By Justin Paul
All suites are not created equal. While we’ll pack our bags for pretty much any penthouse or Presidential, in truth, the differences between the digs in hotels’ upper echelons are more striking than in any other room category. When it’s time to go big, its best to back your choice with been-there, seen-that knowledge – which is why we turned to travel advisors to round up standout suites in some of our favorite cities. Here’s to life at the top.
Los Angeles: Presidential Suite, Hotel Bel-Air
Travel advisor: Lucy Butler, Los Angeles
Presidential Suite, Hotel Bel-Air
Golden State visitors get starstruck by this 2,265-square-foot hideaway. “It’s the ultimate in California living,” says Butler, who dropped by the Bel-Air recently. “You enter through a courtyard complete with a citrus grove, private spa, and full-size swimming pool with a floating blow-up swan, the hotel’s insignia.”
London: The Apartment, The Connaught
Travel advisor: Simona Cerchiara, London
The Apartment Terrace, The Connaught
The bright, airy feel of Mayfair’s 3,068-square-foot penthouse can’t be matched in the city. “The David Collins-designed Apartment exemplifies modern elegance,” says Cerchiara. Residents of the loftlike space can walk its wraparound balcony; for those traveling with a posse, the suite expands into a three- or even nine-bedroom home that encompasses the entire sixth floor.
Mexico City: Pasaje Penthouse, Las Alcobas
Travel advisor: Francisco Saldivar, Mexico City
Pasaje Penthouse, Las Alcobas
“Consider this your corner apartment in the middle of Polanco, the city’s best neighborhood,” says Saldivar, who checked up on the hotel to confirm it still topped his list. He loves its homey yet youthful vibe, indoor/outdoor fireplace, terrace garden, and location on Avenida Presidente Masaryk, the D.F.’s version of Rodeo Drive.
New York City: The Mark Penthouse, The Mark
Travel advisor: Julie Danziger, New York City
The Mark Penthouse, New York City
Danziger’s call on the one suite she’d trade her home for is black and white: The Mark’s five-bedroom penthouse, which she describes simply as “jaw-dropping.” She isn’t given to hyperbole: The 12,000-square-foot aerie on the corner of Madison Avenue and 77th overlooks Central Park from two floors and is built for entertaining. Party planners can make use of a full kitchen, 24-seat dining room, living room with a 26-foot-high ceiling and a grand piano, two wet bars, four fireplaces, and a giant rooftop terrace.
Tokyo: Corner Suites, Aman Tokyo
Travel advisor: Izumi Kirchmayr Ogawa, Vancouver, British Columbia
A Corner Suite at Aman Tokyo
“Gazing out over Tokyo from a Corner Suite’s furo,
a deep stone soaking tub, is like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” says Tokyo native and Japan specialist Izumi Kirchmayr Ogawa. Each of the 12 suites measures more than 1,300 square feet and brings a Zen vibe to the financial district through their use of gray stone, washi
paper screens, and light wood floors, furniture, and wall paneling. “Their 180-degree views
are even more spectacular at night,” Ogawa says.
Dubai: Superior Junior Ocean Suites, Jumeirah Al Qasr
Travel advisor: Fatima Hawkins, Dubai
Superior Junior Ocean Suite, Jumeirah Al Qasr
Of all Dubai’s buzzworthy suites, Hawkins loves these for a simple reason: “They make you feel like a princess in a beautiful palace.” At 1,140 square feet, the five top-floor perches are spacious but not overwhelming and feature such regal touches as canopied beds
, marble floors, Iranian rugs, and large private balconies for gazing across the Persian Gulf.
Rio de Janeiro: Suite 503, Belmond Copacabana Palace
Travel advisor: Ana Cristina Villaça, Rio de Janeiro
Suite 503, Belmond Copacabana Palace
Suite 503 comes with a telescope, but guests likely won’t need it to catch the action from their balcony – the roughly 860-square-foot room in the hotel’s main building “delivers the ‘wow’ view of Copacabana Beach you’ll want,” says Villaça. It provides the same look and amenities as the sixth-floor penthouses (high ceilings, abundant natural light, antiques and Oriental carpets, an in-room wine fridge stocked with vintages selected for each guest’s taste) at a better value.
Rome: Couture Suite, The St. Regis Rome
Travel advisor: Jane Hedge, Bologna, Italy
Couture Suite, The St. Regis Rome
“This one is for all the ladies who want to feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
,” says Hedge. Tact rules throughout the Couture Suite’s 1,615 square feet, with linen-textured walls, velvet-upholstered chaise lounges, a dressmaker’s form, and large living room windows looking out on Piazza della Repubblica’s Fountain of the Naiads.
Melbourne: Taittinger Suite, The Lyall Hotel & Spa
Travel advisor: Cher Roscoe, Melbourne
Taittinger Suite, The Lyall Hotel & Spa
Suite 401 is a 766-square-foot oasis named after the couple’s favorite bubbly. “This west-facing, corner rooftop suite gets loads of natural light and has two terraces
, the largest of which is great for sunsets,” says Roscoe.
Originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Virtuoso Life.
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