Are there seven-star hotels?

Mirka wonders if seven-star hotels exist. She needs to know in order to put her inheritance to the purpose it was meant for. Olga reveals where she can find the laps of luxury she seeks.


Q. Mirka
My humble mum came to live with me after a stroke left her seriously disabled. But it wasn’t until she passed away that I realised just how incredibly grateful she really was. Unknown to me, several years ago she had opened a high interest-bearing account with a sizeable deposit. In her will she stated this money should be spent on top-class accommodation for a vacation she wanted me to take, so that I could feel as nurtured as she had been in my home. And naturally I am happy to honour her memory by complying. My question is, are there any seven-star hotels and where are they?

A. First, I would like to offer my condolences on the passing of your wonderfully generous  mum. Second, fortunately for you there are many incredible luxury hotels where you will be deservedly spoiled. While officially, a seven-star rating does not yet exist, there are hotels that surpass the five-star ranking by a country mile, according to travel experts who get around.

They are scattered around the world, so you should be able to book into one in almost any region you wish to visit. These are the top picks of Skyscanner, Forbes and

Middle East: The United Arab Emirates has at least two such establishments – the Burj Al Arab and Emirates Palace Hotel.

Asia: The Taj Falaknuma Palace in India and Signiel Seoul in South Korea are considered in a class of their own, as is Pangu Hotel in China.

Pacific: Fiji hosts a virtual paradise at its Laucala Private Island resort.

Europe: You won’t have to look far for splendour here. Among the jewels are Grand Hotel Villa Cora in Florence; Hotel Fouqet’s Barriere in Paris; The Milestone in London; and The Merrion in Dublin.

United States: Baccarat Hotel and Residences in New York; Encore Tower Suites in Las Vegas; Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad in California.

South America: Las Ventanas al Paraiso, San Jose del Cabo in Mexico.

Africa: Royal Mansour Marrakech in Morocco.

For a comprehensive idea of where the grandiose hotels are hidden, check out the classifications listed in Hotelstars Union and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

And what decadent experiences can you look forward to when you check into palatial splendour? What about caviar facials, gold-plated iPads, a welcome carpet made of scattered rose petals, gold-dusted cappuccinos, Ferrari car rentals, or would you prefer to be chauffeur-driven in a Rolls Royce?

Then there is the opulence of the furnishings, from Italian marble and onyx to gold-leaf décor and jaw-dropping murals. Everything to make you feel like royalty.

Have you ever stayed in a hotel that wildly exceeded your expectations? Where have you been lavishly waited on by hotel staff?

Written by Olga Galacho


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