What’s it like to stay in a penthouse suite in New York City?

The man in the elevator looked at me, perplexed, then repeated his question.

“What floor did you say?”

I cleared my throat.

“Penthouse,” I answered, louder this time.

He took a minute to survey my 8-year-old daughter, KoKo, and me, then pressed the button marked “PH” on the elevator panel.

As he exited on his own floor, he said, “Enjoy it.”

Oh, we would.

The penthouse was KoKo’s idea. A few weeks before we spent a mother-daughter weekend in New York City in August, she casually suggested we get a penthouse suite for the trip.

I scoffed. We are not penthouse people. And how did she even know what a penthouse was?

But then I couldn’t get the idea of it out of my head. Out of curiosity, I emailed one of our favorite New York hotels, the Time New York, which we love for its proximity to major attractions like Times Square — M&M’S World is literally around the corner, KoKo noted — its sleek decor and its historically affordable room rates. Do you all have a penthouse suite, I asked?

They did. And it just so happened to be available part of time we would be visiting.

I impulsively decided it was worth the splurge.

When the elevator doors opened to our own private floor, we were shocked.

In front of us was a three-story suite that spanned 2,000 square feet. There were two private sprawling outdoor terraces, one looking out to Times Square and the other overlooking the Hudson River. Inside, we discovered features including a marble master bath with a rainfall showerhead and oversize soaking tub, a minibar and kitchenette with access to the main terrace, a living room and a one-bedroom master bedroom with its own sauna.

Its. Own. Sauna.

KoKo couldn’t stop jumping up and down, and I couldn’t get over the fact that we got to spend the night there. Just us. With all that beautiful space.

We watched movies, ordered room service, had late-night discussions on the terrace and tested out that sauna.

Then, before we knew it, it was time to check out.

KoKo asked if we could stay there every time we visit New York.

I told her I doubt it.

But I sure hope we’ll be back someday.

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