Ten of the world's most expensive hotel suites
Tens of thousands of dollars may seem like a hefty rate for a single night’s stay. But when it comes to some suites, the price may be right. Take the $US50,000-per-night ($A62,750) Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, for instance. The sprawling suite is a veritable palace in the sky, wrapping 360 degrees around the top floor of the I.M. Pei–designed hotel. It features such jaw-dropping amenities as a private spa with an onyx-clad chromotherapy tub, a personal fitness centre, and a Bösendorfer baby grand piano — all for just two lucky (and very wealthy) guests.
And believe it or not, the Ty Warner Penthouse isn’t the world’s most expensive suite — it’s shy of that distinction by about $US25,000 ($A31,300).
Here, we take a look at 11 penthouses, signature suites, and hotel apartments around the globe — including the world’s most expensive, located in Geneva. Featuring plush perks like chauffeured Rolls-Royces, dedicated butlers, private movie theaters, and in-room spas, these over-the-top accommodations might just be worth every penny.
The Private Apartment, Courchevel, France
Behind the fairy-tale façade of the French Alps’ Hôtel Les Airelles lie dazzling interiors inspired by Empress Elizabeth of Austria, who epitomised 19th-century Austro-Hungarian glitz and glam. Spend the night at the height of it all in the 550-square-metre penthouse Private Apartment, located on the hotel’s top floor and boasting panoramic views over the snowy peaks of the Trois Vallées.
The penthouse comes with four bedrooms — each with its own dressing room, tub, and steam shower — plus a fireplace-equipped living room, a private screening room, and a personal spa outfitted with sensory showers, an ice fountain, and a glass-walled sauna. A dedicated butler mixes cocktails at the private bar and serves guests while they soak up the stunning views on the expansive terrace or in the outdoor hot tub. One caveat: Les Airelles opens for the season on December 17, so you’ll have to wait until winter to fulfill this winter wonderland fantasy.
Chairman’s Villa Penthouse, Melbourne, Australia
It might be hard to resist the urge to run (or even bike) around the massive 38th-floor Chairman’s Villa Penthouse, spread over nearly 1020-square-metre in Melbourne’s crown jewel of a hotel, the Crown Tower. “Oversized” is the operative word here, from the armchairs and extra-large custom mattresses to the dining room with seating for 14 and the massive flat-screen television tucked behind works of art from the high-valued collection. Impeccable furnishings and a geometric, retro-inspired design help set the elegant tone, while a study, massage room, and gym ensure you’ll never want to leave. But it’s worth taking a break from all that over-the-top luxury to take advantage of the hotel’s many amenities, which include a spa, a casino, and gourmet dining from world-class names like Nobu, Heston Blumenthal, and Neil Perry.
Ty Warner Penthouse, New York City
In 1993, when renowned architect I.M. Pei built his gleaming 52-story tower on 57th Street, budgetary restrictions prevented him from creating the penthouse he had envisioned for the top floor. But when Beanie Babies billionaire Ty Warner purchased the Four Seasons Hotel New York in 1999, the sky suddenly became the limit (literally). Pei came out of retirement, along with interior designer Peter Marino and Warner himself, and spent 7 years — and about $US50 million ($A63.75 million) — crafting the award-winning, 400-square-metre space that today claims to be the most expensive one-bedroom suite in North America.
Four cantilevered glass balconies and walls of floor-to-ceiling windows put the 360-degree views front and center, while the interiors more than hold their own with details like hand-lacquered walls, a 1.2-metre-tall chandelier, bespoke fabrics, and decorative pieces picked up by Warner on his world travels. Along with the master bedroom — featuring a Thai silk canopy bed and Central Park views — there’s the master bath with an onyx-clad chromotherapy tub and steam-jet shower; a Zen Room, with indoor waterfall and South African green-granite walls; a private spa, outfitted with fitness equipment and serene lounging spaces; and an amazing library with cathedral ceilings, a skylight, a gilded bronze Lalanne chandelier, and a Bösendorfer baby grand piano.
In addition to living amid such luxury, guests enjoy such services as exclusive access to a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, a personal trainer, spa therapists, and a dedicated Guest Relations manager.
The Katara Suite, Milan, Italy
First opened in 1932, the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel has been recently reimagined by noted designer Marco Piva, who injected some contemporary elegance into the belle-époque interiors. That signature style is evident in the sumptuous Katara Royal Suite, which, at nearly 1020 square metre, is the largest in Italy. Guests arrive at the four-bedroom suite via private elevator and enjoy a spacious meeting room, private spa, and hot tub equipped with a chromotherapy shower. Of the two terraces, one offers seating for up to 12 (meals can be prepared by personal chefs in the kitchenette outfitted with French crystal and Limoges porcelain), while the other boasts a solarium. Enjoy 24-hour butler service and airport transfers and shopping trips in your own chauffered Maserati Quattroporte.
