Now, we’re all keen travellers here. That’s one bright and shiny thing to have in common, but it goes deeper than that. We’re all united in this love of expanding our horizons and seeing more of what the world has to offer, sure, but why do we travel?
Now, that’s a loaded question. Everybody likes to see the world in their own ways, and for their own reasons. Maybe you’re a rough-and-ready backpacker, an impulsive spirit who just wants to set off and see where they end up. Maybe, on the other hand, you’re a vacationer who likes to have every moment of their trip mapped out.
There’s no wrong answer here, that’s the beauty of traveling. Do you like to camp out in the wilderness? Do you like to casually watch some of the world’s most beautiful cities pass by, from the deck of a luxury cruise ship? Whatever your style, you go right ahead and enjoy it to the max.
Tourism being the huge global industry that it is, it’s incumbent upon hotel owners and such to be able to cater to everyone. From the A-list celebrity to the humble working Joe/Josephine who wants to emulate that A-list celebrity a little, on the precious vacation time that they worked hard all year to afford.
On that note, let’s take a look at the ridiculous decadence of some of the most expensive hotel suites on earth. After that, we’ve also got some luxury options that won’t cost the equivalent of the average person’s yearly salary.
20 EXPENSIVE: Now THIS Is The Ultimate
Ah, yes. We’re kicking this party off the right way with this one, friends. This is the real big-ticket item, the most expensive hotel room on Earth. $80,000 for a night? Sure, why not?
Naturally, for most of us, that sum would just make your head spin. If your eyes have popped right out of your darn head like a cartoon, put them back in and let’s see what that buys you.
This beauty is the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. It occupies the entire eighth floor of this luxurious hotel, and boasts a grand piano, marble hot tub, bulletproof windows, private lift and security cameras, according to The Daily Mail.
19 EXPENSIVE: If Your Name’s Not Down, You’re Not Coming In
Needless to say, when we’re talking about hotels of this calibre, there’s a real sense of exclusivity going on. The Mandarin Oriental New York doesn’t even feature their prized Suite 5000 on their website. It’s all very if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Which makes sense, really, because… well, most of us could never afford it.
A night in Suite 5000 will set you back $36,000. For the asking price, you get a three-bedroom, 3,300 square foot apartment, adorned with beautiful art (which guests can buy using the interactive panels, if they feel like they haven’t spent enough already).
18 EXPENSIVE: Now That Was One Graceful Princess
Each year, luxury lifestyle magazine Elite Traveler publishes their take on the most beautiful, decadent and expensive hotel rooms in the world. They had the stunning Hotel de Paris, Monaco square in their sights, with a particular focus on the Princess Grace Suite.
Here’s what they had to say about the $37,000 per night suite:
“Fittingly set in the hotel that hosted the wedding reception of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, the newly opened Princess Grace Suite honors her lasting legacy. Hotel de Paris worked closely with the royal family to procure photographs, poems, sketches and memorabilia that were dear to the princess, so her presence can be felt throughout the suite.”
Now that’s something special.
17 EXPENSIVE: Making (Less-Than-)Modest Marrakech Memories
Meanwhile, over in Morocco, something very different but equally decadent is on offer. Marrakech’s world-renowned Royal Mansour hotel has a heck of a lot to live up to. After all, The Independent described it as “…not just a five-star hotel, it's a supernova of a palace. The food is astonishing. The service happens as if by telepathy. And the 53 individual riads that serve as guest quarters are exquisite.”
Needless to say, then, the Grand Riad is the very last word in luxury. The stunning room is so exclusive that booking details and the like are password-protected. If you want to stay to found out the nitty-gritty for yourself, though, you’d better have a spare $43,480 handy.
16 EXPENSIVE: Unparalleled Views Of The Coastline
For us regular mortals, the idea of dropping $30,000 just on a whim is kind of monstrous. For a single night at a hotel? It’s completely unthinkable. After researching some of these magnificent rooms, I had to go a lie down for a while and rethink all kinds of life decisions.
On the other hand, some of us are fortunate enough to have become accustomed to this kind of luxury. What does one fancy hotel have that another doesn’t? What’s the USP? That’s what matters to the Kims and Kanyes of the world.
In the case of the Hotel Cala di Volpe, in Sardinia, Italy, you’ve got a penthouse with a private wine cellar and pool, as well as a rooftop with breath-taking views of the coastline. It’s just a shame about the $41, 177 price tag.
15 EXPENSIVE: Another Sweet Slice Of Parisian Splendour
So, yes. We’ve already seen one glorious Parisian hotel room, in the shape of the Princess Grace Suite. As befits Paris’s status as one of the world’s most stylish and elegant cities, though, there are so many more to admire.
Our next stop is the Four Seasons George V, where another wonderful penthouse suite awaits. The price begins at around $21,500, which I suppose is relatively mild compared to some others on this list.
It’s still totally high-end, though, there’s no doubt; decadent floral displays accent the room and there are majestic views of some of Paris’s star attractions on offer too.
14 EXPENSIVE: Living Like Royalty In India
When it comes to truly top-tier swanky hotels, you need to go a little further than fine dining and mints on the pillows. A scenic setting is one thing, but how about the building itself? Next, we’re crossing over to Jaipur, India, where one hotel has absolutely nailed that concept.
The Raj Palace is, appropriately enough, actually a restored royal castle. According to Time, its super-exclusive Maharajah Pavilion is worthy of the name in every way. For your $65,000 per night, you can enjoy the luxury of crystal chandeliers, super high ceilings and even a private museum.
This is taking the term ‘mod cons’ just a shade too far.
13 EXPENSIVE: They Know How To Live On Laucala
For so many of us, Laucala already pretty well defines the term vacation goals. It’s a privately-owned little triplet of islands in Fiji, intended as a private resort for celebrities since Dietrich Mateschitz (the Red Bull head) brought it in 2003.
Vacationing in that sort of company is completely out of most of our leagues, but we can still dream. We can look at the Hilltop Estate, the ‘resort within a resort’ high in the hills of Laucala, and curse our non-famous existences. Did you know that the Hilltop Estate boasts 11,000 square meters of living space, as well as a private cook, chauffeur and nanny? Well, it does.
A bargain at $45,000 per night.
12 EXPENSIVE: Does It Get Any Flashier Than Las Vegas?
The answer to that question is heckles no, it doesn’t. If Las Vegas is known for anything, it’s for bright neon lighting, partying and dizzying sums of money changing hands in a heartbeat.
As such, it’s only to be expected that some of the world’s fanciest hotels are found right here. Perhaps the finest of all is Palms Casino Resort, which offers the Sky Villa to its most affluent patrons. Coming complete with a mini-spa, private elevator, 24/7 butler service and more, a stay at this suite will set you back $35,000 for a single night.
Still, though, you do get your own elevator into the bargain, and you can’t put a price on that.
11 EXPENSIVE: The Apartment Currently Known As Apartment
Now, this is what decadence is all about. You need to be on a completely different level of fame (and chutzpah) to be known only by your first name. Are you on Madonna’s level? Or Elvis’s? You’re dang right you aren’t.
The same’s true of hotel rooms, I suppose. At London’s exclusive Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, the centrepiece is simply known as The Apartment. It’s impeccably decorated in lavender and comes with its own private butler (but of course).
A stay will set you back a cool $24,000 a night. Mayfair is known for being pricey (as any Monopoly player will tell you), but that’s pushing things a little too far.
10 AFFORDABLE: Eminem, M&Ms and The M
Now, the bad news is, I can’t promise that you’ll see Eminem or be given complimentary M&Ms at this next hotel (you won’t). The good news, however, is that we’re onto the more affordable options for us regular folk now.
The first of these is another stylish London hotel. The M by Montcalm is located in Shoreditch, home of popular restaurants and a convenient location for a lot of the capital’s big attractions. Boasting five stars, a competitive rate and modern, urban décor, the M is a great place for those looking for a luxurious yet reasonable place to stay in the city.
9 AFFORDABLE: Welcome Back, Paris, We’ve Missed You
Over the course of this rundown, we’ve already seen some of the most decadent hotels and suites Paris has to offer. For those looking for a more cash-friendly yet just as unique experience, how about the Coq hotel?
As The Guardian explains, Coq stands for Community of Quality, and the community vibe is exactly what this hotel is all about. Guests are encouraged to add to the hotel’s collective guide to the city, and local tradespeople and artists lead regular events. The rooms, the report goes on, are characterised by a blue-grey/mustard feel and begin from a modest $180 for a night.
8 AFFORDABLE: The Beauty Of Barcelona
Speaking of Europe’s world-famous and unforgettable cities, we’ve got to make a stop in Spain too. Barcelona is the country’s second-largest city, behind only the capital, Madrid. It’s not mere runner-up in terms of sights and tourist attractions, though, and it boasts some magnificent budget hotels (well, relatively so) if you know where to look.
One that’s rated very highly is the Casa Bonay. The owners are super proud of this stylish, traditional building, as the official website will show you. Originally built in 1869, the renovators kept the original floors and sliding doors, while adding mod-cons like a juice bar and cocktail bar.
