The World’s Most Baller Penthouses


Ever wanted to know how the folks on the top floor live? Hotels take their presidential suites very seriously and these leading houses of slumber boast the most lavish and palatial playpens around.

There are hotel rooms and then there are hotel rooms, where any self-respecting house of slumber spends a little more time and money to make the wealthiest of us feel at home when on the road. From luxury branded toiletries and private cinemas to bespoke Michelin-starred dining, discrete butlers and views to kill for, the world’s top presidential suites may come in many different forms but all have one thing in common – that your every whim is provided for.


La Villa de Stephen

The 13, Macau

The most expensive suite at what is already slated to be the most expensive hotel in the world (if it opens – the latest opening date of April 1st has come and gone)), with each of the 200 multi-level villas costing over US$7 million to build, the 30,000sqft La Villa de Stephen promises to reset the benchmark for luxury in the Vegas of the East. This regal space is expected to offer jet-set millionaires headed to the tables of Macau 24-hour butler service, a custom art collection, a marble lined bathroom with Roman-styled bath (with enough room for a few additional friends), and access to a personal Rolls-Royce Phantom and driver for the duration of their stay. In addition to uber-luxurious guest rooms, the hotel promises Michelin-starred dining, with the first outlet of L’Ambroisie outside of Paris, and an invitation-only L’Atelier offering couture, bespoke and limited edition products from selected major luxury brands.


The Grand Penthouse

The Mark, New York

With an eye-watering price tag of up to US$100,000 per night, The Mark’s Grand Penthouse (also known as The Mark Five Bedroom Terrace Suite, but that’s not exactly catchy) at the Big Apple icon was designed by French interiors guru Jacques Grange as a castle in the sky and the ultimate residence for the travelling billionaire. At 1,115sqm, the suite is spread across the top two floors of the hotel and includes five bedrooms with custom furniture, a stately dining room with Central Park views, a grand piano, an exclusive room service menu by chef Jean-Georges, and a 2,500sqft private terrace. Be sure to leave time to get your ultimate cut in the in-suite salon by Frédéric Fekkai Salon and pick out a new look thanks to round-the-clock suit tailoring from Bergdorf Goodman.


Royal Penthouse Suite

Hotel President Wilson in Geneva

You might not think of sleepy Geneva when you think of one of the world’s leading penthouse suites, but those visiting their fat Swiss bank accounts need stylish digs and the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson does the job. A favourite with travelling dignitaries, the suite has hosted the who’s who of power brokers, from Clinton to Gates, and spans the entire eighth floor of the hotel. At 18,000sqft, the suite boasts 12 bedrooms (ideal for slumber parties), an executive boardroom, a private terrace and chef, its own helicopter pad, and, get this, a panic room, all for US$59,000 per night.


Shangri-La Suite

Shangri-La Bosporus, Istanbul

One of the city’s newest luxury enclaves, the infinitely-elegant Shangri-La Bosphorus brings touches of the Orient to the gates of Europe. A short walk from Dolmabahce Palace and the boutiques of Nisantasi, the hotel is home to the expansive, regal Shangri-La Suite, which occupies half of the hotel’s top floor and boasts a total of three expansive terraces to ensure the best views of the city’s seven silhouettes. With two sumptuous guest rooms, separate living and dining rooms, and a spacious marble-clad master bathroom, this stylish 3,940sqft suite, priced at US$28,000 per night, is sophisticated luxury without being OTT; beds are dressed in 800-count linens, walls are a patchwork of curated art pieces and 42-inch LCD televisions, and the bathroom features heated floors, a deep soak tub and Bvlgari amenities. Be sure to leave time to match Old World wines with authentic Cantonese fine dining (using the suite’s antique silver cutlery, naturally) from the hotel’s signature Shang Palace restaurant at an intimate private dinner party under the stars, or greet the evening with an in-suite spa treatment, conducted by therapists from world-renowned CHI The Spa.


Hilltop Estate

Laucala Island, Fiji

The leading suite on the private island of Red Bull guru Dietrich Mateschitz, Hilltop Estate is located atop of the island’s Nawi Mountain, offering stunning South Pacific views. Available upon application (for US$55,000 per night), this decadent 11,000sqft retreat comes with manicured gardens, a private infinity pool, dedicated staff and two standalone guest residences. You’ll also have access to the island’s array of amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, and a fleet of watercraft, including a recently launched submarine.


