Pleasure / February 2019

Oh So Suite: 9 Of World's Best Hotel Apartments

Curious as to where nine of the best hotel suites are located in the world, or what makes them so special? We’ve compiled a list for you…

The Napoleone Suite at Residenza Napoleone III, Rome.
“When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is a secrecy, there is a luxury, there is fantasy. There is comfort. There is reassurance.” So says Diane von Furstenburg, a woman who knows a thing or two about luxury. And nowhere are the otherworldly comforts of a hotel more luxurious or fantastical than in their signature suites – of which nine of the world’s finest are featured here. 
From the grandeur of the Hotel Café Royal’s penthouse – a stately home in the heart of central London – to the incredible calm and tranquillity of Amanemu’s Nagi Villa – a stunning hilltop escape overlooking Japan’s Ago Bay – each suite offers something utterly unique.
So whether you seek to experience palatial Old World living, a modernist South African penthouse with its own art gallery, or the very slight chance of bumping into Bill Murray (not technically a ‘feature’ of the suite at The Carlyle, but he’s stayed there before, and you never know your luck) read on…

 

The Carlyle - The Empire Suite

“The Empire Suite is truly a one-of-a-kind duplex suite,” says Anthony McHale, Managing Director of The Carlyle, the Manhattan institution favoured by a swathe of the great and the good including George Clooney, Roger Federer and Bill Murray (who filmed his compellingly ramshackle Christmas special there). “Not only does it offer sweeping views of Central Park and the New York skyline,” says McHale, “but it also houses a private art collection curated specially by the MET. It was designed by the legendary Thierry Despont and offers guests the perfect glamorous blend of the American and French Deco periods.” With three bedrooms, four marble bathrooms, and butler service, it’s the crowning glory of an American institution.

rosewoodhotels.com

The Rake The Carlyle Empire Suite

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc - The Eden-Roc Suite

Made famous in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc offers an intoxicating taste of the Côte d'Azur - with a stay in the iconic Eden-Roc Suite the most life-enriching way to enjoy the hotel’s 22 acres. Says Communications Director Valérie Muller; “It has an expansive teak terrace - similar to a boat deck - with a jacuzzi, where guests are welcome to relax and meditate while admiring splendid views of the Mediterranean, Lérins Islands and the hotel’s famous gardens.” An unparalleled slice of the Roaring Riviera.

oetkercollection.com

The Rake Hotel Suites Eden Rock

Amanemu - The Nagi Villa

The concept of ‘omotenashi’ - that is, extraordinarily considerate and respectful service which almost pre-empts the needs of the guest - is central to Japanese hospitality. And it’s at the heart of Amanemu, the hilltop retreat in Mie Prefecture, which offers unparalleled service and relaxation - particularly at its Nagi Villa, a modern, elegant reinterpretation of traditional Japanese Minka buildings. “The Nagi Villa is exceptionally special for its 30sq.ft. private onsen (hot spring) with views across the green garden landscape, whilst its open air living area has panoramic views of Ago Bay,” says Hotel Manager Yoshi Kubota. “In spring and summer guests can recline on the veranda’s daybeds and hear only the birdsong of Cettia Diphone and, in the evenings gaze up at the clear, starry skies.”

aman.com

The Rake Nagi Suite

Taj Lake Palace - The Sarva Ritu Suite

“Sarva Ritu translates to ‘All Seasons’, and the design of this Grand Royal Suite includes intricate engravings and rich furnishings, seamlessly blending the six seasons of India,” says Nayan Seth, General Manager of the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. Grandest of the hotel’s 17 Royal Suites, the Sarva Ritu Suite made up part of the ‘zenana’ (women’s chambers) of the Rajput Palace. “The original design of the suite, with its spectacular arch-shaped windows, allow guests to savour the romantic views of the enchanting lake and the City Palace,” says Seth. Featuring an original Waterford chandelier and a monochrome tiled floor, the rooms combine royal living with contemporary luxury.