The Boulevard Penthouses, Las Vegas
Leave it to Sin City to top even the most expensive suite with a collection of mysterious penthouses that aren’t just unlisted — they’re by invitation only. Of course, that secret price tag only makes these accommodations even more alluring, as does their location on the top four floors of the Boulevard Tower. Created by a trio of fabulous designers including New York’s acclaimed guru of hospitality Adam D. Tihany, each suite comes with skyline views, soaring ceilings, notable artwork, and unique design touches like a life-size Pegasus statue, a hand-carved marble bathtub, or a human-size birdcage (complete with swing, of course). Guests of these accommodations enjoy a host of extra perks, the most exclusive of which is access to the hotel’s new Reserve, a private gaming salon with a $US1 million ($A1.25) minimum buy-in.
While we don’t know for sure how much these spectacular suites cost per night, it’s safe to assume they trump the Cosmopolitan’s other collection of extravagant rooms, the $US25,000-per-night ($A31,300) Penthouse Suites. Located on the hotel’s 70th floor, these accommodations are pretty spectacular on their own, with private chef’s kitchens, hot tubs, and sleek Palm Springs–inspired, mid-century modern design.
Royal Penthouse Suite, Geneva, Switzerland
Gather 23 of your nearest and dearest for a stay in this 12-bedroom, 12-bathroom Swiss penthouse, one of the largest in the world and — at $US75,000 ($A94,100) per night — surely the most expensive. Take a private elevator up to the Hotel President Wilson’s top level to access the full-floor suite, whose overnight guests have included a long list of celebrities and heads of state. Along with those bedrooms and marble bathrooms (the latter outfitted with Hermès bath products), facilities include a private fitness center, a salon, a boardroom, and a security room. Providing ample entertainment throughout are a Brunswick billiards table, a Steinway grand piano, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a rare-book library, and a 103-inch television — one of only three in the world to be available in a hotel room. You’ll also enjoy access to a helipad; the services of a private butler, chef, and assistant; and an 1,672-square-metre terrace overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps.
The Apartment, London
There are plenty of reasons to visit London’s discreet Connaught hotel, from the new Jean-Georges at the Connaught restaurant to the city’s only Aman Spa. Our favourite reason, however, is the swanky Apartment, the property’s stunning, light-filled penthouse designed by late interior designer David Collins in a palette of bright blues and whites. Past the elegant living rooms — equipped with double-height ceilings, a wood-burning marble fireplace, and a well-stocked library — lie two bedrooms (the master with a four-poster bed), a dining room with seating for eight, and a pantry attended by your 24-hour butler. Take in views of Mayfair from the wraparound balcony, and express your inner artist by making use of the in-suite easel and art supplies. Guests in need of more space can add on a third bedroom or take the entire sixth floor to create a nine-bedroom suite.
Royal Suite, Paris
French Regency–style furnishings, beautiful antiques, and silks and damasks in rich tones of purple and red give this top City of Light suite its gilded name. Located on the fifth floor of Paris’s eight-story Hotel Plaza Athénée, the suite boasts panoramic views that stretch along Avenue Montaigne to the Eiffel Tower, plus private balconies from which to enjoy them. Inside, there are two master bedrooms (each with a sitting area) plus two additional bedrooms, four bathrooms stocked with bespoke amenities, two lavish living rooms, a separate dining room, and a kitchen. Take it all in while sipping a welcome bottle of Krug and watching one of the nine TVs (including two 85-inch Bang & Olufsen flat-screens in the master bedrooms) or relaxing in the hot tub and steam room. Suite guests also enjoy complimentary airport transfers and — particularly priceless for high-profile celebrities and heads of state — dedicated CCTV security monitoring of all entrances.
Royal Suite, Central Park
While all guests of the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park enjoy prime views of Manhattan’s iconic green space just across the street, those who check in to the 184-square-metre Royal Suite get vistas on a whole other level — the 22nd level, to be exact. Take in panoramas all across Central Park from the living room (equipped with a telescope for a closer look), two bedrooms, and dining room, which can seat eight for a private meal. Other perks include Apery bath amenities, marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, soundproof windows, and Bang & Olufsen sound systems. Royal Suite guests also enjoy complimentary access to the Club Lounge, where all-day snacks and drinks and a dedicated concierge add to the leafy views.
Penthouse Suite, Sardinia, Italy
Located in Sardinia’s scenic Porto Cervo, the 100-room Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel is a favourite with celebrities, the international jet set, and guests looking to be part of a lively scene. When you’re done socialising, retreat to the butler-attended Penthouse Suite, where just over $US40,000 ($A50,200) per night will get you a host of cushy perks. Decorated in a colourful and whimsical fashion with nods to Sardinian artisan craft traditions, the 250-square-metre haven features three bedrooms and bathrooms (each with a hot tub), two living rooms, and a private gym, steam room, and solarium. With views of the glittering Costa Smerelda, the suite’s terraces, totaling nearly 250 square metre, include a large private swimming pool, multiple balconies, and an alfresco dining area with seating for eight — the perfect place to enjoy local dishes paired with a rare label from the suite’s dedicated wine cellar.