When booking family vacations on a budget, the onus is usually on saving money on the hotel. After all, you’ll spend most of your day out seeing the sights, right? But consider for a moment splurging on the crème de la crème of hotel rooms. Play hoops on your private basketball court, swim in your private pool, or host a lavish cocktail party in a New York City penthouse. All these accommodations and more can be yours, if you’re willing to drop more money than the price tag of midsize sedan per night. Check out these decadent homes away from home. — by Joanna Kresge
The Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson
Said to be one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world, and claiming to be the largest suite in Europe, the Royal Penthouse Suite is the definition of opulence. Enter through your own private elevator and take in the grandeur of the 12 bedrooms, 12 marble bathrooms, fitness room, dressing room, living room, dining room, and pantry. Soak in a jacuzzi bath with Hermes bath products, then play some notes on the Steinway grand piano. Or challenge someone a quick game of billiards before you have your butler bring you a drink on the expansive panoramic terrace with views of Lake Geneva and Mont-Blanc.
Five Bedroom Terrace Suite at The Mark
Location: New York City
This massive 4,788-square-foot penthouse boasts five bedrooms of varying size, a foyer, living room, dining room, and eat-in kitchen. The kids won’t be able to fight over the bathroom, because there are five of them. In the morning, mom and dad can read the morning The New York Times while the kids enjoy their breakfast out on the massive 14th floor terrace with south, west, and north facing views of the city.
Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental
Taking up the majority of the hotel’s 25th floor, this suite features king and twin bedrooms, a bathroom with a soaking tub, kitchen, meeting room, and wine bar. Enjoy the subtle yet luxurious blend of Chinese and contemporary décor before grabbing a chilled glass of wine and heading out to the two private rooftop gardens, which offer not only serenity, but also breathtaking views of the city.
Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi
This private beach front villa is the epitome of luxury with its two master bedrooms, living room, gym, steam bath, and marble lined bathrooms. There is not one, but two pools on the premises — one indoor, one outdoor. Fish from the nearby ocean and grill up your catch on at the outdoor barbeque station or call your personal butler who lives on the premises to cater to your every whim. Take a swing in your shaded hammock or get a massage on the private patio overlooking the water.
The Hardwood Suite at The Palms
Location: Las Vegas
Families with basketball-loving kiddos and bachelor party goers alike are going to love the 10,000-square-foot, two-story suite. Suit up in the large locker room before stepping onto the 30- by 30-foot professional hardwood basketball court. After you’ve hit the showers, the court features three extra-large Murphy beds — in addition to the room’s two bedrooms — which fold out when you need to crash and retract when it’s time to shoot some more hoops. There’s also an in-suite wet bar, butler service, and a black felt pool table.