Tower Champagne Suite

Lotte New York Palace, New York

The pinnacle suite at the Lotte New York Palace hotel, an icon on Madison Avenue that recently underwent a US$140 million facelift, the Tower Champagne Suite is exactly where well-heeled world wanderers should unroll their LV-stitched swag bags. Located atop the 55-storey Tower wing, an exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel, this opulent suite is as ideal for indulgent recluses as it is for ballers looking to celebrate in style. At 5,000sqft, the two-bedroom urban retreat is spread across three floors and accommodates up to six guests amidst black and bronze modern deco interiors that include a Nouveau Nero polished marble foyer and a 29-foot-wide mural by French artists Alex et Marine. Arrive far from prying eyes via chauffeur-driven Maybach limo and plush private elevator; throw another log on the wood burning fireplace (just joking, your maître d’étage will do it for you); sip a martini on the terrace shaken by mixologists from acclaimed cocktail divan Trouble’s Trust; and have the culinary team create a bespoke degustation menu, served in the private dining room. Afterwards escape the evening chill in the private Jacuzzi, perhaps with a few new-found friends.


Two Story Sky Villa

Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas

If three is a crowd, 12 is a party, which is just as well, because that’s how many the Two Story Sky Villa at Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort caters to. Located atop the aptly-named Palms Fantasy Tower, this incredible suite boasts two master bedrooms and a duo of doubles for sleep-overs, as well as a total of five and a half bathrooms, each with spa tubs that can accommodate more than a London black cab. Explore your new home-away-from-home via a private glass-encased elevator, which opens onto 9,000sqft of palatial living that includes a glass-enclosed cantilevered plunge pool, an expansive private terrace with views of the Strip, a private spa suite with sauna, and hot and cold running butler service. There are 11 LCD and plasma televisions (almost one per guest), including three found in the media room, a personalised concierge service, and nightly bespoke turndowns. Other perks include VIP club access across the city, and round-trip limo transfers. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little different, the hotel’s 10,000sqft Hardwood Suite features its own indoor basketball court with NBA-sized fold out beds, a pool table, wet bar and its own club lounge.


Royal Suite

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai

For something distinctly more OTT, you can’t go past the top suite at what is regularly regarded as the most luxurious hotel in the world. At 8,395sqft, the Royal Suite at the Burj is opulence epitomised, with a price tag to match. With enough colour to give you a LSD flashback, the two-bedroom suite features Rolls Royce transfers, a private elevator, a standalone dining room for 12 in which guests can enjoy bespoke menus from one of the hotel’s seven world-class restaurants; an Arabic-styled, harem-esque lounge; a private cinema for impromptu movie nights; a private library for when you’re feeling more philosophical; and as much marble and gleaming gold as you could shake an Amex black card at. The four-poster bed in the master bedroom rotates, naturally, and features a 12 option pillow menu and Egyptian linens, while bathrooms come complete with marble Jacuzzis, Kelly Caleche and Terre d’Hermes toiletries and medusa’s head showers. You can control your temporary palace via a gold-dipped iPad, while techies will love the twin 21-inch iMacs, interactive HD televisions, and Bose surround sound system. A platoon-strength team of butlers will ensure even the most outlandish request is catered to while you play Sultan for a Day.


The Royal Penthouse

Corinthia Hotel, London

Boasting all the regal finesse of the British capital, the 5,000sqft Royal Penthouse at the Corinthia Hotel is spread across two levels, connected by a sweeping staircase and internal elevator. Enter the US$20,000-per-night suite via a Chinoiserie-styled lobby dressed in grey Marquino marble floors and gesso-panelled walls; beyond is a dining room, complete with a gleaming Makassar ebony dining table catering to ten lucky souls, while there’s another for four in the expansive lounge, home to a working gas fireplace, a fully stocked cocktail cabinet, and oak parquet floors. The help remain unseen in the butler’s pantry, home to a walk-in wine cellar, while guests can secrete themselves in the cosy study, with its large workspace, fireplace and concealed flat-screen televisions. You’ll find it understandably hard to leave the master bedroom upstairs, which comes decked out in honey onyx and yellow Skiros marble, and boasts its own Apaiser stone bath, walk-in shower and gas fire, but if you do, you’ll discover a spacious guest bedroom and ensuite in taupe and chocolate, a private spa suite, a separate living room, and a roof terrace with panoramic views and its own gas fire pit, a must for that Amedei Porcelana-laced smores. From GBP18,000 per night.


The Maharaja’s Pavilion

The Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur

Leave it to India’s royalty to do luxury well. The opulent four-floor Maharaja’s Pavilion, located in the oldest mansion in the capital of Rajasthan, offers well-heeled travellers luxury and history in equal measures. Truly fit for a modern day Maharaja, despite its displays of ancient weaponry and jewellery, the palatial suite boasts its own fitness centre, pool, office, library, theatre, and a dining room that features the world’s largest chandelier. There’s a private lounge and bar on the first floor; a floor just for female guests; gold-leaf lined guest rooms on the third floor (for a total of four), with views over the mansion’s inner courtyard; and on the top floor, a private rooftop terrace with hot tub. All this for just US$37,000 a night.


TravelFred Kirby