The Bourgeois Experience of Hotel du Pont
Updated: Jan 3, 2019
I had the luxury of staying at #HotelduPont for 5 days, 4 nights for a leadership conference not just once but TWICE.
#RandomHistory: The intention behind creating this hotel was to serve as a prestigious hotel in Wilmington, Delaware. To level up among the finest European and New York City hotels, this hotel served as the financial and social center for the Wilmington elite. It took 18 French and Italian craftsmen more than two years to build this hotel.
When I think bougie, this place comes to mind. Everything from the interior architecture to the layout of the rooms had such impeccable detail. There were even bathrobes in the room with the DuPont logo. I did not think my room could get better, but the second time around, I had a better set up than the first! Here was the interior of my room:
Even for simple things like ice (which most hotels would have a machine for on each floor), I was told to just request it through room service. If that is not quality service, I am not sure what is. Even the elevator floor felt..elevated (excuse my pun LOL):
I felt #bougie on ALL levels.
To entertain this bougie side, I decided to experience some of the events the hotel has to offer:
1. Afternoon Tea:
I did not discover the #afternoontea until I googled what the hotel had to offer. I had never done one before and it was the hotel's highlight. I made a last minute reservation on the same day and I had to nearly beg them on the phone. However, I was able to convince them. Typically, you need to reserve at least 24 hours in advance.
The first thing I am presented with is this menu featuring etiquette rules and a list of items part of this tea. At first, I thought I had to choose from each section. It was not until a tall tray of delectable treats came to my table that I realized that afternoon tea is not only a dinner of desserts, but a leisurely affair as well.
The afternoon tea cost $33. However, you get your money's worth! Look at all of this deliciousness. The epic part of this occasion was the fact that everything was pumpkin themed (since it was fall). Everything from the scones to the cakes to the whip cream had a hint of pumpkin spice.
For $33, you are paying for the sandwiches, desserts, and some really strong tea but you are also paying for the ambiance.
2. Taping of the Price is Right:
This, right here, is how I felt finding out there was a
Price is Right taping happening in Delaware.
How I found out about this was out of sheer luck. I was having a conversation with a restaurant cashier who informed me that the highlight of Delaware's upcoming weekend was the taping of the #PriceisRight. Repeat that again. Wait, what!?! And so of course I googled this and verified it was true. I knew I had to find a way to get a ticket for this event. I found out that not only was the taping in Wilmington, but it was also being held at the same hotel I was staying in!
On the day of the taping of the Price is Right, the lobby was crowded as there was an opportunity to become a contestant. People took full advantage.
This being LITERALLY the most talked about event in this city/town (depending on your experiences of a city), people came out in droves and dressed all out for this taping. My colleagues and I later regretted we did not rock our matching school gear to this taping!
To be an audience member, you had to purchase tickets ahead of time. It was $50 that was well worth it if:
1. You are a total nerd
2. Love the Price is Right
3. Love Jerry Springer (he was hosting it that day) and/or
4. You want to be part of an adult turn up affair --> you could buy drinks to sip on while you watched. They also livened people up with music beforehand.
This is what game show + drinks leads to!
ALL of the above applied to me. Not everyday do you get to chant, "Jerry, Jerry," especially if it is not a Jerry Springer Show. Also, not every day do you get to watch Jerry Springer impersonate Elvis Presley or slow dance with a woman...HAHAHA.
3. Broadway Show:
A very cool feature about the hotel is that it is attached to an elegant Victorian theater called The Playhouse on Rodney Square. It hosts national touring productions of Broadway shows.
#RandomHistory: It is considered to be the oldest legitimate, continually operating theatre in the country, formerly known as the DuPont Playhouse. The theatre was built to bring business so Broadway shows can hold tryouts in Wilmington instead of Philadelphia and New Haven. It also was built to serve as a space for local fundraising shows. The Playhouse was built in 150 days for almost $125, 000 for opening night on October 15, 1913. In its first year, orchestra seats were worth $2.50 while balcony seats were worth 25 cents!
I was lucky that the second time I stayed at Hotel du Pont, there was a #Broadwaymusical playing: Pippin. It was a great time for me to experience Broadway on a non-New York stage. I lucked out because I showed up 20 minutes into the show and was able to convince the ticket seller to sell me a ticket at a discounted price and get an orchestra seat, as well! It was well worth the last minute purchase. Considering the small stage, the actors made the most use of it. Of course, I had extra pride for one of the stars of the show--a black female. She killed it with her dance moves and her voice.
The best part was when it was over, I was able to go straight to my hotel room. One thing I will say that because of the elite experience that the hotel provides, you did not really see much diversity in the audience :-/. Most audience members were white and elderly.