In the world of luxury hotels, the bar for what is considered exclusive and extravagant is constantly being raised ever higher. Five-star hotels have long since catered for the whims of the global elite, and at some point over the past two decades, it was decided that so much more could be achieved in the hospitality industry, leading to an entirely new concept: the seven-star hotel.
Ever since the first of these boundary-breaking establishments was opened, certain locations across the globe have been in competition with each other. Why? In order to outdo all previous efforts, and create ever more breathtaking places for the super-rich to spend their time. Let’s lift the velvet curtain, and take a peek at five of the most renowned and respected seven-star hotels in the world.
Seven Stars Galleria
Before the opening of this Milanese hotel, the concept of a seven-star hotel simply didn’t exist. The brainchild of industry visionary Alessandro Rossi, the Seven Stars Galleria was intended to offer an entirely new hotel experience for the elite traveler; one which put the unique desires of the guest first and foremost in every conceivable way.
This hotel offers decadent and fully-equipped suites which come with a 24-hour butler service as standard and a string of restaurants which tailor their menu to fit your preferences. Guests are required to complete a questionnaire before arriving, which allows the hotel staff to adjust the room to fit their exacting requirements - from pillow size and shape to room temperature, not a single thing is left unaccounted for!
Burj Al Arab
It’s impossible to discuss seven-star hotels without some mention of the Burj Al Arab, which has become the poster-child for the elite hotel industry worldwide. Dubai’s iconoclastic sail-shaped palace of dreams is the perfect showcase for the Emirates unique take on luxury and hospitality and offers guests a level of attention to detail which is rarely - if ever - outdone.
Boasting world-beating views of the sparkling blue gulf, the option of being driven into town by a chauffeured Rolls Royce, record-breaking aquariums next to the plushest and stunningly designed suites, an army of dutiful butlers… this hotel truly has it all.
Taj Falaknuma Palace
India’s Taj Falaknuma Palace really is a genuine palace, once the home of the Nizam of Hyderabad - the world’s richest man in his lifetime. Guests at this historic center of opulence can enjoy the stunning collection of chandeliers, tapestries and other fittings of the hotel, and can enjoy the finest cuisine available anywhere on the subcontinent. Ideal for living out your wildest oriental fantasies!
The main contender to Burj Al Arab’s crown is the astoundingly decadent Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, which has been designed with the expressed intention to outstrip its main competitor in every way it can.
Entirely bedecked in prime marble imported from five different countries, and offering its guests a 1.5km private beach, the Emirates Palace is the ultimate luxury getaway. Certain features of this hotel seem almost too extravagant to be true: inside, one can find one of the only gold bar vending machines in existence, and the kitchens supposedly get through 5 kilograms of gold leaf per year, just from decorating their famously lavish desserts.
Pangu 7 Star Hotel
China is fast establishing itself as a fascinating destination for luxury tourism, and the Pangu 7 Star Hotel in Beijing is the perfect manifestation of the country’s latest efforts. Built in the shape of a vast Chinese dragon (a symbol of wealth, fittingly), the marble-clad hotel boasts handmade silk wallpaper in every room, a series of world-class restaurants, the most luxurious spas in all the country, and views over the Olympic park and capital’s skyline.