Living it up in super-suites

Chandeliers dripping with crystals in every room, gold-tapped jacuzzis, designer bath products, sprawling bedrooms, champagne breakfasts, and a butler at your beck and call - that would be the basic package.

Rolls Royce airport transfers, your own lap pool, customised menus and fitness programmes, your own personal shopper and even a DJ booth in your room are among the VIP touches hotels are adding to their top-of-the-line suites in an attempt to attract guests with expensive tastes.

A New York Times article last month mentioned Singapore, along with London and the Middle East, as one of the originators of the trend of hotels havingĀ "super-suites" - luxurious, top-of-the line rooms costing more than $6,000 a night.

A SundayLife! check showed that at least 10 hotels here have such suites, including Resorts World Sentosa, Marina Bay Sands, W Singapore and St Regis Singapore. Rates range from $6,600 to more than $17,000 a night.

While most hotels declined to identify famous guests who have stayed in their suites, all said that they are a mix of locals and tourists, and that celebrities, chief executives, royal families and visiting dignitaries usually figure prominently among them.

Their stays can range from a night to more than a year, said hotel spokesmen. A spokesman for Capella Singapore said the longest-staying guest in its most expensive manor, the Colonial Manor, stayed almost three years. Rates start from $12,000 a night.

Ms Pam Danziger, president of American luxury marketing firm Unity Marketing, said those who choose to stay in such super suites are "the new-money types", who value "the display of this excessive, over-the-top consumption. Subtlety is not appreciated".

She added that for hotels, the benefit is two-fold. They attract the big spenders and also the "man on the street" who wants to be able to say he stayed in the same hotel as the rich and famous.

According to Ms Vivian Koh, director of marketing and brand communications for Raffles Hotels worldwide, the trend started with the opulent Burj Al Arab in Dubai, billed as the world's first seven-star hotel when it opened in 1999.

Raffles Hotel in Singapore has its own super-suite - the Sarkies Suite and Sir Stamford Raffles Suite, each costing more than $10,000 a night. But Ms Koh said the Raffles Dubai has a super-suite that takes up a whole floor and has its own cinema and hair salon. The damage? AED80,000, or nearly S$28,000, a night.

While Singapore does not offer anything close to such ultra-luxe proportions, there are those that certainly fit the super-suite category. Sunday Life! checks out six of the most luxurious ones.

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