An estimated one million people crowd into New York’s Times Square to watch the famous countdown and ball drop during the final seconds before the start of every new year.
However, that is not the only way for you to be there and enjoy the celebratory night in person.
You can experience an exclusive party on The Knickerbocker Hotel’s St Cloud rooftop, only 150 feet (45 metres) from the iconic time ball – if you are willing to pay at least US$4,335.
The 330-room hotel, which still features its original Beaux-Arts facade, sits on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway, giving guests the Times Square experience without the crowded streets.
The original hotel was built in 1906 by Jacob Astor IV, whose family was also responsible for building several other properties in New York including the St Regis Hotel.
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Where will you be when the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve? Find yourself at the grandest ball of all, high above Times Square. Save your spot in the sky for @StCloudNYC’s party of the year by visiting the link in profile. #KnickOfTime
A post shared by The Knickerbocker (@theknicknyc) on Sep 29, 2018 at 9:47am PDT
The hotel was converted into offices in 1920 – following the start of Prohibition, when the manufacturing and sale of alcohol was banned in the United States – but reopened as a hotel under its original name, after extensive rebuilding work, in 2015.
Several historic events reportedly took place inside the original hotel, including the creation of the first-ever martini and the first use of a red velvet rope to help control dinner crowds.
However, one of the hotel’s most luxurious offerings is a rooftop experience for guests to celebrate the new year.
What spending up to US$125,000 could buy you on New Year’s Eve at the historic hotel?
You can enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration atop The Knickerbocker Hotel with a choice of three experiences: gold, platinum, or VIP box seats.
Each package includes two tickets, a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, access to the St Cloud rooftop, hors d’oeuvres, buffet, top-shelf open bar, live entertainment, party favours (including hand warmers) and a champagne toast at midnight.
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Imagine ringing in 2019 with a soirée so fabulous it is the most exclusive #FantastyGift from the prestigious #NeimanMarcus Christmas Book. Learn more at the link in profile, and then swipe through to relive some of the magical moments from last week’s sky-high celebration. Thank you to everyone who joined us for an unforgettable start to 2018. #KnickOfTime
A post shared by The Knickerbocker (@theknicknyc) on Jan 6, 2018 at 12:42pm PST
The gold package costs US$4,335 and comes with general admission to an indoor reception and free-flowing outdoor access.
For US$5,425, the platinum package earns you VIP party access, reserved seating to watch the time ball drop, “ultra premium” open bar and bottle service, plus a personal heater, waiter and blanket.
However, if you want to go all out – with a no-expense-spared experience – offering an uninterrupted view of the time ball drop, you can reserve private box seats.
A box accommodates between 12 and 25 guests and the price ranges from US$70,000 up to US$125,000.
The hotel’s rooftop also features the Club Macanudo cigar lounge.
Your guest room, however, will not feature a view of the time ball – and you have to pay in full at the time of booking. The hotel does not give refunds, either.
With a minimum two-night stay, guests can avoid the New Year’s crowds from inside the hotel, which has soundproofed windows and automated blackout curtains.
Astor, who built the original elegant hotel, died six years after its opening – along with more than 1,500 other people – when the Titanic ocean liner on which they were travelling sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912.
Rooms at the hotel cost US$3.25 per night when it first opened.
It welcomed many famous names of the early 20th century, including author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote The Great Gatsby, and John D. Rockefeller, the oil industry magnate and philanthropist.
The original entrance to the hotel’s “speakeasy” bar – reportedly frequently used by Rockefeller – can be found at the 42nd Street Times Square subway station, near track 1 of the shuttle to Grand Central.
The hotel claims it is the site where the martini was created.
The story goes that Rockefeller was served a drink by the hotel’s then-bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia, which consisted of gin, dry and sweet vermouth, citrus and orange bitters, garnished with a lemon twist.
Today you can still order the original drink at the hotel.
“What was once an annual celebration has become a global tradition, and the Knickerbocker offers guests the opportunity to experience it at the crossroads of the universe, 17 storeys above the crowd,” said Vincent Vienne, managing director of The Knickerbocker Hotel.
“There is simply no better way to ring in the New Year.”
This article originally appeared on Business Insider .