Villa La Cupola, Westin Excelsior, Rome
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Flanked by the Spanish Steps and the Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens, the Westin Excelsior is one of the finest places to stay in the Eternal City. The choice suite is the Villa la Cupola. Like a Roman-style villa – think Pompeii, pre-Vesuvius – the suite is decorated with stunning handpainted frescoes, mosaic-tiled floors and, of course, a bathhouse with heated spa. Spread over two floors, the suite also has a terrace, gymnasium, kitchen, private wine cellar and butler service. Cost per night: €21,000 (A$31,000)
Sultan Suite, Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul
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A former Ottoman Palace, the Çirağan was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1991. Its grand Sultan Suite has views of the Bosphorus from almost every room – including the lavishly furnished living areas, dining room, kitchen, the marble hammam and two bedrooms. A 24-hour butler is on hand to light the fireplaces, draw the bath or pour a drink. Cost per night: €30,000 (A$44,200). Image: Çirağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Royal Suite, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
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With so much beauty lying just beyond the door, it’s a quite a room that can make a guest forget Paris. The Royal Suite is such a “room”, although if you manage to leave, returning is all the sweeter, coming as it does with a thoughtful gift left in your absence – handmade chocolates, say, or delicate pastries from the hotel patissier. The suite is your very own Parisian pied-à-terre with a living space decorated with objets d’art, restored 18th-century tapestries and walls covered in golden silk. The bedroom has a four-poster day bed and dressing room plus a private terrace and adjoining marble bathroom. Located between the Champs-Elysées and Alma-Marceau, the eighth-floor Penthouse has 360-degree views of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Sacré-Coeur. Cost per night: €22,500 (A$33,000). Image: ©Gregoire-Gardette
Penthouse Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia
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This 450-square-metre, three-bedroom, three-bathroom suite includes a private pool, solarium and wine cellar. The deck has views over the terracotta rooftops of Costa Smeralda, while the light-filled space takes its Mediterranean location as inspiration, with colourful, locally made handcrafts and tiles, handpainted furnishings and white stucco.
Penthouse Suite, Hôtel Martinez, Cannes
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You can imagine movie types sunning themselves, glass of chilled Dom in hand, on the huge 270-square-metre private terrace overlooking the Bay of Cannes of the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez’s Penthouse Suite. Inside, the Art Deco-inspired suite has various sitting and lounging areas, one to four bedrooms (depending on requirements), two bathrooms, hammam, spa and sauna. There’s 24-hour room service and your own personal butler. The hotel has a two-Michelin-starred restaurant and a private beach – for the more retiring screen legend.
The Royal Villa, Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens
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With a butler, personal trainer and chef at your beck and call, there’s really no need to lift a finger in the Royal Villa – unless you’re in the mood for a serious workout. The 410-square-metre indoor space has two bedrooms, dining area, decked-out bars and kitchen, and a heated swimming pool. The marble bathrooms have steam baths, massage rooms and Bulgari toiletries. Another heated pool and a large deck overlooking the ocean dominate the outdoor space. This is the ideal space for a party, which staff can organise at a moment’s notice. Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cristiano Ronaldo are some of the big names who have made themselves at home – and, in the case of the latter two, probably partied – at The Royal Villa.
Royal Suite at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
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Over-the-top lavish in 18th-century French Regency style and with a Parisian address to match, the Plaza Athénée’s Royal Suite is the largest in Paris at 450 square metres. Guests will be fetched from airport or train station in the hotel’s Maserati Quattroporte (which they then have the use of for the duration of their stay) and whisked to their four-bedroom, four-bathroom suite where a bottle of chilled Krug awaits. Among the antiques is a full complement of the requisite tech including nine flat-screen TVs (artfully concealed) and private entrances monitored by CCTV. There are four Italian marble bathrooms (the marble specially sourced from Verona), one of which has a Jacuzzi and steam room. Every day while the guests are out, perhaps lunching at L’Arpège, the suite is restocked with complimentary fruit and flowers. Cost per night: Sacré bleu! It’s €28,000 (A$41,450) – not including breakfast!
Royal Penthouse Suite, Hotel President Wilson, Geneva
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Bash out your best Greensleeves on the Steinway grand piano while gazing out at Lake Geneva – or simply request a professional pianist to come in and tickle the ivories for you. Your wish is Hotel President Wilson’s command – especially when you’re a resident of the Royal Penthouse Suite, abode of choice for billionaires including Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates, heads of state such as Bill Clinton and pop stars like Rihanna. Stretching over the hotel’s entire eighth floor, the monumental 1800-square-metre suite is one of the largest in the world. It has 12 bedrooms, a terrace with panoramic views, and its 12 bathrooms are stocked with Hermès toiletries, Jacuzzi, sauna, mirror TV and rainforest shower. The security-conscious will be pleased to know the windows are bulletproof and the suite has a private lift.
