Sleeping in a five-star hotel without being a millionaire is possible. On condition that you still pay a few hundred euros, you can take advantage of all the services reserved for VIP.
What do these first-class rooms look like? How much does it cost to stay there? Here is a world tour of affordable luxury hotel rooms.
Rue de Rivoli, facing the Tuileries garden, Le Meurice is a palace in the pure French classical tradition of the 16th century. Each floor reflects a particular style, the last one hosting the 210 m² Belle-Etoile suite, with a panoramic view of Paris. Le Meurice has succeeded in integrating new technologies (Internet, flat screen and iPod station in each room) under the impressive chandeliers and woodwork.
This Art Deco hotel in London belongs to the Maybourne Group, which owns two other luxury hotels in the British capital. It is renowned worldwide and has long been considered an extension of Buckingham Palace. It is said that a diplomat, calling one day to speak to the king, was answered: Certainly, sir. Which one?. The restaurant is run by a 3-star Michelin-starred chef, Gordon Ramsay.
This Asian-inspired hotel is located in South Beach, Miami, Florida. Built in 2004, it is one of the most expensive in the city: the first prices start at $1,000 a night. Its Art Deco style, in teak and black granite, creates a dark and zen atmosphere, contrasting with the glitz of other hotels in the city. It has three indoor swimming pools with a spa and offers yoga classes.
On the famous croisette, facing the Mediterranean, the Martinez spreads its 40,000 m² over seven floors. It offers a large private beach, a heated swimming pool, as well as fifteen reception rooms totalling 2,500 m², making it the second largest convention center in Cannes in terms of capacity. It is of course one of the high points of the Cannes Film Festival, in which international stars descend every year.
This gigantic Las Vegas hotel-casino has more than 500 rooms, housed in its four 85-metre high towers. A lion statue weighing over 37 tons sits at the entrance of the hotel; it is the heaviest bronze statue in the United States. We get it: everything here is oversized. Including the 15,800 m² of playrooms located under the hotel. So maybe it’s to spend your money better at blackjack that the room rates remain reasonable.
Since 1996, George V has belonged to one of the world’s leading fortunes, Saudi Prince Al Walid bin Talal. It is operated by the luxury group Four Seasons. It is the Parisian meeting point for a rich international clientele. The hotel is renowned for its Louis XVI style decoration and the quality of its service. On the first floor, the royal and presidential suites are among the most spacious in the capital (300 m²).
Opened in 1896 in the heart of the Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz, Badrutt’s Palace soon became a famous resort for celebrities and crowned heads. It has seven restaurants, an outdoor skating rink, a sports club, an indoor swimming pool with spa , a shopping mall where all the major luxury brands are displayed. It is also possible to hire the services of a private coach, a hairdresser or book a limousine for transfers.
On a fine strip of land in the Baja Bay area of California, Mexico, One&Only Palmilla was founded in 1956 by Don Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of the then President. It became famous thanks to the stars that succeeded to it: John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway or President Eisenhower, Completely renovated in 2004 for more than 70 million euros, it now has 172 rooms and suites with a veranda and ocean view.
On Moscow’s Red Square, this palace is reputed to be the most luxurious in the city. It does not offer any rooms for less than 1,000 euros. It is a classic style, but dates back to 2007. The hotel’s restaurant is run by chef Heinz Winkler, three stars in the Michelin guide, and the cellar holds more than 800 prestigious wines. The basic room offers 50 m² with a double bed and a marble bathroom.
Opened in 1925, the Bristol was the residence of American nationals in the 1940s. It is located in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, close to the department stores. Its 1200 m² garden and swimming pool with a view of the Sacré-Cœur are renowned among wealthy clients. An extension to the hotel is due to open in October 2009 and will include 21 additional rooms and 5 suites, as well as a grill restaurant.
New York’s Four Seasons Hotel is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city: 208 meters high and 52 floors. It is frequented by the many traders who work in the area. The first price rooms are 46 square metres and are located between the 5th and 14th floors. The Ty Warner Penthouse Suite, which occupies the entire top floor (400 m²), is one of the most expensive penthouses in the world.
Built in 1892, the Avenida Palace was the first luxury hotel in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Recently renovated, it has kept its architecture Belle Epoque. The hotel has 82 rooms and 17 suites, including a sumptuous presidential suite. The classic rooms are furnished with period furniture and a marble bathtub.
This Dubai hotel, touted as one of the most expensive and luxurious in the world, has only suites. So there’s no need to look for a room at a very reasonable price. The smallest, the luxury suite, measures ,170 square meters and occupies 2 floors, for two adults and two children. At this price, you are entitled to the hotel’s standard equipment: 42-inch plasma screen with video on demand, private bar, bathtub and bubble shower.
This country home of the Viscount of Lanesborough was converted into a hospital in 1733, before becoming a luxury hotel in 1980. The owner, an investment fund in Abu Dhabi, did not skimp on resources: the period furniture, fabrics and chandeliers have been reproduced identically. Guests can also take advantage ofa butler available 24 hours a day or take advice from the hotel’s tea sommelier.
The Island Shangri-La Hotel, located in an elliptical 56-storey building, has become a symbol of Hong Kong city. It offers a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour. The cheapest rooms, however, overlook the mountains on the other side. They measure 44 m² and occupy floors 39 to 48. The top floor is naturally reserved for the 170 m² presidential suite.
This famous Parisian palace offers no room for less than 700 euros. For this price, you can however enjoy the Bar, decorated by Sonia Rykiel, or taste a pastry in the Winter Garden. The superior bedrooms in Louis XVIII style offer 45 m² with a lounge area, a Carrara marble bathroom and a dressing room. The Bernstein Suite, inaugurated in 2000, offers a 100 m² terrace and a panoramic view of the capital.