Thursday, March 12, 2009

The horror: Goldman Sachs staffers on biz must deal with free Bud and 250-thread-count Hilton Hotel-brand sheets made of a 60/40 cotton-poly blend

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.


Jeremiah Moss said...

brilliant. it's amazing how these guys are complaining about what would be considered beyond luxury accommodations to, for example, the newly unemployed now living in a giant mud-soaked hooverville outside sacramento.

EV Grieve said...

Yeah, the Embassy Suites is $250 a night WITH the corporate discount. Not exactly a giveaway. What pricks, these GSers.

Anonymous said...

It's all relative you know. I'm sure you're both used to a certain standard of living and would be upset too if that standard was severely lowered. Oh wait, I forgot. The blogosphere only empathizes in one direction. That's why you're bloggers, not journalists.

Keep that schadenfreude in line, kids. You might bring bad karma on yourselves...

Anonymous said...

If some of the GS folks find $11 oatmeal, $14 drinks and Egyptian cotton sheets so important to their well being, they won't mind paying, right?

He who pays the fiddler calls the tune, you know. When your employer is paying, they decide where you stay. That's how it works in pretty much any other company; why would it be different for this one?

hntrnyc said...

I love how the pithiest retorts are always from anonymous contributors. Wake up, these companies benefited and collapsed because of FRAUD. Full stop. WE (even us "poor" bloggers) will all be paying for it, having never enjoyed the perks.
Welcome to how the majority of hard-working, tax paying America lives.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, always such simplistic points of view from people who have it all figured out. Last I checked, Goldman did not collapse. Only a handful have, and not necessarily due to fraud. Let me check again -- hmm, nope. Not seeing too many criminal lawsuits out there, save for guys like Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford. But what are facts to people like you hntrnyc, you've got everything figured out. Heck, maybe Obama should put you in charge so he and everyone else doesn't have to waste their time culling through the facts while trying to figure a way out of this mess. Too bad the majority of Americans don't work harder, strive to be more, get a higher education, and do all the things that would give them access to the perks others get. Perhaps then some of the jealousy and rage would subside and we could all start getting back to business.

(I will however credit you for the use of the word "pithy" which seems awfully advanced for people living in blog blog land. Fine work, dude/ette.)

Anonymous said...

Eat shit and die--work in a factory and brewery and see how your other half lived or lived off others.

Anonymous said...

"Too bad the majority of Americans don't work harder, strive to be more, get a higher education, and do all the things that would give them access to the perks others get."

Spare us the pull yourself up by the bootstraps bit. As someone once said, you can't do that when you haven't got boots. You talk as if you have no idea what the average person's life is like in the U.S.

Most working people in American do work quite hard. At jobs that don't pay very much, or offer much in the way of benefits. But they should just take advantage of higher education! That isn't a guarantee of anything, and even if it were, it's out of the reach of most people.

Anonymous said...

I used to stay at this Embassy suites when it was $400 a night, and it is a shitty hotel. Big rooms, but a shitty hotel.

The Hilton across from the WTC site is far better for the same price. Now I live the area and I would never recommed that nasty (yet huge one-bedroom styly rooms) Embassy Suites.

For the same money there are far better accomodations in midtown.

I actually lived out of the Hilton across from the WTC site (tall think black tower) for two weeks and it was okay. I spent many weekends before in that bloody Embassy Suites and nearly went mad. FYI, the complimentary breakfast consists of shit, save for the omlettes which ALWAYS have a long line.

As for the 10% discount at Chevy's, you eat there. Anyone with a soul will walk down to Samantha's and get a good meal.

Also, the Ritz Carolton is a cool ass hotel. I would love to stay there some day. The dog and I walked past it rather often.

Anonymous said...

Man, listen to you loser make excuse after excuse after excuse. Nothing is out of reach of any person in this country if they're willing to learn, work hard and do their time. If you can't realize the dream, you're just not trying hard enough. There's countless examples of people coming from nothing achieving great heights. Look at your hero, Obama, for crying out loud, and then tell me I should eat and die. You're just a fucking loser, like all the other whiner loser Americans, plain and simple. You deserve to suffer.