While President Obama may not have much time for lounging these days, you can book an extravagant presidential suite and relax in the lap of luxury (even if only for a week or so). Our crew traversed the globe in search of suites that made us feel just as important as the commander in chief. What we found were impeccable accommodations ranging from a six-bedroom flat just blocks from Buckingham Palace to an impressive suite 53 stories above Manhattan.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii
For a prime oceanfront spot, you can’t beat the Hawaii Loa Presidential Villa at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The three-bedroom villa includes a welcome bottle of champagne, unpacking service, two 50-minute massages and reserved lounge chairs at the pool. And the spectacular views from the sprawling deck make a stay here worth every penny.
51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites & Residences, London
This retreat is really three suites in one—complete with six bedrooms and three kitchens. The Presidential Residence at Four-Star 51 Buckingham Gate in London spans nearly 3,300 square feet and includes butler service. The rooms can be enjoyed separately as one, two and three bedroom suites or all as one.
Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
Take in the impressive views of Victoria Harbour from the 55th floor Presidential Suite at Five-Star Island Shangri-La. It’s easy to escape the hectic pace of Hong Kong when you have a marble bathroom glass-enclosed shower, sauna or jetted bathtub—complete with an LCD TV. And you can still conduct business in style in the suite’s study or dining room with a hand-painted Chinese mural.
Mandarin Oriental, New York
The 2,640-square-foot Presidential Suite at Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, New York is decked out with custom furniture, a honey onyx-toned luxurious master bathroom overlooking Central Park and the latest technology—including an iPad that controls the temperature, lights and sound system. Don’t miss the 250-year-old calligraphy book of Chinese characters telling a story of good fortune and happiness.
The Jefferson, Washington, D.C.
It may not be called the “Presidential Suite,” but the proximity to—and views of—the White House from the Thomas Jefferson Suite at Four-Star The Jefferson, Washington, D.C. are tough to beat. This boutique hotel’s best room features a grand salon with walnut parquet floors and a cozy fireplace, as well as a formal dining room with seating for 10. Plus, there are five Juliet balconies with impressive views of top historic sights like the Washington Monument.
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, N.C.
The 1,725-square-foot luxurious Presidential Suite at the Five-Star Umstead Hotel and Spa is located on the top floor and includes exotic wood furniture, Axminster carpet, and silk pillows and draperies. You can unwind in the whirlpool tub, host a dinner party in the eight-seat dining room or ogle over the lake views from the great balcony.
Turnberry Isle Miami
The greatest features of the Grand Presidential Suite at Turnberry Isle Miami are the two terraces—they add approximately 2,000 square feet to the suite and plenty of seating to soak up the Miami sun. The suite offers gorgeous golf course views, his and her walk-in closets, an expansive bathroom containing a double vanity—each with a TV—and a gas fireplace in the living room. Rich wood floors cover the living areas, while soft carpet in the bedroom makes it easy to get out of bed come morning.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
The Presidential Suite at Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Chicago offers a piece of luxury in the sky. A marble bathroom, living room with a fireplace, two king bedrooms, and décor inspired by Christian Dior and Coco Chanel round out the amenities of this Windy City hotel’s presidential post. If the 3,160-square-foot living space isn’t enough for you, soak up the views of the Chicago skyline from the two furnished terraces.
Park Hyatt Seoul
The first thing you’ll notice when stepping into Park Hyatt Seoul‘s Presidential Suite are the floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of the South Korean capital. The next will definitely be the bath: It’s made entirely of granite, and includes a rain shower, stone massage table and spa bathtub. But that’s not to say the rest is not worthy of mention—the woodwork and fireplace in the dining and living rooms are definitely talking points of this sumptuous suite.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
For a Parisian presidential experience, Hôtel Plaza Athénée lets you live like a head of state in one of its Presidential Suites. Not one, but two marble bathrooms invite you for a relaxing soak, and each suite is decorated in a classic style. Pick a pillow to match your mood from the hotel’s pillow menu; osteopathic, de-stressing and beautifying are among your choices. Depending on which suite you book, you can expect fantastic views of Avenue Montaigne or Cour Jardin. But hurry here soon—the luxury hotel closes its doors on October 1 for a major renovation and will reopen in May 2014.
The St. Regis New York
Everyone from Salvador Dali to Marilyn Monroe has stayed in the impeccable Presidential Suite at The St. Regis New York. The three-bedroom suite at the Five-Star overlooks Fifth Avenue and features a marble foyer, a dining room with seating for eight, a fully equipped kitchen and a walnut-paneled library.
The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles
The grand Presidential Bungalows debuted in 2011, and were inspired by the Five-Star Beverly Hills Hotel‘s original bungalows where Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe once stayed. With almost 5,000 square feet of living space, the two bungalows include private pools, outdoor fireplaces and rain showers, while the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors bring the outside in.
The Hay-Adams, Washington D.C.
The regal Presidential Suite at the Four-Star Hays-Adams in D.C. housed the Obamas for 12 days before the 2009 inauguration. The eighth-floor penthouse can be configured as one or two bedrooms, but both layouts include a gas-lit corner fireplace and a large living room with commanding views of the nation’s capital. If knowing that our commander in chief has stayed here doesn’t entice you, the postcard-worthy backdrop of the White House and Washington Monument should certainly seal the deal.
The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto
With interiors, furnishings and artwork hand-selected by internationally recognized designer Brian Gluckstein, the Presidential Suite at the Four-Star Hazelton Hotel in Toronto is as elite as it gets. The 4,200-square-foot-suite includes three bedrooms, four baths (with steam showers), eight flat-screen TVs, a 7-foot-long linear fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen with wine cellar and a 600-square-foot terrace with built-in barbecue.
The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Va.
In the Presidential Suite at the Five-Star Jefferson Hotel, luxury and history go hand in hand. Each of the four rooms contains original woodworking dating back to hotel’s opening in 1895, and famous guests such as Elvis and Frank Sinatra have stayed here. The suite includes three decorative fireplaces, a dining room that seats eight, a semi-private marble loggia overlooking Richmond‘s historic Franklin Street and a baby grand piano in the parlor.
Photos Courtesy of Four Seasons, The Jefferson, Dorchester Collection and Hyatt Corporation