The writer Joan Didion once said of hotels that they “have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service”. It’s an observation which rings particularly true when you consider the hotel penthouses that only an elite minority can afford to spend the night in. After all, in order to stay at the top of these iconic buildings, you need to have reached the top of the financial ladder yourself.
And, with Christmas not that far away now (we know, we’re dropping the C word pretty early over here), there’s no better time to book yourself and your loved ones in for a serious dose of decadence in a world-famous penthouse and let catering take care of the Christmas dinner. From the dizzying heights of a suite at The Plaza, to a fashionable haven amidst the French Riviera, here are our ultimate bucket list penthouse suites to reserve this season.
The Mark Hotel's Grand Penthouse
The historic Mark Hotel has long been a gem on New York City’s Upper East Side. Originally built in 1927, the property was completely reimagined by French interior designer Jacques Grange in 2009. Six years later, the hotel’s lavish penthouse was revealed, and to this day, it remains unmatched in both size and price tag. Spanning over 10,000 square feet, the Mark Hotel’s penthouse is North America’s largest and most expensive hotel suite.
Cost per night: $75,000
The Mark Hotel
The Penthouse at George V
Every inch the perfect romantic destination, your stay in The Penthouse begins with breakfast on the terrace backed by Eiffel Tower views, includes afternoons spent relaxing in the sumptuous living room and private conservatory, and ends with a glass of champagne on the balcony’s four-poster daybed.
The terrace offers panoramic views across the French capital, alongside an infinity bathtub.
Cost per night: £16,950
Four Seasons Hotel George V
The Plaza Penthouse King Suite
As an established staple for lavish society affairs and blockbuster films since October 1, 1907, The Plaza Hotel has remained a New York icon hosting world leaders, dignitaries, captains of industry, Broadway legends, and Hollywood royalty.
The immense Grand Penthouse Two Bedroom Terrace Suite is located on the penthouse level of the Plaza and offers breathtaking views of Central Park and the New York City skyline.
Cost per night: $12,500
The Princess Grace Suite at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Monaco isn’t short on fine places to rest your head but the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo’s Princess Grace suite in undeniably the best of them all. Unveiled after the hotel’s recent renovation, the 938 square metre suite is spread out over two floors and boasts a private pool, Jacuzzi, terrace, dining room, kitchen and separate living room.
Its two bedrooms make it ideal for those travelling with children (or those who just want enough space to host a seriously lavish Christmas lunch) while its panoramic sea views are unrivalled in the principality.
Cost per night: From €30,000
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Looking for more amazing destinations? These are the best alternative European city breaks…