Room With A View

Inside some of the worlds’ most luxurious penthouse suites.

Is there anything more alluring than a hotel’s private elevator button marked “PH”? Not only are the views the best in the building, so are the amenities.

And the penthouse craze is expanding. From New York to Cape Town, the following six suites offer prized views, sprawling floor plans and sumptuous details, along with nearby world-class shopping.

Fairmont-San Francisco
The 83-year-old grand dame atop Nob Hill received a facelift in 2009 yet still retains its timeless splendor. Its guest list is the stuff of legend. Mick Jagger and Elton John have played the piano downstairs, while JFK and Marlene Dietrich are said to have browsed the penthouse’s signature two-story circular library. Perfect for formal entertaining, the 6,000-square-foot space offers postcard-perfect views of the city skyline and San Francisco Bay, and Union Square shopping is just down the street.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo
On the western shores of Italy’s Lake Como, Grand Hotel Tremezzo draws celebrities and jet set to its picture-perfect setting. Like the rest of the property, the Rooftop Penthouse and its private terrace is all about breathtaking views of Bellagio, Balbianello and the Riviera delle Azalee. Individual suites can be linked together to include eight bedrooms. Top shopping is just south in Milan on the famous Via Montenapoleone.

One & Only Cape Town, South Africa
Opened in 2009, this mega-suite has already been visited by former president Bill Clinton and the band U2. The 5,000-square-foot layout smartly divides the entertaining quarters (living room, dining room, pool deck, kitchen) from the living quarters (gym, study and four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.) For entertaining, the wine loft is stocked with 280 bottles of local wine and Champagne. Call in for Nobu sushi downstairs.

Faena Hotel + Universe
Housed in the 1902 El Porteño Building, this posh property resides in the newly revitalized Puerto Madero district on the waterfront of Buenos Aires. The F Suite, a creative collaboration between Philippe Starck and Alan Paena, pays homage to the Belle Époque period lush with deep red and gold detail. The grand space – with its sexy views of the Ecological Reserve, Rio de la Plata and city of Buenos Aires – are accessed via a private residential entrance. Touted as the most expensive suite in Latin America, its coveted location is close to Calle Florida, a mile-long pedestrian mall dotted by high-end shops and artisans.

The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Guests seeking privacy book one of the three penthouse suites at this stunning property. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola designed these sleek hideaways with handpicked avant-garde pieces accented by silks, leather and velvet. Minimalist suites cover nearly 775 square feet and offer stunning views of the hotel’s inner Mimosa Garden or Barcelona’s glamorous stretch of five-star boutiques, Passeig de Gràcia. All penthouse suites feature 24-hour butler service.

Trump SoHo New York
Located in lower Manhattan, the property is located in the heart of chic neighborhood boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. At 46-stories, this prestigious property features 10 two-bedroom penthouse suites, including a 2,300-square-foot duplex with an outdoor terrace space well suited for entertaining. Whether you opt to admire a sunset over the Hudson River or awe at the Empire State Building from the freestanding bathtub, suites exude a refreshing residential vibe.

For more information about these and other penthouse suites, visit