The end result is a scenic fusion of the old and the new, in beautiful surroundings. Rooms start at around $116.
7 AFFORDABLE: Reykjavik Throws Its Hat Into The Ring
When it comes to chic, modern/traditional European cities, Paris, Barcelona and such are going to be the first that come to mind. For fans of quirky boutique hotels, these are going to be among the first destinations that spring to mind. Reykjavík, meanwhile, probably won’t be. Maybe our next hotel will change your mind on that one.
The Skuggi Hotel wears its national influences proudly on its sleeve. As The Guardian reports, the décor was inspired by a book of photography of places around Iceland, which lead to the colour palette of snowy white and grey. The Skuggi oozes style and is perfectly positioned right next to the capital’s shopping hub.
6 AFFORDABLE: The Bright, Beautiful Bay
As you’ve no doubt noticed, we’ve seen a lot of Europe here in the beautiful budget end of the spectrum. I guess it’s time to hop back over the pond, then (is that just a UK/US thing? I’m never quite sure), and appreciate some of the United States’ finest affordable hotels. Our first stop is Sonoma Bay, California, where the Bodega Bay Lodge awaits.
Naturally, California is not a land known for being cheap. That may not be the word for Bodega Bay, either but it’s certainly competitive with others in the region. As Trivago Magazine reports, it offers a series of charming waterfront cottages, with private patios that let you admire the stunning vista before you.
5 AFFORDABLE: Whistlestop Waterloo
Just like that, we’re back in the heart of London again. Right there on the south bank, in the thick of everything, lies London Park Plaza.
When visiting a new city, everyone’s approach is going to be different. Some will want to hop right in and see as much as they possibly can on a long walk. Others will appreciate having a base camp right in the middle of things, just a short walk from the major sights (and a short walk back to your comfortable room). If you’re the latter, London Park Plaza is a perfect base camp.
Minimalistic four-star comfort, an ideal positioning (moments from Big Ben, the London Eye and more) and quirky in-house cuisine are hallmarks of the London Park Plaza.
4 AFFORDABLE: Not Far To Go At All
Another quick pond-hop later, and we’re in Massachusetts. As I say, the London Park Plaza is popular for its sightseeing-friendly location, which is something that so many travellers look for when deciding where to stay. To that end, Edgartown’s Harbor View Hotel might be right up your alley too.
So named for its stunning view of the harbour (as you’d probably surmised for yourself, funnily enough), this is the place to stay for an affordable visit to the legendary Lighthouse Beach.
It couldn’t be any closer to the beach, and it’s just a moment from the centre of town to boot. You couldn’t ask for a more ideal, or more idyllic, location.
3 AFFORDABLE: An Oasis In The Desert
Again, the Namibian Desert may not have been your first port of call when it comes to quirky and unique hotels. That’s where the priceless experience of other travellers come in. Let’s check out the Desert Breeze Lodge in Swakopmund, Namibia, which you may never have heard of or happened across during the course of your Internet research.
It’s characterised by luxurious bungalows, which offer a priceless view of the surrounding dunes. With its huge balconies, this is a true diamond in the sandy rough for those who like to enjoy the peace, serenity and endless majesty of nature. Amazing.
2 AFFORDABLE: Canaries Not Included
Before we get into the incomparable Canary Hotel, there are two things to bear in mind: firstly, it’s not in the Canary Islands. Secondly, there aren’t any canaries to speak of at all. Now that we’ve come to terms with that, we’re off back to South California.
The hotel is situated in Santa Barbara and known for its Spanish-inspired style. The guest rooms each have a unique feel, as does the charming building itself. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the area’s glorious weather, from the comfort of the pergolas if you’re not a huge sun enthusiast! One for those with boutique tastes.
1 AFFORDABLE: Good Morning, Vietnam!
For the final stop on our world tour of finest (and certainly-fine-enough-for-us) hotels, we’re off to Southeast Asia.
Vietnam’s River Palm Villas Hoi An was featured in Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Bargain Hotels of 2018, as voted for by site users themselves. That surely tells you all you need to know about the resort’s quality and affordability, but let’s expand a little.
Travellers come to the resort for its picturesque location, right by the river bank in a stunning natural area. The rooms are spacious, bright and clean, the staff are super attentive and the building itself is unique, inspired by the ancient town of Hoi An. Starting at $75 per night for a large family room, you really can’t go wrong.
References: The Daily Mail, Elite Traveler, The Independent, Time, The Guardian, Casa Bonay.com, Trivago Magazine, Trip Advisor.