Hoping to live like a king next time you head to Vegas?
You're in luck. Stay in the 9,000-square-foot, three-bedroom Two Story Sky Villa at The Palms, and you'll receive the royal treatment, including access to a cantilevered Jacuzzi with clear views of the Strip, a butler, poker table, private gym and media room.
The princely per-night price? $25,000, landing it atop our list of the world's costliest suites.
It's not alone in its grandiosity.
"Hotels are trending toward having more suites," says Bjorn Hanson, a principal in the Hospitality and Leisure Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "The economy is strong, corporate travel budgets aren't in a period of restriction, and it adds more sexiness to a hotel to have an extravagant room."
The Suite Life
While there are no clearly defined criteria, Joe McInerney, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, says that calling a room a suite means that it's larger than the average room at the hotel. And, instead of one room, a suite usually has a few separate rooms.
While it might add glamour for a hotel to have a suite, the most expensive ones are generally showcases and don't bring in a large amount of revenue for the property.
"The top-tier suites at hotels have very high price tags, and their occupancy might be much lower than for the hotel overall," says McInerney. "Hotels also anticipate these suites will be used on a complementary basis, so there will be limited revenue from them."
Likely candidates for these perks include celebrities and recognizable names. Housing a celebrity or high-profile person in a hotel's best suite is a marketing tactic that adds cache to the hotel and to the specific room.
A suite's amenities can vary from genuine antiques and Oriental carpets to numerous flat-screen televisions and private terraces with panoramic views.
But McInerney says the one extravagance that distinguishes all top suites is service.
"The best suites in the world should have a service protocol that goes along with them. You should have a dedicated person at your beck and call," he says. "You can create the most deluxe suite in the world, but you need to have that special service that goes along with it."
If you stay in the $10,000-a-night Private Reserve at Soneva Gili Resort & Spa in the Maldives, for example, you won't just have one person taking care of you. Two personal assistants reside in separate quarters on the suite's premises.
Built over the water, this 15,000-square-foot, six-building complex boasts a glass-floored foyer that leads onto a large sun deck with a 12-person dining area. Two master suites have spacious living rooms and baths that qualify as retreats on their own: The circular glass shower is accessed via a walkway through a private garden, and the bathtub is on its own deck amid day beds for lounging. There's also a fully equipped kitchen, a spacious living room and a private spa with a sauna, steam room, massage pavilion and a gym. As if this weren't enough, you'll also be rewarded by stunning views of the Indian Ocean everywhere you look.
If you prefer a city vacation, you can't get more opulent than the $13,600 Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
This two-bedroom, 8,400-square-foot duplex suite, one of two in this 202-room property, overlooks the Arabian Sea and is decorated with leopard-print tufted carpets, Carrarra marble flooring and mahogany furniture. A dining area and Arabic-style lounge occupy the first floor. Both an elevator and a marble-and-gold staircase lead to the second floor, where one will find the master bedroom with a rotating four-poster canopy bed. Your personal butler can draw your bath in the marble bathroom, stocked with full-size Hermes toiletries. Before retiring, enjoy a movie in the suite's private cinema.
If you want a suite that has the added glitz of hosting luminaries, book the Imperial Suite at the legendary Ritz Paris in Paris. King Edward VII of England, Sir Winston Churchill and the Aga Khan are just a few of the famous people who have stayed in this two-bedroom suite, which goes for $13,500 a night. The 2,000-square-foot space is inspired by the splendor of the Louis XIV era and is filled with French 18th-century mahogany furniture.
At a time when the average cost for a hotel room in the U.S. is $103 a night, according to Smith Travel Research, a Tennessee-based company, how can you possibly justify spending over $10,000 for a suite?
If you have to ask, don't.