OK. Now I’ve heard everything. And I say that as a former Editor of Robb Report Magazine — “The magazine for people with million-dollar taste.” I am a business marketing expert, and I know bad taste when I see it. When I worked at Robb Report, I was constantly left staring-in-the-face at all kinds of examples of wretched excess. Ways in which people could ostentatiously flaunt their dollars and, simultaneously, waste their money.
There were the million-dollar ladies’ stockings with diamond seams.
The million-dollar merry-go-round you could put in your backyard.
And the tiny genuine mink coat for the Rolls-Royce flying lady hood ornament placed on every car.
What also belongs in this category is the 90,000-sq-.ft Florida home of a billionaire that is profiled in the new film documentary The Queen of Versailles. It is just too over-the-top, with 10 kitchens and 30 bathrooms, and bigger than the White House.
A recent addition to this Hall of Shame? Last night I turned on Wealth TV to see that The Emirates Palace hotel in the United Arab Emirates features something quite extraordinary, to cater to its affluent clientele: a gold-plated ATM/vending machine that dispenses gold bars, at about $3,000 a pop. The manager of the hotel proclaimed that it was an enormously successful gimmick, as it handled dozens of transactions daily. Well-heeled travelers to the UAE, when they tire of their $17,000-per-night suites, need only to saunter downstairs to the lobby to take the ultimate “gilt trip.” The ATMs dispense gold coins and bars weighing up to eight ounces, at prices that are updated every 10 minutes based on the real-time spot price of gold.
Is this really what rich people need – to have their every need and want slavishly marketed to, in what has been called the most expensive hotel in the world?