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 Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid