When Saudi King Abdullah Sits Around the Hospital, He Sits AROUND the Hospital

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Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Fancy Manhattanites: If you need to undergo an inpatient medical procedure, do not try to get it done at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Because if you try to check into a posh room on their VIP floor, you will find that they are all taken: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has block-booked every single room. "The king has taken the entire luxury-treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy," grumbled a family member of one swanky patient, exiled to another wing for the duration of Abdullah's recovery from blood-clot surgery (he's also suffering from a slipped disk). Abdullah gets this kind of preferential treatment not just because he's a king, although that probably doesn't hurt. He's also a "generous donor" to the hospital. This is where the ingeniousness of NYPH/WCMC comes in. Are many of the Upper East Siders who are trying to get VIP rooms at the moment also "generous donors"? Probably. But are they as generous as the third richest royal in the world, who runs a country that makes $1 billion a day on oil exports? Not likely. Not yet, anyway. How's that angina treating you these days, Mrs. Vanderbilt?

Saudi King takes up the entire VIP wing at New York hospital [NYP]