Check out our list of ten jaw-dropping hotel suites and, well, your jaw will drop. You might wonder who actually gets to stay in these miniature palaces. Rock stars? Sheikhs? Heads of state?
While I usually spend so much of each travel day sightseeing that a suite would be a liability—it would only tempt me to stay put rather than get out and explore—once in a while a suite does come in awfully handy. Last month, when I was in Paris for business meetings and had to spend most of each day in my hotel room glued to my laptop, it sure was nice to have space, a balcony, and quintessential Parisian ambience in the form of this charming old-world suite at the Hôtel Raphael. Here are other common travel situations when a suite may be worth the splurge:
- When it means amazing views. My favorite suite in the world is at the InterContinental Hong Kong because the glass walls facing Victoria Harbour allow you to do the best sightseeing the city has to offer without even leaving your room: The ships sail so close to the glass that you can practically reach out and touch them, and all the Harbour activity is so mesmerizing (especially at night during the Symphony of Lights show) that it’s hard to let yourself fall asleep for fear you’ll miss something.
- When you crave a secluded retreat. Sometimes a suite with your own private plunge pool, hot tub, fireplace, wrap-around balcony, or what-have-you can be just what the therapist ordered. In my experience, especially for a romantic retreat, nothing beats an oversized bathtub with a panoramic view—such as this one that I found on my honeymoon at Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand.
- When you’ve got kids in tow. When you’re traveling with tots who need afternoon naps or who go to bed at 8:00 p.m., a suite can save your sanity: A door between you and them means you can actually be productive during that down time, rather than having to squint and tiptoe around in the dark for hours.
- When you’ve been trapped in a tiny space for days…or what seems like it. A suite to spread out in seems even more luxurious when you’ve just been squeezed in like a sardine on a long transoceanic flight or in a cramped cruise-ship cabin.
- When it’s the last stop of an itinerary that hits several hotels. Some people will opt to start a trip with the nicest room, but psychologists who study memory and happiness have found that it’s the end of a trip that has a greater influence on how you’ll remember the experience afterward. Better to save your best hotel room for last and end the trip with a grand finale.