Death Checks In To Luxury Suite Of Four Seasons
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
A 39-year-old man visiting from California was mysteriously found dead on the 40th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown after a friend reported him missing yesterday morning.
The suite where the man was found – in a hotel where guests have included Demi Moore, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Caine – is usually priced at $1,750 a night.
And, as a tribute either to the unflappable customer service that characterizes a AAA five-diamond hotel or to the seen-it-all attitude of its sophisticated clientele, life in the lobby pretty much went on as usual yesterday, notwithstanding the death in the guest room above.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” a guest visiting from San Diego, Mark Scher, said. “It doesn’t affect me. You think they’re planting poison here? It’s a pretty classy place.”
Nothing seemed amiss yesterday afternoon as a line of guests waited to check-in to the hotel on East 57th Street, where the least-expensive room lists for $595 a night.
Hotel staff discovered the body around 8:30 a.m., prompted by a concerned friend who couldn’t reach him. He was alone in the room, and lying in bed when emergency responders arrived. They pronounced him dead at the scene. Police said there were no visible signs of trauma and no other details to shed light on the circumstances of his death.
Police said there were no signs of foul play, and an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Police declined to identify the man until they can confirm he did not check-in under a false name or pay for his room with a fake credit card.
In an attempt to protect the privacy of guests, hotel managers provided precious few details about the incident. Hotel staff would not provide details about the deceased man’s room or discuss whether he had ordered room service.
A call to the hotel’s reservation line indicated his room, an Executive Suite, is one of 38 exclusive suites with views of Central Park. Outfitted with a living room and a master bedroom with a kingsized bed, the suite costs $1,750 a night.
“Our sympathy goes out to the family of the deceased. We are fully cooperating with the authorities,” a hotel manager, Dirk Burghartz, said. “At this time, we can’t speculate on anything that happened. We are committed to the privacy of our guests.”
So much so, apparently, that news of the death hadn’t reached several uniformed staff members at the 364-room hotel. “Oh my God, are you for real?” one employee, who declined to be named, asked.
Another employee, who said he had never heard of a guest dying at the hotel in the dozen years he’s worked there, was surprised he didn’t hear “a buzz around this sort of thing.”
If there was a buzz, it was among guests dining at the hotel’s chic TY Lounge, where martinis cost $20 and a portion of caviar is $250.
“Things happen,” one woman, toting shopping bags from nearby Madison Avenue boutiques, said.
“People die…. This doesn’t surprise me, I’m a doctor,” a man who was punching numbers into his cell phone said without looking up.