What downturn? Despite all the talk about that Great Recession and low worker-participation rates, things apparently couldn’t be better for luxury hotels. They did take a hit toward the end of 2008 and into 2009 (a great time for bargains), but many of these hotels are now expanding their suites—both in terms of units and size. And some suites are redefining luxury.
Explains the Wall Street Journal:
The stereotype of the grand suite with vast, empty space and ornate chandeliers is increasingly out of date.
In the past, “it was almost like a regal waiting room,” says Paul James, global brand leader for Starwood’s St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W brands. “You walked in and you had lots of obvious earmarks of luxury, the gilding, the bronze work, the marble.” Now, the largest suites “should feel more like a high-end home,” he says. That may mean just as much space, but used more practically, with more connecting rooms, additional bathrooms and larger wardrobes, he says.
As for prices, try $41,500 a night, at least for a 6,295-square-foot House Suite (Grand Manor House Wing) at the Rosewood London, which “has a private street entrance and elevator—and its own postal code. The suite, with six marble bathrooms, three living rooms and two walk-in closets, features funky materials such as a horsehair ceiling and alpaca wool wall tiles.”
A bit much? Perhaps the $4,500-per-night villa at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in San José del Cabo, Mexico, is more in your range.
The $4,500 starting price tag includes a host of extra touches: massages on arrival, a chef-led ceviche class, tequila tastings and s’mores on the beach. When guests arrive, they are introduced to the housekeeper, bartender, pool person and butler in the style of “Downton Abbey,” hotel manager Daniel Scott says. Guests of the hotel’s soon-to-open top suite will also receive a private fireworks show.
I really need to do more travel-writing.