How often are presidential suites actually booked?

After watching the Travel Channel’s program on America’s most expensive hotel rooms, I got to wondering how many times these rooms are actually booked. The #2 most expensive room was the presidential suite at the Venetian in Las Vegas, and the #1 most expensive room was the presidential suite at The Plaza in New York, both of which came in at $15,000 per night (The Plaza won out because of it’s history). At the Venetian (and other Vegas hotels), I surmise that the presidential suite is probably given to a high roller or whale as a matter of course and at no charge, but what about The Plaza? Do these rooms just stay unoccupied for most of the year until a high level politican/royalty/celebrity decides to check in? And what about other luxury hotels, do they really have people willing to spend 4-5 K a night just to stay in their presidential suite? Is there a “slow” season in which they might slash the price of the room to a fraction of the regular cost just to keep it occupied?

When i was in college, i worked for a while at the new Sheraton Hotel in Sydney, Australia. It wasn’t as expensive as those American hotels, but it was about the most luxurious place in Sydney, and the rack rate for the biggest suites was more than a few grand a night.

If the hotels you’re talking about are anything like the place i worked, those big suites rarely get let out at full rack rate. In fact, most rooms in the hotels rarely attracted full rack rate, except for last minute bookings or during especially busy seasons or events.

We had quite a few rock stars and movie stars stay in those suites, and they usually negotiated deals with the hotel to accommodate not only them, but their whole entourage. This could take up quite a few rooms, and they were generally quoted a price for the whole group . This price was usually quite a bit less than the combined rack rates of all the rooms they were using.

Apart from the fact that such guests tended to get a sort of bulk discount for using a whole bunch of rooms, it was also good publicity for the hotel to have high profile guests. Also, high rollers like that tend to spend a shit-load of money on extras like room service and alcohol, where the hotel can make excellent profit.

I’m not sure if the hotels you mention follow the same system, but i wouldn’t be surprised.