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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid