Whether you’re an enthusiastic tourist who loves travelling around the world, or a rich businessperson who frequents other countries for executive meetings and conferences, you’ll never find a shortage of luxurious hotels to stay in. Tourism is a multi-billion-dollar-per-year industry, and hotels seem to be the beneficiaries. That probably explains the steep hotel rates you will find in some hotels, most of which aren’t even worth it. They will charge you insanely just because they can! But as always, money doesn’t always means comfort. Check out this collection of the most luxurious hotels in the world in 2013. These are, by no means, the most expensive ones (a couple might, but some are fairly reasonably priced too).
10. Secrets Marquis, Los Cabos
Gorgeous specially commissioned sculptures, massive waterfalls, spectacular infinity pools, and a lovely serene spa set the stage where VIPs love to come and play. Luxurious rooms boast balconies where you can often spot migrating whales, and there are also private villas with personal dipping pools.
9. The Westin Excelsior, Rome
Built in 1906, The Westin Excelsior Rome has an impressive pedigree in the Via Veneto district. Though most rooms are affordable, their piece de resistance is the Villa La Cupola Suite that has recently been “refreshed” with a $7 million renovation. This signature luxury cocoon spans two full floors making it the largest suite in Italy. Furnished with modern high tech gadgets, hand-frescoed cathedral style domes, its own private fitness room, sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi, and a formal dining room, it’s a perennial favourite for those who deem money to be no object.
8. CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa, Anguilla
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa was originally built as a tropical playground for its owner, but later expanded to include guests. Luxury guest rooms and Moorish inspired villas dot the massive grounds cresting Anguilla’s world class beaches. Their Venus Spa & Fitness complex has been rejuvenated to the tune of ten million dollars, and they have just acquired a $50 million dollar golf course.
7. The Boulders, Arizona
An extremely prestigious golf and spa resort, the swanky decor is left up to Mother Nature at The Boulders, as it’s impossible to compete with stunningly surreal 12-million-year-old rock formations. Spanning 1,300 acres of the Sonoran Desert, ultimate natural rejuvenation is promised at their massive spa compound, and their two golf courses which are world class. There’s also an uber private gated Villa Retreat for celebs seeking anonymity.
6. Palms, Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Palms is famous for high roller living. It holds up to 250 people for a get-together and boasts a massive rooftop Jacuzzi hanging over The Strip. A private glass elevator, rotating bed, gym, sauna, media room, full bar and more make these swanky digs a spot to fulfil the fantasy of living in the style.
5. Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
Built in tribute to the legendary lost city, Atlantis Paradise Island is a 141-acre water-scape and touted as the premier luxury resort destination in the Bahamas. But it’s their Royal Towers Bridge Suite on the 23rd floor that really pulls out ALL the swanky stops. It spans ten plush rooms topped by 12-ft. ceilings and full length windows and includes a grand piano, twin entertainment centers, a formal dining room with a 22-karat gold chandelier, whirlpool tubs, and more… plus a permanent staff of seven to cater to your every whim and fancy.
4. The Plaza, New York
Though the Big Apple has many legendary and swanky hotels, The Plaza is often the top choice for visiting VIPs especially for its Royal Plaza Suite that boasts the best views of Manhattan. The three-bedroom/three-bathroom suite is styled in the most opulent of old world charm with a formal dining room, a library, a gymnasium, a grand piano, full kitchen (for personal chefs), and a butler’s pantry, and is serviced by its own private elevator. Butler service is also included.
3. Burj-ul-Arab, Dubai
Built to resemble a billowing sail, the stunning architecture of Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai makes it one of the most photographed in the world. All rooms are luxurious suites spanning two floors with state-of-the art everything and incredible views. And beyond the unique over-the-top amenities like the attached heliport and hovering tennis courts, there is a vast array of futuristic dining and nightlife options. Their guest care is also seriously intensive. Upscale extras include in-suite check-in, 24/7 personal on call butlers, and a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce fleet, all catering to an extremely well-heeled VIP clientele that often includes royalty.
2. Mardan Palace Hotel, Turkey
Built by Russian Billionaire Telman Ismailov in 2009 to the tune of $1.65 billion, the Mardan Palace Hotel in Antalya, Turkey boasts the largest swimming pool in the Mediterranean (fits 1,000 guests) and is touted as one of the most elite luxury hotels in Europe. Beyond the sumptuous suites and jaw-dropping interiors of gold leaf, crystal, and Italian marble, there are also ten dining spots, 17 bars, a lavish spa and a sunken aquarium full of exotic fish. 9,000 tons of white sand was flown in from Egypt for the beach alone. 24/7 personal butler service is also included.
1. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Costing approximately $3 billion to build, Emirates Palace has 394 rooms and suites, 40 meeting and conference rooms, a white sand beach, a myriad of pools and fountains, a sumptuous spa, marble imported from 13 different countries and over 1,000 crystal chandeliers. Royalty, or those who want to feel like it, can luxuriate in one of the many palace suites, all with lavish surroundings that would befit a Sultan of old yet with enough modern amenities to please today’s top tycoons.