Entertaining story in the Journal today about the poor bastards at Goldman Sachs in town on business who now have to stay at the Battery City Park Embassy Suites, which goes for $250 a night with a special corporate rate.
It's a far cry from the plusher digs Goldman employees used to enjoy at the Ritz-Carlton and the Carlyle. But cost-cutting and government oversight mean finding out how the other half lives.
Some of the bankers aren't happy with the switch. "No one's supposed to complain out loud, but, let's face it, we're spoiled," says one Goldman employee. "They turned us into hotel snobs."
One night recently, a dozen Goldman employees from the Chicago office were yucking it up at happy hour, which starts at 5:30 sharp. The group was huddled around three tables in a cafeterialike room overlooking the headquarters of Merrill Lynch & Co., now owned by Bank of America, drinking free Budweiser out of plastic cups and eating pretzels and tortilla chips.
Golly! Sounds good to me!
Inside Goldman, the hotel has become the butt of jokes. There are grumblings about its accommodations and a wake-up call service that blares "cock-a-doodle-do" into the telephone. For the many Goldman executives who visit New York for meetings in midtown Manhattan, the hotel's location on the far southwestern edge of the island is inconvenient.
Hmm...still, at the Embassy Suites, there's the free beer and popcorn at happy hour and a complimentary all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Not to mention a 10 percent discount at the Chevy's next-door.
Though just a mile from each other, the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park and Embassy Suites Battery Park are worlds apart. Rooms at the Ritz offer views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty; Embassy Suites rooms look out across the Hudson River, at Jersey City, N.J. Ritz guests luxuriate in 400-thread-count Frette linens made of 100% Egyptian cotton, while at the Embassy Suites guests sleep on 250-thread-count Hilton Hotel-brand sheets made of a 60/40 cotton-poly blend.
And forget free breakfast or drinks at the Ritz, which offers an $11 Irish oatmeal brûlée with berries compote in the morning and a $14 Ritz Carlton Martini (gin, muddled cucumber, mint and fresh lime juice) at night.