There is a real range of luxury hotels in the world — from the down to earth comfort of “Forbes top hotel” San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, to the old school European grandeur of the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris.
And then you have flat out crazy, fake snow-making flash of the new Mardan Palace in… Turkey! I bet you thought I was going to say Dubai, the current champion of hotel excess. But this new property, owned by Russian billionaire Telman Ismailov, who spent more than £1billion to create his dream hotel, takes vulgar to a new level.
Showbiz reporter Ashley Pearson managed to get herself an invitation to the “grand” opening of the hotel and wrote up her visit for the Mail Online, which is always a good source for a little celebrity leering. In fact, celebrity attendees at the event included:
- Sharon Stone (sounds as crazy as ever, “I consider leopard-print a neutral”)
- Richard Gere (who was just there to get money for his foundation)
- Seal (mispronounced Ismailov’s name)
- Mariah Carey (she was the big name performer, reportedly for £1million!)
- Tom Jones (he opened for Mariah)
- Paris Hilton (towing her dummie boyfriend Doug Reinhardt)
- Monica Bellucci (gorgeous and can’t speak English)
Suites at the Mardan Palace can go for as much as £11,500 a night. The rooms are just as exquisite as you would expect for $20k+ — no bedbugs or jungle spiders here!
There is the fake snow room, for rolling in after a sauna (Ashley Pearson’s detail, not mine), there is a five acre pool, and you can swim in a man-made coral reef and shark grotto. You know, when you want to live large and dangerous, like rich people.
Is this kind of hotel relevant or necessary these days? No. Is it even ethical to spend a couple billion dollars to make another over the top hotel when there are people starving? Probably not. And can Ismailov justify the carbon footprint that this kind of operation generates? I doubt it.
But even with those three strikes, this place will probably become a big success, because there are still people out there with so much money, they almost can’t help themselves from staying in a place like this. And I have to admit, I sort of shame-envy them. What can I say? That pool looks really nice.