As we started up our supercars in front of the Waldorf Astoria New York, the roar of the engines echoed down Park Avenue. Crowds gathered along the sidewalk ogling the vehicles. One father asked if his son could sit in the passenger seat for a photo op. We looked like we were part of an exotic racing club going on a city rally. But in fact, we were participating in the new Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences, available to guests at 12 of the brand's 26 hotels and resorts across North America, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.
For $999 per couple (excluding accommodations), we alternated driving a McLaren MP4-12C, a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Lamborghini Murcielago out of Manhattan and on to a 140-mile route of winding roads in New Jersey and Westchester. In the lead car, a Maserati Ghibli S, was acclaimed Belgian race car driver and two-time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, Didier Theys, who monitored our route for traffic (and police radar!) and directed us via walkie-talkie to get the most out of our three-hour excursion. Theys mapped out the perfect amount of seat time for each driver to experience all three cars in the rotation, plus enjoy one leg of the drive beside him in the Maserati for the opportunity to ask questions and work on driving skills.
While hotel driving experiences are a spreading trend, the Waldorf Astoria's program surpasses any other we've tried, with its unique opportunity to compare three exotic supercars side-by-side while being instructed by a professional race car driver. It's the ultimate adrenaline rush for anyone who has wanted to get behind the wheel of a supercar for more than just a spin around the block.
From $999 for a three-hour experience featuring new models from McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini, and guidance from a top professional driver. To book a package at one of the locations below, visit waldorfastoria.com.
NORTH AMERICA—Featuring Dider Theys
Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
October 30–November 1, 2015; November 6–8, 2015; November 20–22, 2015; December 11–13, 2015
Boca Raton, Florida: Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
July 11–13, 2015; August 6–8, 2015; December 18–20, 2015
Palm Springs, California: La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
October 16–18, 2015; October 23–25, 2015; November 13–15, 2015; December 4–6, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana: The Roosevelt, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
June 12–14, 2015; September 11–13, 2015; October 9–11, 2015
Chicago, Illinois: Waldorf Astoria Chicago
June 4–6, 2015; September 4–6, 2015
Park City, Utah: Waldorf Astoria Park City
June 19–21, 2015; July 17–19, 2015
EUROPE—Featuring Vanina Ickx
Rome, Italy: Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
June 12–14, 2015; July 10–12, 2015; September 4–6, 2015
Versailles, France: Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
May 15–17, 2015; June 26–28, 2015; July 17–19, 2015; September 25–27, 2015
Berlin, Germany: Waldorf Astoria Berlin
May 22 – 24, 2015; July 23–25, 2015; August 21–23, 2015; September 18–20, 2015
Edinburgh, Scotland: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh–The Caledonian
May 29–31, 2015; June 5–7, 2015
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—Featuring Eric Van De Poele
Dubai, UAE: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
November 6–8, 2015; November 20–22, 2015; December 4–6, 2015
Ras al Khaimah, UAE: Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah
October 30–November 1, 2015; November 13–15, 2015; November 27–29, 2015