by Danny Cohen
When the St. Regis Paris opens in early 2013, it will boast amenities garnered from the last 100 years of five star luxury hotels. “Aside from being in one of the greatest cities in the world for food,” says Martin Ulrich, Vice President of New Operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the parent company of St. Regis, “We have gone all around the world and brought the most premier services to Paris. From Dubai, the exquisite luxury of the room design. From New York, the grand lobby and expansive bar. And from Tokyo, their advanced lavatory experience.” The St. Regis Paris aims to be the greatest hotel in the world; frankly it may very well be.
This much became clear on a recent press tour. As soon as I walked into the demonstration room set up inside a warehouse, I was whisked to a world of calm and relaxation. The air in the room is flown in from the Himalayas, and the room temperature is constantly adjusted based on time of day, outside weather, and the clothes one is wearing. The beds are a mixture of spring coiled with clay, the sheets are from a 150 year old textile mill in Scotland, and the mints on the goose feather pillows are prepared by the in house chocolatier. Yet, for all its luxuries, the most fascinating part of the room is the restroom.
Upon opening the door, there is only a drain, two woven handles extending from the ceiling and two rubber tiles to prevent feet movement. An intercom panel allows for the guest to press a button, and a highly trained Japanese Fecal Excavation Crew enters the room. I was delighted by the calming music as the four person squad in dark hazmat suits entered the room. After placing my hands on the handles, my pants and undergarments were removed and placed in a secret compartment in the room. Standing naked with my arms and legs outward, the crew proceeded to gently ease the feces from my large intestine out my anus by rubbing my stomach and using a low-charged electrical stimulating wand on my colon. The excrement was collected in a customized St.Regis Tyvek medical-grade envelope to be sent to the house lab technician for analysis. The crew then used a fine spray bottle of arctic water and wetted towels (again from Scotland) to clean my anus, legs and feet of any fecal mater. Finally, with my pants back on, the faceless crew left.
Friends, I felt, for the first time in my life, truly empty. Having a grown person rub down my stomach until strong contiguous tubes of feces dropped from my anus was like nothing I had experienced since infancy. We spend the shocking, primitive and frightening experience of using the restroom all alone, and having a trained crew gave me complete pleasure. Even the phrase “going to the bathroom” sounds as if we are cutting ourselves off from the world, and this luxury service brings the world back in. I know that once the St. Regis Paris opens up in early 2013, I plan to spend a lovely evening at one of their two premier hotel restaurants, and then retire to a suite overlooking the Sene, eagerly awaiting the highly trained operatives to remove the doody from my butt. ✦