The Mansion’s New Owner Inspects Her Acquisition

The Mansion restaurant was the scene of the hotel’s past and future first ladies last night. In the private dining room on the Veranda, former Mansion hotelier Caroline Rose Hunt was with chums T. Boone Pickens and Billie Lee Rippey. When asked about his being in town during the summer’s record-breaking 100-degree heat wave, T. Boone said, “How can you be out of town when you set a record?”

Across the way in the library, the luxury hotel’s new top lady, 29-year-old Sonia Cheng, was having dinner with her key executives. She is a Harvard grad and the granddaughter of New World Hospitality founder Cheng Yu-tung. She’s also in charge of the New World Hotels that just added the Mansion to its stable.

When it comes to her likes and dislikes in the luxury hotel business, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting interview with Sonia. One of her chief dislikes is bed covers. According to Sonia, “Who knows how often they wash it? What’s wrong with a simple clean, white bed sheet? Do we need a heavy useless bed cover to represent luxury?”

Instead of Paris Hilton, think Lucy Liu.

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