Two bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde is just one of the artworks awaiting guests who stay in a suite in Las Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort. The massive two-story Sky Villa, called Empathy Suite, is clad in over-the-top decor that was designed by British artist Damien Hirst and firm Bentel & Bentel. It features six standalone artworks by Hirst, including a diamond-filled pill cabinet and flooring inlaid with butterflies. The elements that are not by Hirst is a collaboration with the firm.
Hirst is known for creating work that’s bold and often controversial, and the Empathy Suite references art that he’s produced before. The centerpiece of the villa, the preserved sharks, recalls a piece that he gained fame for in the early 1990s. That installation, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, was of a tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde. Since then, he's produced other lavish works—one of the most famous being a diamond-encrusted skull called For the Love of God that was once on sale for $100 million. This style of work proves to be right at home in the Palms Casino.
The suite which houses Hirst’s art is extremely large, measuring in at 9,000 square feet. It has two master bedrooms and a cantilevered outdoor pool that overlooks the Vegas Strip. In addition, it features lounges which can host parties of over 50 or more, massage rooms, a salt relaxation room, and a gym.
Empathy Suite is available for free for guests with over $1 million credit at the resort. For those that can’t swing that, it is ready to rent for $200,000 for a two-night stay. The hefty price tag includes 24-hour butler service, chauffeured car, $10,000 in resort credit, and a private tour of the casino's art collection.