THE SCENIC ROUTE: Where does one stay when one is driving a Bentley in America?


THE SCENIC ROUTE: Where does one stay when one is driving a Bentley in America? In the refined Bentley Suite at the St Regis New York, of course…

Where does one stay when one is driving a Bentley in America? In the refined Bentley Suite at the St Regis New York, of course… 

New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at Sunset, USA

‘Good afternoon Mr Penwarden,’ was the greeting I received pulling up, roof down, outside the St Regis New York. Nice touch. They had obviously been told to keep an eye out for a bloke in a red Bentley convertible.

I was certainly looking forward to a drink after the drive from JFK to Midtown Manhattan. For some of us, the thought of getting behind the wheel in New York is too daunting. But, although not for the faint-hearted, I highly recommend it. The sensation of driving through the Big Apple, steam rising through the streets, the hustle and the noise – it’s perfect fuel for the senses.

The Bentley Suite at The St Regis New York

The Bentley Suite at The St Regis New York

The concierge took the keys and parked the car. While my room was given one final polish, I was invited to the hotel’s King Cole Bar for their signature Red Snapper (essentially a Bloody Mary, renamed years ago so as not to offend refined guests, such as myself). You see, I was staying in the Bentley Suite. Yes, that’s right. This 15th-floor corner space, pictured right, oozes luxury and craftsmanship. The wood used in the suite is the same as you’d find in a Bentley, so too is the leather; there are Bentley statues and models on the tables; even the curtains are trimmed with Bentley seatbelts. With a large lounge overlooking Central Park and Fifth Avenue, connected to an equally large dining room, this suite is off the dial.

After drinks and food with friends, I enjoyed a blissful sleep enveloped in the finest linen.

Since I was only staying at the St Regis for one night, it was soon time to get back behind the wheel the following morning and head three hours north, to Rhode Island.

This particular model, the Bentley Continental GTC Speed – is the most powerful in the range: six-litres waft you along the highway in ample comfort. With the roof down, B&O sound system pounding, twisting along the country roads of New England, I certainly had a smile on my face. It was hot, too, with the radio DJ telling us we were ‘hot rockin’ at 92 degrees…’ Fahrenheit, remember?

Ocean House, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is one of the last remaining grand oceanfront hotels in New England. Taylor Swift lives nearby, but I didn’t spot her. Sitting on the terrace, I enjoyed a lobster roll and a beer followed by a few hours on the beach before driving back.

The Bentley Continental GTC Speed Model

The Bentley Continental GTC Speed Model 

Holy smoke. What a trip! The Bentley GTC – one of the finest and nicest looking motor cars in the world – combined with stay in the Bentley Suite in one of the finest hotels in the world. It will be hard to conjure up a better pairing of car and hotel, but I’ll continue to drive forward with my brave crusade! @simonpenwarden

WHERE I STAYED: The Bentley Suite at The St Regis New York

Located just off Fifth Avenue in New York’s Midtown, the hotel will enthral you with it five-star elegance and with every aspect gracefully considered. Impeccable, understated service – the suite comes with butler service included > marriott.co.uk

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