Located on the appropriately-named Paradise Island, and owned by South-African entrepreneur Sol Kerzner — the man behind Sun City — the $450 million, 600-acre resort is a wonderland of sumptuous, over-the-top hedonism, with the Bridge Suite the jewel in its crown.So-called because it occupies a bridge between the resort’s two main buildings — the 23-story Royal Towers — the suite is not only the most extravagantly luxurious of its kind in the world, but also, at $25,000 per night, by some distance the most expensive.
Guests, not surprisingly, tend to be limited to the ranks of the world’s super-rich. Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Celine Dion and Michael Jordan have all stayed in the suite, as have Bill Gates and Donald Trump, although it is most frequently occupied either by Saudi sheikhs or high-rolling businessmen in town to try their luck at the resort’s casino, the largest in the Caribbean.
As you would expect for $25,000 per night, The Bridge provides its guests with an unrivalled degree of designer luxury and customer care.
Decorated in extravagant shades of red, gold and black, and with enough gilt fittings to fill a small palace, its 12 ft (3.6 meter) high floor-to-ceiling windows offer breath-taking views over the Atlantis-themed resort below and out across the Caribbean.
The living room has its own grand piano and two entertainment centres.Its 10 rooms include a 50 x 25 ft (15 x 7.6 meter) living room, complete with grand piano, two entertainment centers and an 800 square foot (244 square meter) balcony; a dining room with a 22-karat gold chandelier and custom-designed 10-seater table; and a kitchen with its own private entrance so the suite’s seven dedicated staff — including butlers, cooks and maids — can come and go without disturbing its guests.
The King Bedroom boasts his-and-her marble bathrooms, a four posted bed covered in hand-painted linens, a private lounge and a walk-in dressing area. The Queen bedroom, although smaller, is no less spectacular, with custom-made draperies and carpets, designer furniture and wardrobes that, according to one journalist, are so big “you could drive a car into them.”
Given its size and magnificence those who rent the suite could be forgiven for not actually stepping outside it for the duration of their stay.
Should they wish to do so, however, they have all the resort’s other facilities available to them as well, including 11 swimming pools, 35 restaurants, an 18-hole golf course and a patchwork of lagoons, waterslides, cascades and Mayan ruins designed to re-create the mythical lost continent of Atlantis.