Butterflies, pharmaceuticals, taxidermied creatures and skeletal figures: you’d expect no less from a hotel suite designed by Damien Hirst.
Dubbed the Empathy Suite, the 9,000sqft room is one of six Sky Villas at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, designed by Hirst in collaboration with architecture firm Bentel & Bentel. Clocking in at USD200,000 – about HKD1.5 million – for a minimum two-night stay, not counting the USD10,000 deposit, it’s the world’s most expensive hotel room to book today.
What’s in store for your money’s worth? Only what feels like a night at a museum, amongst six of the artist’s original pieces. Greeting guests upon entry, ‘Winner/Loser’ (2018) features a tank of bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde, while on the other side, ‘The Winner Takes It All’ (2018) hangs in the gaming area, an 18ft-wide case lined with cubic zirconias.
There’s ‘Here For A Good Time, Not For A Long Time’ (2018), a pair of vitrines encasing marlins in skeletal and taxidermy forms that hover above the curved bar, which is topped with medical waste – one of Hirst‘s many custom furniture for the high-ceilinged space. ‘Casino Royale’ (2018), a collection of 10 panels encasing real butterflies against a monochrome background, are mounted in various areas around the two-storey suite.
In ‘Vegas’ (2018), a medicine cabinet features colour-coded pill boxes – for display only – while ‘Money’ (2018) features a translucent box of neatly organised pills.
The suite is part of the Palms’ USD690 million refurbishing project set for completion this year, and is reportedly the only hotel room in the world to offer a close experience of contemporary art on this scale. Guests get two master bathrooms, each fitted with a California King bed and its own massage rooms; two and a half bathrooms that come with marble tubs; a private healing salt room; a gym; and a jacuzzi, cantilevering in the balcony overlooking The Strip, ornamented with butterfly mosaic tiles and pill decals – naturally designed by Hirst.
As well as well-heeled guests, million-dollar casino customers vetted in advance by the Palms GM also get a chance at the luxury experience. All bookings come with 24-hour butler service, a chauffeured car, a private tour of the property’s art collection, access to the Pearl Concert Theatre and the Palms’ recording studio, and an A-list welcome to KAOS day and night club, plus USD10,000 in resort credit.
Click through the gallery below for a closer look at Hirst’s Empathy Suite.
The Empathy Suite's cantilevered jacuzzi decorated with butterfly and pill motifs
The 13-seat curved bar designed by Hirst topped with medical waste. Above, Hirst's 'Here For A Good Time, Not For A Long Time' (2018), featuring a marlin skeleton and marlin taxidermy in glass cases
The bathrooms are clad in gray marble and feature more of Hirst's butterflies.
A marble tub in one of the bathrooms. Behind, one of the massage rooms, of which each bedroom has its own.
One of 10 butterfly panels from 'Casino Royale' (2018) in one of the master bedrooms.
In the dining room, pills meticulously line a cabinet in Hirst's 'Money' (2018).
The game room features 'Winner/Loser' (2018) on one side and 'The Winner Takes It All' (2018), lined with cubic zirconias.
One of the lounges that flank the 13-seat bar in the Empathy Suite.
'Vegas' (2018), decorated with colour-coded pill boxes.
The upstairs living room, featuring more butterflies and pills surrounded by lavish neutral gray furnishings.
The powder room.
The media lounge.
The massage table, embroidered with butterflies.
Images courtesy of Palms Casino Resort