Whether you're looking for a genuinely OMGWTFyoYOLOo overnight experience on your next vacation, or you are really really ridiculously wealthy and willing/able to drop a working person's entire annual salary on a one-night stay, we’ve got you covered. This apparently is how the 0.1% live when they’ve just got to get away from it all -- “it all,” in this case, a $3 million Upper West Side four-bedroom apartment with a private elevator and a dishwasher... who has a first and last name.
These are some of the most preposterous, over-the-top, money-torchingest hotels in the world. Ah, but the rich don’t have the corner on memorable: a few high-concept treats remain within the price range of working schlubs who just want a rad vacay.
The gold standard in luxury hotels is the Mandarin Oriental, hands-down. And if you're going to go all in on a Presidential Suite, do it at the location in Pudong, a district in Shanghai. There the room itself costs $26,450 per night and comes with a private wine cellar and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, two private roof gardens, and a bathroom you could park a bus in. Soak in the Jacuzzi as well as in the knowledge that the bathroom in your hotel is bigger than most apartments in the city sprawling out, both literally and figuratively, beneath your feet.
One does not simply book a room at the exclusive, $40,000-a-night guest villas at this resort on Laucala Island, Fiji. First, one fills out an application, and then one waits to be approved by the property's owner: Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz. Which just goes to show that money CAN'T buy everything, including approval from a guy who made billions off of highly concentrated caffeinated sodas passed off as performance drinks that most people just use to enable themselves to drink more mid-bender. So.
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
For those days when you're just like, y’know, I think I'll just take my private helicopter over to Bali and chill for a few days, there is the Viceroy Bali (complete with helipad). For the most luxe of the luxe, the Viceroy Villa is a private pool villa with two spacious ensuite bedrooms and ample space for entertaining, provided all those you might entertain also have their own private helicopters because unfortunately those things don't accommodate groups. (I know, it's like, UGH.) You can’t book this directly, but you may ask permission to book it. Considering average rates for a standard room can go up to $1,726, assume that the price tag on this is "if you have to ask, you can’t afford it."
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
When traveling in groups, you want to be sure you have plenty of space to accommodate everyone. Two bedrooms with king-size beds, two more with double beds, 4.5 bathrooms, two Jacuzzis, a full gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar and wine bar, a dining room table that seats 10, two terraces, a dipping pool, and an outdoor dining area at this planned residential-resort community 15 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport should suffice. And all for the it-was-this-or-a-new-car price of $14,840 per night.
Sometimes opulence can become SO ostentatious, that -- like a snake eating its own tail -- it circles back around to outlandish simplicity. Such is the case at the Null Stern ("zero stars") Hotel. There is only one room at this open-air "hotel" located on a Swiss mountainside, and it has no roof, no walls, and no bathroom -- although there are public restroom facilities just 10 minutes away. Yay? At around $250 per night, this place is certainly affordable; as well it should be because there are NO WALLS AND NO BATHROOM. You are literally just paying for a bed some enterprising dudes dragged out into the middle of the Swiss countryside where you can wake up to a scene of Michel Gondry tweeness so absurd it actually seems to be breaking the fourth wall of reality and people are totally buying into it because everything is stupid.
Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
This private game reserve features luxury safari lodges and "treehouses" in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. The open-air Chalkley Treehouse is set up on a lavish platform underneath the stars -- elevated so you don't get awoken by, you know, lions feeding on your thigh meat -- with all of the comforts of a five-star safari lodge (except for, you know, a shower). But take note: a night out under the stars is an activity booked in addition to your accommodation reserved at one of the Lion Sands Lodges, which will set you back roughly in the ballpark of (and depending on the season and particular lodge) $2,827 per night.
Rangali Island, The Maldives
You can sleep suspended on the side of a mountain, OR you can sleep 16ft below the surface of the Indian Ocean in this underwater bedroom suite. The suite must be booked at least two weeks in advance, as it requires the resort to convert what is otherwise a glass-enclosed underwater restaurant into your own private fish bowl. The cost of this aquarium tour: $11,710 per night. (This is the Maldives, after all – one of the most expensive destinations in the world, which means this unreasonable amount is vaguely reasonable.) Also, you can only get to this hotel via seaplane, because obviously.
Sacred Valley of Cuzco, Peru
Make all of your nightmares come true by paying roughly $300 a night to sleep in a translucent "luxury" capsule suspended from the top of a mountain at the Skylodge Adventure Suites, the world's first hanging lodge. You need to be in solid physical condition to stay here though, because getting to your coffin/capsule requires a 1,300ft climb, and alas, there are no helipads here. But, hey. It’s not everywhere that $300 buys you a lifetime of agoraphobic nightmare grist.
Accommodations starting at a mere $123 per night await you after you climb 60,000 stone steps cut through the cleft of a cliff known as the Thread of Sky. Want to upgrade? Hire porters to carry you up in a wicker chair suspended on two bamboo poles – you decide which sounds safer/more relaxing to you. This ancient site is nestled at the top of a cluster of natural granite towers with sweeping views of the Huangshan mountain range, but buyer beware: you are 100% staying here for the location and the view. The accommodations and amenities here are, in a word, meh. But that view though!
This is THE most expensive hotel room in the world at $83,200 per night, well beyond the average American's annual income. This thing is nearly 18,000sqft with 12 bedrooms, each with its own marble bathroom. Its wraparound terrace alone is 1,680sqft, with panoramic views of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps, a private fitness center, a private "royal boardroom" (presumably for those late-night meetings that spill out of the United Nations buildings just a few blocks away and over to cigars and Manhattans), a private elevator, a handpicked art collection, one of very few Bang 7 Olufsen BeoVision 4 103-inch plasma TVs (with built-in surround sound), and a Steinway grand piano. The room also comes with a private butler, chef, and personal assistant, as well as its own security team and extensive safety measures like bulletproof glass. You can't make reservations online, which should probably go without saying by now -- but then, you’re a smart enough person to come up with better ways to blow 83 large. What do you tip on that, anyway?
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