tajhotels.com

The Rake Grand Royal Suite Sarva Ritu

The Silo - The Penthouse

“The penthouse at The Silo Hotel is the jewel in The Royal Portfolio’s crown,” says Liz Biden, founder and owner of South African luxury hotel group. “It’s an extravagant, triple aspect 211 square metre apartment on the top floor of The Silo Hotel with bird’s-eye views of the harbour, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and the V&A Waterfront.” The hotel sits about Zeitz MOCCA, Africa’s largest contemporary art museum, and the suite’s iconic geometric windows are designed by the multi-award winning Thomas Heatherwick. Says Biden; “There is nothing quite like it anywhere it in the world.”

theroyalportfolio.com

The Rake The Silo - The Penthouse

Residenza Napoleone III - The Napoleone Suite

Some hotels treat you like royalty. At the Residenza Napoleone III you are greeted by royalty - the historic Palazzo Ruspoli building is still occupied by owner-hostess principessa Letizia Ruspoli. “Between 1830-31 the Queen of Holland, Hortense Beauharnais, lived here with her son Luigi Napoleone who became the Emperor Napoleone III,” says Beatrice Ziello, the princess’s personal assistant, “The history and the exclusive atmosphere of warmth and privacy make our property so exclusive.” The premises has received rave reviews long before TripAdvisor; “It is here”, wrote the German writer Goethe in his 1788 travel report Italian Journey, “that high society takes its place, and all the seats are either taken or reserved”.

residenzanapoleone.com

The Rake The Napoleone Suite

The Connaught - The Apartment

A firm favourite of The Rake (and of a discerning clientele including captains of industry and Hollywood royalty), the mighty Connaught offers among the most refined hotel experiences in London. “The Apartment is our largest suite,” explains Paula Fitzherbert, the hotel’s redoubtable Communications Director, “and was created up in the eaves of The Connaught by the late great David Collins with the feel of a private apartment in London.” Opening the hand-carved door leads to a suite designed in Collins’ signature colour palette of blues, lavenders and greys, with a king-sized four poster bed and a wraparound balcony. “It has a few particularly unique touches,” adds Fitzherbert. “Our two Michelin star chef Helene Darroze sometimes cooks up there with bespoke menus for the guests, and each guest is given an easel and canvas complete with a painting set from Green and Stone, one of London’s oldest art stores - so they can paint the rooftops of London during their stay should they want to channel their inner Monet.”

the-connaught.co.uk

The Rake The Apartment

The Mark Hotel - The Mark Penthouse

Rooms really don’t come bigger or bolder than this. “The Mark Penthouse is the largest penthouse suite in North America and most expensive in the world, at $75,000 per night,” says Olivier Lordonnois, the hotel’s General Manager - who personally chauffeurs guests from their (inevitably private) aeroplane to the suite. “Housed on the 15th and 16th floors of The Mark’s 1927 landmark building,” says Lordonnois, “the penthouse is an expansive 10,000 square feet with 2,000 additional square feet of private rooftop terrace.” Amenities at the Jacques Grange-designed penthouse include - but are in no way limited to - five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a living room-cum-ballroom, and a grand piano.

themarkhotel.com

The Mark Hotel Penthouse Suite

Hotel Café Royal - The Dome Penthouse

One of London’s most prestigious and storied addresses (famously the location of Oscar Wilde’s reputation-destroying quarrel with Bosie’s father), the Hotel Café Royal also boasts one of the capital’s greatest suites. Designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield, The Dome Penthouse is set over 290 square metres, and its two terraces look out across Piccadilly Circus to Big Ben and the London Eye. “A dining table seats six, the television is the largest in any hotel in the UK and a stunning oversize Ming-green marble bath serves as a grand centrepiece of the bathroom,” says Eliot Sandiford, the hotel’s spokesperson. “To complete the experience a DJ sound system with concert speakers and a spectacular LED lighting system projected on the domed ceiling transforms this suite from serene and relaxed into party ready.”

hotelcaferoyal.com

The Rake Hotel Cafe Royal - Dome Penthouse - Summer Terrace

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Contributor

Max Olesker

Contributing Editor at Esquire, and Associate Editor of Esquire’s Big Black Book, Max has also written features for The Times, The Observer, and Harper’s Bazaar. He also performs across the world one as half of comedy double-act Max & Ivan (BBC Radio 4’s Casebook of Max & Ivan, BBC 2’s W1A).