Have $200,000 to Spare? You Can Stay in a Brand New Las Vegas Hotel Suite Designed by Damien Hirst
See inside the over-the-top luxury suite at the Palms Casino.
Andrew Carnegie had a mansion on Fifth Avenue. David Rockefeller had Hudson Pines farm in upstate New York. But in today’s fast-paced, globalized world, where is a contemporary robber baron to rest his (or her) head? The answer: a new hotel room designed by art star Damien Hirst perplexingly called the “Empathy Suite,” which costs $200,000 for a minimum two-night stay and contains a medicine cabinet filled with diamonds. (When the revolution comes, whoever is staying here may be first on the list to go down.)
The suite, unveiled today, is part of a massive $690 million overhaul of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Hirst already has a strong presence at the casino in the form of an artist-designed bar. His 60-foot-sculpture of a monumental headless demon will also be installed in the hotel’s pool this spring.
But the crown jewel of this temple to Hirst is the 9,000-square-foot duplex sky villa overlooking the Vegas Strip, which is adorned with original artworks and bespoke furniture. It’s also one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world.
The Palms’s contemporary art connection comes courtesy of billionaire hoteliers, casino owners, and collectors Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. “I love what Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have done with the Palms,” Hirst said in a statement. “It’s amazing being able to work with them because they are great collectors and totally understand art. They have allowed me to create a suite in the hotel and design everything and completely fill it with my art.”
While $200,000 for a weekend stay might sound shocking, perhaps it’s within the realm of possibility for some Hirst collectors. The artist’s auction record currently stands at $19.2 million, set during the 2007 market peak at Sotheby’s London, for the medicine cabinet Lullaby Spring (2002).
In addition to bespoke Hirst furniture, the suite has six original works including Winner/Loser (2018), two bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde in a white tank set into the suite wall; Casino Royal (2018), a 10-panel collection of butterfly motifs on monochrome gloss-painted canvases; and medicine cabinets titled Vegas (2018), The Winner Takes It All (2018), and Money (2018).
The suite also features a 13-seat curved bar created by Hirst and filled with medical waste (we haven’t quite figured out the appeal of this particular selling point yet) “contrasting with the meticulous ordering of objects in the various pill cabinets,” according to a statement from the Palms. Directly above the center bar is Hirst’s Here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time (2018), vitrines that contain a marlin skeleton and a taxidermied marlin.
The bar is flanked by two lounge and theater areas that can accommodate up to 52 guests, with Hirst-designed drapes, carpeting, and Italian-leather sofas emblazoned with his signature butterfly motif. The outdoor veranda features a cantilevered Jacuzzi with mosaic inlaid butterflies and pill decals on the surrounding glass. Guests can also enjoy a private private healing salt room (which sounds a little more Marina Abramović than Damien Hirst, if you ask us) and two massage rooms (because one is certainly not enough).
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