Damien Hirst creates $100,000-per-night hotel suite in Las Vegas
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst creates $100,000-per-night hotel suite in Las Vegas

Sharks suspended in formaldehyde, graphics of oversized pills and flooring patterned with butterflies await high-rolling guests staying in this hotel suite, which British artist Damien Hirst has designed for the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

Available for free for guests with over $1 million (£758,890) in credit at the resort, or anyone else that can splash out $200,000 (£151,753) for a two-night stay, Hirst's Empathy Suite spans 9,000 square feet (836 square metres) and occupies two storeys within the Palms.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

The suite offers two master bedrooms and a cantilevered outdoor pool overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, along with numerous lounges that can fit over 50 people, massage rooms, a salt relaxation room, a gym, two bathrooms and a powder room.

The suite was designed by Hirst in collaboration with New York firm Bentel & Bentel Architects, and local firm Klai Juba Wald Architects as the architect of record.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

Hirst's touches appear in nearly every aspect of the hotel room, from furniture and textiles that incorporate his designs, to six large-scale original artworks. The most dramatic involves two bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde in a white tank, called Winner/Loser.

Others include a fish design above a 12-chair bar, named Here For A Good Time Not a Long Time, and a translucent cabinet filled with pills titled Monet, next to a six-person dining table. Another cabinet, The Winner Takes It All, is filled with cubic zirconias gems.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

White and chrome finishes lend a contemporary feel to the interiors. Throughout, hundreds of stencilled and embroidered motifs of skulls, pills and butterflies can be found on walls, furniture and upholstery.

For example, 104 stone butterflies and 17 inlaid pills are incorporated into the marble floors and the pool deck.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

"Over the course of a few months, we explored with Damien's team every opportunity for the intersection of our work and Damien's," said Peter Bentel of Bentel & Bentel. "Uncovering those opportunities together was the essence of play with an added dose of 'why not?'"

A host of prescription-like designs are visible, such as pill-like stool tops in a bathroom and a curved countertop at the bar filled with medical waste.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

Two hundred vinyl appliques shaped like drugs also line the exterior and interiors of the suite, while glowing white columns have capsule designs on translucent film.

The references to pills echo the interiors the Pharmacy restaurant at Hirst's Newport Street Gallery in London, which he opened within a row of former industrial buildings refurbished by Caruso St John.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

The Empathy Suite joins Palms Casino Resort's five other Sky Villas, all of which have been completely re-imagined by Bentel & Bentel. Ranging from $25,000 (£18,969) to $50,000 (£37,938) per night, the suites are some of the most expensive accommodation options in the world.

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

The Palms reopened last year following extensive renovation work, which involved adding art by names including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami.

"I love what Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have done with the Palms," said Hirst. "It's amazing being able to work with them because they are great collectors and totally understand art."

Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst

The British artist is known for his lavish, pop culture-related designs – from his famous formaldehyde-preserved animals to diamond-encrusted skulls.

In 2018, Hirst's new headquarters in London's Soho neighbourhood was redesigned with iridescent blue bricks by architecture studio Stiff + Trevillion.

Photography is courtesy of Palms Casino Resort.

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Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst
Empathy Suite by Damien Hirst