By Mark Chesnut
Even if you’ve never stayed in one, you’ve heard of them: Those dreamy rooms at the very top of the hotel. Whether they’re called a penthouse or the presidential suite, these are the accommodations to indulge in countless amenities and luxurious style. And business travelers take note: Many suites can also be used for business meetings, private cocktail parties and events, making it easier to justify the expense. To get your travel imagination going, here are a few great places to check into the top of the hotel.
In Southern California, actual presidents are among the guests who’ve checked into the presidential suite at The Beverly Hilton. The posh, 1,870-square-foot space includes a master bedroom, living room, dining area (which doubles as a conference table) and two 42-inch plasma televisions with the Bose Home Theater System.
Scottsdale, Arizona—a hotspot for upscale hotels—offers plenty of opportunities to spoil yourself with grand accommodations. At the retro-chic Hotel Valley-Ho, the Tower Loft Suite has two levels, connected by a graceful floating staircase. In January, the W Scottsdale is debuting six presidential-style suites with attention-getting monikers, including a one-bedroom Wow Suite and four two-bedroom Extreme Wow corner penthouse suites that feature high-tech kitchens, hardwood floors and sliding glass doors that lead to large balconies.
On the East Coast, the penthouse suite at the InterContinental New York Times Square measures an impressive 2,700 square feet (larger than most New York City apartments), with a two-story living room that has floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace and windows framed with wood-paneled columns and Mother of Pearl insets. Even larger is the, 2,800-square-foot presidential suite at The Surrey Hotel, which comes complete with a baby grand piano, formal dining room and 160-square-foot private patio; the suite can be reserved with either one or two bedrooms.
In Miami, the EPIC Miami, a Kimpton Hotel, has a 1,100-square-foot presidential suite that offers sweeping views of Miami River and Biscayne Bay. A Bose sound system allows music to flow freely through the spacious living area and eight-person dining area as well as the master bedroom, where the master bath has a second balcony.
In North Carolina, a top choice is available at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, near Raleigh. Original artwork, silk draperies and pillows and furniture designed in exotic woods are among the décor elements, while a 50” television, eight-person dining table and pantry with a wine cooler allow for various entertainment options.
Of course, the problem with staying in one of these suites may be the trip back to reality when you get home.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He usually stays in a standard room.