GENEVA (TheStreet) -- Your average world-class hotel suite might be adorned in mother-of-pearl, accented by a grand piano and punctuated with a complete library.
But can it take a bullet for you?
New York Four Seasons
, but until the indoor-outdoor Zen garden in your nine-room, $35,000-a-night Ty Warner Penthouse can stop magnum slugs through enlightenment, you'll always place second to the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. Frequented by business leaders like
Chairman Bill Gates and
Founder Richard Branson as well as heads of state such as former President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the suite and its equal measures of steel and sophistication make it the $65,000-a-night crown jewel of
The Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson offers world-class amenities and security fit for a king.
Located less than 2 miles from the United Nations building, the Hotel President Wilson is highly aware of its VIPs and the implications should tragedy befall them. This is why, when Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Said Mubarak puts his feet up on the fine linen and watches BBC News on a giant LCD screen in his bedroom, he does so behind steel-reinforced walls and doors and 6-centimeter-thick armored windows. Should something go bump in the night, he can isolate himself in the suite behind sliding armored doors and check video monitors to see who's in the camera-lined hallway.
If the magnetic contacts on the terrace, guardroom, private elevator, bulletproof bay windows and panic buttons in each bedroom to alert hotel security aren't enough, the suite has a human-sized safe with its own security system, alarm and mechanical key. In a crisis, the hotel can evacuate guests by helicopter. Roger Moore hasn't played James Bond in years, but it's easy to see how all the gadgetry seemingly stolen from Q's lab lured him into staying a night here.
Despite its high-tech amenities, this suite is no Y2K bunker. The penthouse's 18,000 square feet take up the entire top floor of the hotel. Its windows look out onto snowcapped Mont Blanc and rippling Lake Geneva. Guests can sip Scotch in a private cocktail lounge, get steamy in the Jacuzzi or Turkish bath, work out in the new fitness center or host board meetings in its conference room. The art on the walls, the fresh flowers in Art Deco vases and even the perfume piped into the master dressing room's wardrobes can be adjusted to the guest's liking.
Apparently, the Swiss hospitality industry has taken a neutral stance toward the economic downturn. The already opulent Hotel President Wilson recently finished a $40 million restoration and the penthouse's price doubled from a year ago. Yet with global political instability on the rise and world leaders taking great lengths to secure themselves abroad -- as President Barack Obama and his party did when commandeering the entire Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel for three nights in June -- the Hotel President Wilson's rates seem as bulletproof as its suites.
-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.