News / USA

Inauguration Can Be Luxurious, Privileged Experience

Washington Prepares for Obama InaugurationWashington Prepares for Obama Inauguration
x
Washington Prepares for Obama Inauguration
Washington Prepares for Obama Inauguration
Brian Padden
Most of the 700,000 visitors expected to come to Washington to witness President Barak Obama's second inauguration will spend their time waiting in long lines, braving the cold and fighting the crowds - to participate in this celebration of democracy.  But  for those who can afford it, the inauguration can be a luxurious and privileged excursion tour.

For only $57,000, two lucky people can stay at the Park Hyatt hotel’s presidential suite in Washington. It's part of a four-day inauguration package that includes personal butlers and chefs preparing some of President Obama’s favorite foods, and a closet full of Sax Fifth Avenue designer clothes to wear.  

The Hyatt’s public relations director, Renee Eisman, says the presidential inauguration brings the country’s rich and famous to Washington and high-end hotels must offer something extra to compete for their business.

“I think everyone is looking to create some buzz and to try to make these, you know, presidential packages for guests just to draw up some additional attention that this is a very busy, and sort of the Oscars time of Washington D.C.,” Eisman said.

  • A butler and cheese specialist work at the presidential suite at Washington's Park Hyatt hotel. (Park Hyatt)
  • An apple pie guests can enjoy during the inauguration at the presidential suite at Washington's Park Hyatt hotel. (Park Hyatt)
  • The living room of the presidential suite at Washington's Park Hyatt hotel. (Park Hyatt)
  • The piano and dining rooms of the presidential suite at Washington's Park Hyatt hotel. (Park Hyatt)

For $100,000, guests at the Ritz Carlton’s presidential suite will get what is considered the standard high-end package.  It includes limousine service, guided tours of historical sites and a prime reserved viewing spot for the inauguration parade at the Newseum, the journalism museum.  The package also includes a private cupcake decorating party at the gourmet Georgetown Cupcake shop.

Ritz Carlton general manager Elizabeth Mullins says there is also a public service element involved:  The hotel chefs will work with culinary students at DC Central Kitchen, an organization that feeds the homeless - to develop a special inaugural meal for their elite guests.   

“What an experience it will be for the students of the kitchen to be able to give back in this way and to learn and cook alongside our team in this very exclusive experience,”Mullins said.

President Obama’s second inauguration is not expected to draw the record crowds it did in 2008, so many of these extravagant presidential packages are still available.

Edward Berkowitz, a history professor at George Washington University, says generally speaking more rich donors are affiliated with Republicans - considered the party of business - and come out less for Democratic presidents, who are seen as more closely allied with labor unions.

“The Democrats are in power, so they’re also giving money and trying to gain favor with the Democrats but in general I think the Republicans have the better ties and I think the Republicans are more into the ‘glitterati’ sort of side of the inauguration,” Berkowitz said.

Still, the presidential inauguration is a chance to see democracy in action.  And those who can afford it can experience it in comfort and style.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid