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By MARY GOSTELOW | June 27 2012
New York, New York – Reported by Mary Gostelow for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
England’s Queen Elizabeth I must have changed beds several times a night if you believe all those priceless stately homes and castles that claim she slept there at one time or another. Today it is President Obama who tops the list for trophy guests. When in Mumbai in November 2010, he stayed in room 651, the Tata Suite at the top of the fabulously restored Taj Mahal Palace. From this perch, you’ll look straight down at the Gateway of India and the flotilla of pleasure boats in the Arabian Sea beyond. Look up, and your suite’s ceilings are steeply angled for yet more space. Another of 651’s former guests, Tom Cruise, chose to have the private gym’s treadmill and bicycle removed in favor of free weights and stretch gear. One wonders what special requests President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni made when they were honored guests, in the days before baby Giulia.
One of Anouska Beckwith’s favorite places to sleep is the 2,960-square-foot Belle Etoile Royal Suite on the top of Hôtel Le Meurice in Paris. Here the 360-degree view takes in the Tuileries and rooftops of the Vendôme area of Paris. When you’ve had your visual thrill, head down to earth for a stroll along the adjacent rue du Saint-Honoré, the French version of Rodeo Drive.
High fashion pairs well with luxury hotels. The latest Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld print advertisements were shot at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Some show Saskia de Brauw and Joan Smalls on gymnastic ropes and parallel bars.
Keep fit, fashionably fit, at an Oetker Collection luxury hotel. The collection, headed by Frank Marrenbach, who is managing director of the lovely Brenner’s Park in Baden-Baden, has just expanded outside Europe with the April 2012 opening of Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, Morocco. The Palais is owned by French entrepreneur Philippe Soulier, who heard much talk about Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc as the “famous people” hotel and splurged on a one-night stay there after his first big payday. He fell in love with it, and a couple decades of highly successful technology enterprises in Nigeria later, he saw Palais Namaskar, bought it and made it into a hotel. The 41 rooms, including ten villas and two palaces, are spread across 12 acres. Soulier also asked his Marrakech-based designer, Imad Rahmouni, to customize the interior of his 14-seat Falcon 900, which can be used to fly guests in and out.