There are certain things one can expect from hotels at the top end of the market: flawless, personalised service; rooms with minibars, rainshowers and designer bath products; a supremely comfortable bed; free wifi and fine-dining.
Most of us will have a favourite hotel in the cities we frequent – perhaps it’s The Connaught in London, the Four Seasons George V in Paris or the Dolder Grand in Zurich. Some of us go for the reassurance of a chain (you can’t go wrong with a Mandarin Oriental), while others like the individuality of a boutique.
For those who are looking for something special, however, something none of their friends will have tried, there are a new breed of super-suites that go the extra mile, and then some. Whether you’re away for a business trip or a bit of downtime, there is the perfect suite out there waiting to be luxuriated in. Some are relatively affordable, while one or two are outrageously pricey. But that’s part of the fun.
The long-awaited Ritz Paris flung open its gilded doors in June 2016 after a four-year renovation that was billed at $200m. No expense was spared on its 71 suites, 15 of which are prestige rooms named after famous residents such as F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.
Ensuring you feel like a celebrity, too, guests can check in and out at whatever hour they please. Interiors, all individually-styled, are unreservedly opulent, with thick carpets, heavy mirrors, period furniture, satin drapery and glittering chandeliers suspended from high, stuccoed ceilings. The Suite Imperial sports a replica of Marie Antoinette’s bedroom at the Palace of Versailles, while the Marcel Proust suite has its own library. €7,000-€25,000 a night. ritzparis.com
In April came Ritz-Carlton’s new Hungarian outpost, installed with 170 rooms and 30 suites for the most well-heeled of guests. Perks include access to the Club Level on floors eight and nine of the renovated early 20th-century building, which has a dedicated concierge, complimentary drinks, dining, and personal check-in.
Ranging from 59-116sqm, all suites have Apple TV, Asprey bathing products, and chic decor in shades of white, pale grey and blue. Step out onto the wrap-around terrace of the largest suite and you’ll have views of Buda Castle. €600-€4,500 a night. ritzcarlton.com
Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites, Algarve
After 18 months and a $57m splurge, this Portuguese resort is back in action, and looking good. A member of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, the property has added 76 new Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites, which come with their own butlers, kitchens and dining rooms.
Sleeping four, the 200sqm Presidential suite has an enormous outdoor terrace with a hot tub and sea views, while its polished pale interiors are serene rather than bling. Onsite facilities include a golf course, spa and swimming pools. €405-€2,500 a night. pinecliffsoceansuites.com
Fendi Private Suites, Rome
The trend for fashion houses opening hotels continues apace – Armani, Versace and Bulgari have properties in Dubai, Milan, Australia and London, while Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld is launching his own chain in Macao in 2018. Fendi followed suit with a new all-suite boutique bolthole above its flagship store in Rome in 2016.
Its seven elegant suites have been designed by Marco Costanzi, furnished by Fendi Casa and decorated with photographs by Karl Lagerfeld. Beds are made up with Fendi Casa Mako cotton satin linens, there are iPads pre-loaded with suggested walking tours, red Levanto marble bathrooms and toiletries from Diptyque. Private views of the Fendi store can also be arranged. €420-€1,300 a night, fendiprivatesuites.com
Il Sereno, Lake Como
Sister property to Le Sereno in St Barths, Il Sereno on Lake Como caused quite a ripple when it was unveiled in August 2016. The luxury cliffside hotel has 30 suites conceived by renowned designer Patricia Urquiola, with furnishings from local brands such as B&B Italia and Molteni that you’ll want to buy for your own home.
Custom “Silverlake” armchairs have been created by Urquiola herself, while $7,000 wooden tables from Botswana can be found on all the suite’s terraces. Ranging from 60sqm to 200sqm, all rooms have lake views (the Darseno suite is at water level so you can plunge right in) and minimalist décor using natural materials. Guests are given silk scarves to take home. €750-€5,880 a night. ilsereno.com
Another big restoration project for 2016 saw Amsterdam’s Pulitzer hotel given a new lease of life in August. A row of 25 interlinked canal houses dating back to the 17th century, the property now has 225 rooms, 19 of which are suites.
Each with its own theme, the four homely Collectors’ suites encompass Books, Antiques, Art and Music. The latter has 18 polished trumpets decorating the living room wall, a vintage record player and a fine selection of vinyl. The Pulitzer suite, meanwhile, is named after the hotel’s founder, Peter, the grandson of Pulitzer Prize creator Joseph Pulitzer. It has an eclectic, mid-century modern aesthetic and in the corner by the bed is a quirky freestanding bathtub for long soaks while reading the paper. €700-€900 a night, pulitzeramsterdam.com
Park Hyatt, Mallorca
Making its arrival last summer, Hyatt Hotels opened its first European resort on the north-easterly shores of Mallorca. Located on the new Cap Vermell Estate, built in the style of a traditional local village (but with lagoon-shaped swimming pools), the low-rise retreat has 142 rooms, 16 of which are suites.
Measuring 100-150sqm, they are big and airy, each with walk-in wardrobes, USB sockets by the bed, and private terraces with daybeds facing the Mediterranean and Canyamel Valley (the Presidential suite also has its own whirlpool bath). Bathrooms are decked out in Carrara marble with Bottega Veneta bathing products and TVs built into the mirrors. €800-€1,850 a night, mallorca.park.hyatt.com
The Westin, Hamburg
Located in the upper portion of the new architectural masterpiece, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, in Hamburg’s HafenCity, the 244-room, glass-clad Westin started accepting guests in November 2016. Whatever room you stay in, it’s a special hotel, but the 39 suites are a cut above.
The 103sqm, two-floor Maisonette suite, for example, has panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows that face the city and Elbe River, with distinct areas to conduct meetings or relax in hyper-modern surroundings. €390-€3,050 westinhamburg.com
Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites and Spa, Santorini
This sophisticated, design-led Grecian escape opened on the island of Santorini in spring 2016. It has 44 five-star suites and villas designed to echo the brilliant white and blue of the local houses.
Each suite has its own heated spa bath on a private terrace with sun loungers, while interiors are decorated with hand-woven rugs and cushions. Nice touches include lunch baskets that can be delivered on request and free bottles of wine on arrival. This is low-key luxury at its best. €248- €930 a night. santomaris.gr
Marriott County Hall, London
With competition from the revamped Sheraton Grand Park Lane, the new Intercontinental London at the O2 and Four Seasons Trinity Square in the City (the suites there won’t be ready until May), the Marriott County Hall did well to stand out in 2016. The historic building reopened after a multimillion-pound facelift in November.
Its 12 contemporary suites give guests views of the Thames and Big Ben, as well as a key to the executive lounge, which serves free food and drink throughout the day. The stunning 135sqm Westminster suite has an expansive dining room and raised lounge facing the Houses of Parliament. There is no better spot to sip a G&T. £350-£2,000 a night. marriott.co.uk