Think 5-star hotels are the pinnacle of luxury? Think again. There’s a 7 star hotel in some part of the world scoffing at your unsophisticated taste. In today’s hedonistic world of ornamental excesses, some hotels in their outlandish grandiosity have completely skipped the 6-star ranking and darted straight to seven.
If you’re not a big shot, the gilded experience can be catastrophic to your wallet: a single night can cost you between $1,900 to $18,000, but don’t fret. You frequently get what you pay for in these hotels made for modern kings and queens.
A slew of luxurious (and sometimes outlandish) amenities backs up the price tag, including a team of personal butlers, helicopter transfers, submarine rides, caviar facials, gold-dusted cappuccinos, and hallways decked ceiling to floor with every precious metal you can think of.
If you’re curious about the lives of the rich and famous, here’s everything you need to know about 7-star hotels, along with a list of some of the world’s most outrageously opulent accommodations.
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What is a 7 star hotel?
In official terms, there really is no such thing as a 7-star rating. The term was said to have been coined by an unnamed journalist covering the opening of Dubai’s Burj Arab Jumeirah in 1999.
The journalist used the term ‘7-star’ to describe the outrageous grandiosity of the hotel, noting that 5-stars isn’t enough to recognize the decadence of the accommodation. She then suggested that it must be the first 7-star luxury hotel in the world.
In reality, hotel ratings are not globally standardized, and even 5-star ratings vary between countries. This is mainly because rating organizations differ in their classification systems. For example, in the U.S., companies like the AAA or the Forbes Travel Guide are in charge of classifying hotels. In Europe, it’s the Hotelstars Union, and there’s the Automobile Association in Great Britain.
In other countries, it’s the tourism department’s job to look after the system. Other times, only online booking agents like Orbitz and international hotel groups like Small Luxury Hotels of the World set the ratings. In a nutshell, hotel ratings can be complicated.
While the exact specification of a hotel that deserves a 7-star rating is murky, there seems to be a common denominator between accommodations that market themselves as seven-star: they’re outrageously luxurious with the flashiest and glitziest extras you can think of.
Here are some of the world’s most beautiful 7-star hotels in the world. All prices listed are as of 2021.
Price: A one-bedroom suite in Dubai’s most iconic hotel costs nearly $1,900. The Dubai 7 star hotel price of The Royal Suite, often listed as one of the world’s most expensive hotel suites, costs a whopping $18,716 per night.
Address: Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As mentioned, Hotel Burj Al Arab is partly responsible for coining the term ‘7-star’, and as such, one can only expect glitz and glamour here. This self-proclaimed ‘world’s most luxurious hotel’ is situated off the coast of Dubai on its own independent island.
Its awe-inspiring facade is only a taste of the opulence you’ll encounter indoors. The designer, Tom Wright of WKK Architects, created a building that would become synonymous with Dubai with a lasting impression akin to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Opera House, and London’s Big Ben. The building, which is meant to resemble a type of Arabian water vessel, stands 321 meters high. Over 202 luxurious suites may be accessed from one of the world’s tallest atriums.
Almost every aspect of this 7 star hotel Dubai is meant to evoke extreme decadence: from its fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms and 24-hour butler service (there are multiple attendants dedicated to each suite) to its lavishly decorated ultra-modern interiors, helicopter transfers, and caviar facials.
Guests can also enjoy Instagram-worthy panoramic views of the ocean from its upscale duplex suites, get access to its private beach, and complimentary tickets to the Wild Wadi Waterpark. If you’re looking for a sinfully rich experience, the Burk Al Arab will make your gold-plated dreams come true.
Price: Booking a Historical Suite with gorgeous city views starts at approximately US$585 a night.
Address: Taj Falaknuma Palace, Engine Bowli, Fatima Nagar, Falaknuma, Hyderabad, India
The Taj Falaknuma Palace touts itself as the only 7 star hotel in India. Built during 1884, this 7-star palace-cum-hotel located on a hill southwest of Hyderabad was once owned by Hyderabad’s ruler, considered the richest man in the world at that time. Today it is managed by Taj Hotels and restored to its 19th-century beauty.
Outside from a bird’s eye view, this 7 star hotel India takes on the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out like wings. Inside, the hotel draws from two main inspirations: the White House and the Buckingham Palace.
If you’ve ever wondered what a Dubai 7 star hotel inside looks like, the Taj Falaknuma Palace is a great example. Expect all sorts of grandiosity – Japanese Satsuma vases and Art Deco chandeliers, walnut floors, French Baroque ceilings, and an extensive jade collection.
The lounge houses a billiards table with an ivory snooker table. And while there are only two of these in the world (the other belonging to the Queen), guests are more than welcome to play with this one.
Entry-level rooms have antique-style rolltop baths and rain showers, but if you’re looking for a princely experience, book any of the three historic suites for period furnishings and balconies with city views. The beautifully preserved bedroom of the original owner’s wife is located on the ground floor. If you take a peek at its bath, you’ll see three taps: ‘cold’, ‘hot’ and ‘perfume’.
Upon arrival, expect an opulent procession. Guests are escorted into the hotel by a gold horse-drawn carriage. As part of the turndown service, guests are offered fragrant baths.
TIP: It’s not recommended to visit India without insurance to cover medical emergencies. Make sure you’re covered!
Price: Rooms are priced from $5,989 to $12,251 a night.
Address: Emirates Palace Hotel, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Emirates Palace Hotel makes us want to live the good life. Imagine yourself strutting out of your service limo with a pair of luxury sunglasses. Decked out in a suit, you smell of Dior and cigar. A team of butlers takes your coat. It’s hard not to fantasize when looking at this three-billion property!
Touted as one of the world’s most expensive hotels, the outrageous opulence of Emirates Palace Hotel is mind-boggling. Stately on the outside and elaborate on the inside, this 7 star hotel features 12 outdoor fountains, 114 domes, 128 kitchens, 600 acres of exotic park grounds, and marble imported from over 13 different countries. In addition, there’s a marina and a two-helicopter helipad for when you’re looking to sail or fly in.
The interiors are oozing with luxury – floors and ceilings are decked out in gold, some of the world’s largest 1000 Swarovski crystal chandeliers hang from ceilings, and state-of-the-art technology grace every corner.
Emirates Palace Hotel’s 7-star hotel facilities list goes on and on. Three bars, four restaurants, and several cafes offer a wide range of food and refreshments. Take a sip of gold-dusted cappuccinos and $15,000 cognacs, or try the real Albino caviar priced at $113,630 per kilo.
Looking to relax? There are two swimming pools and a luxurious on-site spa that offers an elaborate menu of diamond-infused oils and 24-karat gold facials. The long stretch of private beach located nearby is one of the hotel’s biggest draws.
Price: Rooms will set you back around $376 to $1,258 per night.
Address: Signiel Seoul, Sincheon-dong, South Korea, Seoul
Perched on the sixth tallest building in the world and towering over one of Seoul’s most elite districts, Signiel Soul is a 7 star hotel that offers views as spectacular as its service.
The opulent experience begins the moment you step in. Arrive in style via VIP car service or enjoy elegant transfers in a Rolls-Royce. After being escorted to your 7 star luxury hotel bedroom, you’re served Royal Tea, an exclusive blend available only at the hotel developed by tea producer Osulloc and renowned chef Yannic Alleno.
Every room features super-premium bedding, luxurious marble bathrooms with double vanities, and toiletries from the luxury French brand Diptyque. For spectacular cityscapes from the comfort of your bathroom, book a Premier Suite! Floor to ceiling windows bathe interiors with plenty of light; press a button when it’s time to sleep, and the curtains close for you.
If you’re looking for a more traditional stay, opt for the 900-square-foot Korean Suite Room, which features ceramic tea sets, dark wood paneling in the living room, a butterfly mural, and a black marble bathroom with a rustic wooden tub.
Much more than its stellar service and amenities, food is also one of the hotel’s biggest draws. STAY feature’s chef Alleno’s fine French fare, while executive chef Jun Kwangsik’s Bicena offers more local specialties like fish noodles served in savory anchovy stock and steamed abalone.
Hop to the upscale Bar 81 for live DJ performances every Friday and Saturday. It houses one of the country’s largest champagne collections amidst magnificent sky views!
Price: Standard rooms are more pocket-friendly at US$241.67 per night. A stay at the ultra-luxurious Sky Courtyard will set you back around a whopping $146,165 a night.
Address: Pangu 7 Star Hotel, 27 N 4th Ring Rd Middle, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Claiming its 7-star ranking loudly and proudly is Pangu 7 Star Hotel Beijing. If you’re looking for celebrity treatment, this dragon-shaped luxury hotel offers only opulence and will not disappoint. With stunning views of the China National Convention Center & Olympic Village, this 7 star hotel is one of the best spots to discover Beijing.
Its strategic location is one of its biggest draws. The airport is only 35 minutes away, while some of the city’s most popular attractions, like the National Zoological, the China National Convention Center, and the China Science Academy National Tianwentai, are only a couple of steps away.
Designed by globally-renowned Taiwanese architect CY Lee, Pangu 7 Star Hotel feature 234 luxurious rooms that meld traditional Chinese design, contemporary European glamour, and principles of feng shui.
Spacious rooms feature large bay windows, digital fireplaces, modern decor, and a neutral color palette. Bathrooms are studded with marble and feature branded toiletries and rain showers for a truly pampering experience. For the ultimate in luxury, book a night at the Sky Courtyard, a two-floor private residence complete with a wading pool, a rooftop garden, and an electronically retractable glass roof.
For food and entertainment, Pangu doesn’t fall short on options. First, try traditional Cantonese cuisine at Wenqi Chinese Restaurant and delicious buffet fare at Auspicious Garden. Then, once night falls, hit up Karma Lounge for refreshments and live performance or Happiness Lounge for cocktails and cigars.
Other amenities include a heated swimming pool, a well-appointed fitness center with professional trainers, and spacious banquet halls and meeting rooms for parties, conferences, and celebrations.
Price: Room rates begin at US$1121 a night.
Address: Seven Stars Galleria, Via Silvio Pellico, 8, 20121 Milano, Italy
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, especially when you’re dealing with hotel rankings. To one-up self-proclaimed 7-star hotels, Seven Stars Galleria hired a company to create a European ranking with goals of officially snagging the 7-star rating for themselves. This makes Seven Stars Galleria the world’s only 7 star hotel and the only official 7-star accommodation on this list.
They’re not all talk, however. Many of this European hotel’s guests are billionaire entrepreneurs, heads of state, and celebrities, and it comes as no surprise. Guests are offered an experience meticulously tailored to their preferences, from ambient music and meals, to their personal butler that speaks their language.
As the only 7 star hotel in the world, expect exclusivity. There are only 20 rooms available, and its narrow entrance, guarded by security 24/7, is pretty easy to miss on Via Silvio Pellico.
Each suite in Seven Stars Galleria is inspired by great Italian musicians and comes complete with an en suite bathroom with a shower, a king-size bed with individually regulated heating and air conditioning, a bathtub, and a hairdryer.
For fine Italian, continental, and nouvelle cuisine, head to the hotel’s 24-hour dining a la carte lounge restaurant, La Sinfonia. The menu changes each season while the chef develops a new gourmet menu on a daily basis.
Wealthy guests in Italy looking to splurge on shopping will find paradise at Seven Stars Galleria. Ride the property’s private lift and drop off at Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, Italy’s grandest and oldest shopping arcade.
Price: A night in a 1-bed villa will cost you US$4,200
Address: Laucala Private Island, Fiji
What was once Malcolm Forbes’ private refuge in 1972 is now Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz’s private-island holiday home. This breathtaking tropical hideaway is four square miles of coconut groves and private forest studded with pools, waterfalls, and a golf course. The villa-to-staff ratio is remarkable. With 25 villas and over 350 staff, service is guaranteed to be impeccable.
A night’s stay starts at a whopping US$4,200, but you get exactly what you pay for with over-the-top luxury and unrivaled privacy. The 25 unique villas are sophisticated versions of traditional Fijian homes, and each villa has its private pool.
Inside, everything is tailored to provide a luxurious stay: giant plasma TVs, Bose sound systems, a bar stocked with champagne, seashell-shaped sofas, and granite bathtubs.
Outside, there’s plenty to do. Grab some grub at any of the five restaurants, play tennis, hit the beach, swim in several pools, sail on a yacht, go diving, jetskiing, or hit the green at the 18-hole David McLay Kidd-designed golf course. Once you’re done and in need of relaxing, drop by the spa for treatments with organic, island-made oils.