Hotels are more than just places to rest after a day of sightseeing – these are tourist sights in their own right.
From the world’s first continually-running hotel, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan which opened in 705 AD, to the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich established in the 1090s, which entertained Tudor royals, hotels have become as important as a holiday itself.
In this article we’ll look at some of the most incredible hotels ever built – from the tallest hotel in the world to the most eye-catching and even the largest hotel chains. Yet while there are a number of ways to judge the size of a hotel, our central list of the biggest hotels in the world is based on the sheer number of rooms. And those numbers are simply mind-blowing.
What is the Largest Hotel in the World?
Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas features very heavily on any list of the biggest hotels in the world but we won’t just stay in Sin City, we’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour of some of the world’s most humongous hotels!
Marina Bay Sands
Location: Singapore | Rooms: 2,561 | Opened: 2010 | Floors: 55
The Marina Bay Sands is one of the world’s most stunning hotels. It has 58 restaurants and bars, the best nightclubs in Singapore, the world’s most exclusive retail brands and a 146 metre long infinity pool almost 200 metres above ground level. At a cost of $7 billion, it’s almost nine times the price of Wembley Stadium.
Location: Las Vegas, USA | Rooms: 3,950 | Opened: 1998 | Floors: 36
One of the world’s most famous hotels, the Bellagio isn’t the largest hotel in the world but it is one of the most opulent. The lobby is home to a sculpture of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers and when it opened it was the most expensive hotel ever.
Barkhatnye Sezony Resort
Location: Sochi, Russia | Rooms: 4,688 | Opened: 2014 | Size: 300 hectares
Built for the athletes of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the resort originally had 8,500 rooms making it the largest hotel in the world. Since then, the hotel has sold some of the buildings and the room number has decreased but it remains in the top 10 list of the biggest hotels in the world.
The Londoner Macao
Location: Macao | Rooms: 6,246 | Opened: 2012 | Cost: $4 billion
For the price of just seven of the world’s most expensive superyachts, the Londoner represents outstanding value for money! Rebranded as The Londoner Macao in 2021, upcoming developments include the Suites by David Beckham, a life size replica of Big Ben and a Changing of the Guard show at the Crystal Palace atrium.
Location: Las Vegas, USA | Rooms: 6,852 | Opened: 1993 | Floors: 30
When it opened, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel in the world and it has the honour of being home to the largest casino in Vegas. The most expensive suites are upwards of $35,000 per night and the hotel is home to some of the hippest hangouts on the Strip, including Hakkasan and the super-cool Wet Republic Ultra Pool.
First World Hotel & Plaza
Location: Genting Highlands, Malaysia | Rooms: 7,351 | Opened: 2001 | Floors: 36
The largest hotel in the world by number of rooms, the First World Hotel & Plaza is a vast hotel, shopping and entertainment complex that may also hold the record for the brightest hotel in the world! The hotel buildings connect to the famous SkyAvenue shopping mall, a huge indoor and outdoor theme park and over half a million square feet of retail space, casinos and food outlets.
The Tallest Hotel in the World
There have been lots of holders of the title of tallest hotel in the world over the years including the Ritz in New York (1926, 165 metres), the Hotel Ukraina in Moscow (1955, 198 metres) and more recently the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (2012, 355 metres) but the current holder of the title is the Gevora Hotel in Dubai, UAE. The 75-floor, 528-room hotel measures 356.3 metres high and is almost exactly as tall as the world’s biggest cruise ship – the Symphony of the Seas – is long.
The World’s Largest Hotel Chains
The contenders for the largest hotel chain read like a ‘who’s who’ of the most famous hotel brands in the world. Again based on the total number of hotel rooms, Accor (753,000 rooms), Intercontinental Hotels (885,000) and Hilton Worldwide (1,000,000) rooms are close to the top of the list but the undisputed largest hotel chain in the world is Marriott International.
Founded in 1927 by John Willard Marriott and his wife Alice as a root beer stand in Washington, DC, they opened their first hotel in 1957 in Arlington, Virginia at $9 per night for the room plus $1 for every person in the car.
Today, Marriott International Inc. employs 121,000 people in almost 8,500 locations in over 130 territories and has an annual revenue of somewhere north of $10 billion.
The number of hotel rooms they own? Almost 1,500,000.
Staggering Feats of Construction
The biggest hotels in the world are staggering feats of construction and engineering and they are only getting bigger and more impressive. It surely can’t be long until we see the world’s first 10,000 room hotel and beyond, as this ultra-competitive hospitality prize grows ever larger.