With private butlers, grand ballrooms, views across some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and prices that make the mind boggle, Tabby Wilson steps inside some of the most extravagant suites around the globe, from New York to Monaco.
For most high-end travellers, a holiday is about blissful relaxation away from the mundanities of the everyday – so a suite with five-star service on call, intuitive design and amenities beyond one’s wildest dreams are just the ticket. The world’s most extravagant rooms reside on top of skyscrapers, in palaces and on idyllic islands, and are reserved for the one per cent, frequently hosting celebrities, dignitaries and billionaires flying under the radar.
The Empathy Suite – Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, USA
Designed by acclaimed artist Damien Hirst, the two-storey Empathy Suite is perched atop the Palms Casino Resort in the City of Sin. As you’d expect, the 836-square-metre residence is heavily focused on Hirst’s art, featuring butterfly motifs, two bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde and several of his most famous works, including Here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time which takes pride of place above his custom 13-seat bar. Not the norm in a run-of-the-mill suite, the impressive pad also boasts a salt relaxation room, two state-of-the-art media rooms that seat over 50 guests and a 24-hour butler and chauffeured car service. Though not for the faint of heart, the swankiest feature of the mini-mansion is out on the terrace, where a cantilevered Jacuzzi delivers unbeatable views straight down the Vegas strip – and with an approximate US$100,000-a-night price tag, you’d expect nothing less.
Palm Casino Resort
The Peninsula Suite – The Peninsula Shanghai, China
Panoramic views along the Bund and out to the Huangpu River are main drawing card of The Peninsula Suite at The Peninsula Shanghai, a 400-square-metre penthouse that oozes opulence. The two-storey grand dining room is an impressive indication as to the glamour of the rest of the suite, fitted out with a stunning balcony perfect for private entertaining, while the living room is home to a working fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. The master bedroom boasts a palatial marble bathroom and accompanying whirlpool bath, and those in need of yet more space have the option to connect a deluxe room to the two-bedroom suite should they so desire. Additional amenities include a fully equipped kitchen and pantry, a study and a private gym.
The Peninsula Shanghai, China
The One Above Penthouse – One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
The One Above Penthouse can be found in one of Cape Town’s most expensive area codes, rising above the city metropolis and granting guests unobstructed views of the harbour and Table Mountain. The two-storey, four-bedroom paradise is open-plan living at its best, with each floor hosting its own pool and terrace for luxuriating solo or entertaining friends and family. Though a study, library and gym are all on hand, the temperature-controlled wine cellar has to be the suite’s most attractive amenity, housing over 280 bottles and stocked at your request by the resort’s expert sommeliers.
One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
THE MURAKA – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
Undeniably one of the most Instagrammable suites on the planet, THE MURAKA at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has been relegated two expansive storeys, with the glass-encased master bedroom submerged nearly five metres below turquoise waters. This private aquarium features a 180-degree curved acrylic dome for marine life watching, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and closet. Above the waves, a private chef and 24-hour butler await residents, as well as a fitness trainer on call and spa treatments available at a moment’s notice. Reachable only by private seaplane or speedboat, this suite sets a whole new standard when it comes to privacy and seclusion.
© Justin Nicholas/Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
The Grand Riad – Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morroco
Designed to feel like an authentic medina, rooms and suites at the Royal Mansour have been replaced with traditional riads, and corridors and hallways with winding alleyways. Though each of these residences has its own unique elements, the Grand Riad is simply unmatched, with a private entrance and 1,800 square metres of Morrocan opulence enclosed within blush pink walls. Three bedrooms are dressed in sumptuous fabrics with adjoining boudoirs and marbled bathrooms, while a library and snooker room await those looking to enjoy some down time. The rooftop terrace is the crown jewel of the suite, with views stretching from the famous Koutoubia Mosque to the Atlas Mountains and a pool, lounge and cinema at guest’s disposal. The private butler is the icing on the cake, discreetly catering to guest’s every need alongside a team of staff, ensuring royal treatment.
Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morroco
The Owners Cottage – Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Hidden along the rugged coastline of Hawke’s Bay, the Owner’s Cotttage at Cape Kidnappers can sleep eight within its walls. Blending elegance with rustic touches, the comforts of home have been elevated to the eighth degree in this plush retreat, with each of the four deluxe bedrooms kitted out with their own fireplace, private balcony and ensuites, all of which have been graced with bubble-bath-worthy tubs. Temporary residents of the charming property can enjoy the spa, hot tub and infinity pool of the main lodge, or soak up the ocean views from the stone terrace or their own outdoor Jacuzzi. The experience is completed by a complimentary mini-bar, full breakfasts and gourmet dinners, which can be cooked by a chef if private in-house dining is preferred.
Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
The Mark Penthouse – The Mark Hotel, New York City, USA
The historic Mark Hotel has been a memorable part of New York City’s five-star scene for years, and after a lavish renovation in 2009, the Upper East Side property became home to one of America’s most expensive suites. The 929-square-metre The Mark Penthouse was designed by legendary French interior designer, Jacques Grange, every detail has been meticulously thought out, from the custom furniture to the living room that can transform into a full-size ballroom if need be. In addition to five bedrooms, four fireplaces, two wet bars, a conservatory and a library lounge, the penthouse’s crowning glory is the 232-square-metre terrace overlooking Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the rest of the iconic city skyline.
© Scott Frances/The Mark Hotel, USA
Extreme WOW Suite – W Brisbane, Australia
Entertainers can take that next party to new heights with a penthouse takeover at W Brisbane – the first five-star hotel to open in Brisbane City in 20 years. The expansive Extreme WOW Suite on Level 33 can be booked for exclusive long lunches or boozy dinners complete with a live DJ, Spritz Cart and a four-course plated menu – dishing up mouth-watering plates like 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder ragout pappardelle and king prawns on a bed of squid ink couscous – making for a one-of-a-kind sky-high dining experience that partygoers won’t forget any time soon. The 200-square-metre suite is big, bold and beautiful, with sleek black floors and a mirrored ceiling make for one epic dining space, and the Brisbane River and the mountains beyond serving at the stunning backdrop.
Other suites we love:
- Penthouse Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe to appreciate eccentric interior design and curated art.
- The Royal Suite at The Plaza for a lavish and quintessentially New York experience.
- The Gudilya Suite at The City Palace to live like royalty in one of the most iconic buildings in India.
- The Princess Grace Suite at Hotel de Paris in Monaco for a taste of Mediterranean glamour.
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Main image © Justin Nicholas/Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives