the terrace. The Mark's designated nanny will babysit—and deal with the impending sugar highs—so you don't have to. (By the way your dedicated staff also includes a butler and driver.)

Now that $175,000 seems like quite a steal, doesn't it?

To book, visit themarkhotel.com. The Holiday Spectacular experience is available from December 1, 2020 onward. Three-night minimum stay.

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