Hilltop Estate, Laucala Island, Fiji
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Lagoons and coral reefs encircle Laucala, one of three small islands off the coast of Fiji’s Taveuni. Some 370 staff tend to the needs of a maximum of 89 guests and the island is 80 per cent self-sustaining, with its own herd of cattle, beehives, quail, pigs, coconut groves and organic farm gardens – they even grow vanilla and pepper. The island is owned by Austrian Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, whose private Hilltop Estate residence atop Laucala’s highest point can be rented when he’s absent. There’s a main house, two guest villas, infinity pools, Jacuzzis, dining pavilions and views of the island’s volcanic mountains, tropical rainforest and deserted white sand beaches. Golf buggies are provided for you to get around and the Estate comes with personal cook, chauffeur and nanny. Cost per night: US$45,000 (A$59,000).
Shahi Mahal Presidential Suite, The Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur
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Exquisite Mughal archways, intricate embroidery, gold leaf and ivory abound in the most luxurious suite at the Raj Palace Hotel, built (as a palace) in 1727. The four-storey Shahi Mahal suite is accessed through a private entrance in a private garden and has its own theatre, library, pool and roof terrace with a spa. The opulence is currently being pushed up a notch – the Shahi Mahal is undergoing a renovation and will reopen later this year. Cost per night: A regal US$65,000 (A$85,600)
Ritz-Carlton Suite, Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
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Gaze down at the Imperial Palace garden from the Ritz-Carlton Suite’s private terrace on the 53rd floor by day. By night, be mesmerised by the glimmering lights of the Toyko skyline. Inside, the 307 square metres of floor space include a vast living area, walk-in wardrobe and two luxurious marble bathrooms. And it wouldn’t be Japan if it didn’t have a toilet almost as smart as you are. With the suite comes access to cocktails and afternoon tea in the Club Lounge, a dedicated concierge and shoeshine service. Cost per night: ¥2,000,000 (A$23,576).
Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai
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Opulent is the word for the rich gold, fuchsia and royal purple interiors of the 780-square-metre Royal Suite, all plush carpets, velvet and cushions. It’s the kind of place you could imagine being fanned with giant palm fronds by loyal servants as you recline on the rotating canopy bed. If that’s something guests require, it can probably be arranged. As it is, guests are provided with packing and unpacking services, daily shoeshine, in-suite cocktails and canapés, and a breakfast buffet. The suite has two master bathrooms with five-head rain showers, a private staff entrance, butler’s kitchen where meals are prepared, a library and a cinema. Cost per night: AED33000 (A$11,800)
Shangri-La Suite, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul
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The three private terraces of the Shangri-La Suite, which occupies half of the hotel’s top floor, give its well-heeled guests 180-degree views of the Bosphorus and the seven hills of Istanbul. There are two bedrooms with 800-threadcount bed linen and a palatial living and dining area. The marble bathroom has heated floors, a mirror TV and Bulgari toiletries. Cost per night: €25,000 (A$36,693).
Sky Villa Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
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In a city that’s recreated Venice, the Eiffel Tower and the New York skyline, you’ve really got to go the extra mile to impress. Pulling out all the stops, the two-storey Sky Villa has its own glass elevator, a circular rotating bed and a sunken soaking tub in the master bedroom, the glass-bottomed pool juts out over the Las Vegas Strip, and there is a separate massage room and sauna.
Grand Penthouse, The Mark Hotel, New York
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Claiming the title of most expensive hotel suite in the world, the Grand Penthouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is spread over two enormous floors with five bedrooms, private rooftop terrace, two wet bars, 24-place dining table, chef’s kitchen, library, conservatory, six bathrooms (plus two powder rooms) and ceilings that soar to eight metres, in case the 1114 square metres of this palatial spread are making an anxious billionaire feel claustrophobic. The lobby alone is the size of a spacious apartment, furnished sparsely with elegant carpet, orchids and a bench on which minions may await an audience with the occupant. The master bedroom has his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing rooms, and each piece of furniture is custom-designed by French interior designer Jacques Grange. Cost per night: An eye-watering US$75,000 (A$98,900)
Ty Warner Penthouse Suite, Four Seasons Hotel New York
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This extraordinary one-bedroom suite is the result of an ambitious US$50 million, seven-year project. Occupying the entire 52nd floor of the Four Seasons Hotel New York, the suite is named for the hotel’s owner Ty Warner, the billionaire businessman (of Beanie Babies fortune, seriously) who personally travelled the globe to select the materials and décor for the suite including Chinese onyx, a custom chandelier by British artist Deborah Thomas, and a canopy bed of Thai silk made with 22-carat pure gold threads. The handmade Hastens mattress was crafted in Sweden over 160 hours using all-natural materials, and the Zen Room has a waterfall cascading from the ceiling down a wall made from semi-precious, green Bowenite granite from South Africa. Cost per night: US$50,000 (A$65,900)