Listen, there's luxury, and there's economy, and then there's outright outrageous—and this weekend's New York Times has a round-up of that sector, along with some thoughts about what happened to the middle.
The article features luxury suites, which are proliferating in hotels around the world because, simply, the rich have, as the saying goes, gotten richer, and are willing to spend the money because...because they can. Right up to the $75,000-a-night suite shown above, at Manhattan's Mark Hotel.
We're talking penthouse, here, of course. Five bedrooms, 5.5 baths, living room, dining room, foyer, eat-in kitchen, a terrace that runs around 3 sides of the building, "furnishings of ebony, sycamore and nickel, fine Italian linens and bedding by Quagliotti"—all for only 1-1/2 times the U.S. median annual household income for each night.
Of course that's extreme even for some of the uber-rich, so the Times also lists a number of super-luxury suites around the world for prices from $20,000 up and even a few for much less. There's one for only $2000 a night in Paris, with a terrace view of Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower.
Industry experts interviewed by the Times pointed out that luxury and economy are the two thriving segments of the hotel industry; in the words of one hotel industry analyst: “Our political and economical evolution are literally tied to the hotel industry." When the middle class was rising, so were middle-tier hotels. “Now as we hollow out in the middle,” he said, “you effectively have lodging doing very well at the high end or bottom.”
For more gorgeous (and distressing) pictures and details from the Times, click HERE
Photo above: Mark Hotel website