A penthouse apartments or a penthouse is an apartment or unit on the highest floor of an apartment building, condominium or hotel. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartments by luxury features.

The idea of a penthouse apartment was born in the 1920s, called “The Roaring Twenties”, when economic growth brought a construction boom to New York City, the heart of the American economy. The high demand for living in urban areas and the wealth of Americans led to luxury apartments on the top floor or floors of buildings.

Penthouse apartment at the top of a building

Penthouse apartments have not only the advantages of a regular apartment such as security and convenient location but also many of those of a house such as size and design.

Similar to other city apartments, penthouses are usually located in the heart of urban centers yet offer a sense of being situated far away from or above noisy and crowded urban life. Such locations provide easy access to hotels, restaurants, malls, and schools. On the basis of their sometimes larger size, penthouses also generally overcome the issue of small space in regular apartments.

Penthouses also differentiate themselves by luxurious amenities such as high-end appliances, finest materials fitting, luxurious flooringsystem, and more.

Features not found in the majority of apartments in the building may include a private entrance or elevator, or higher/vaulted ceilings. In buildings consisting primarily of single level apartments, penthouse apartments may be distinguished by having two or more levels. They may also have such features

A seven-level penthouse in the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan, once the tallest building in the world.

as a terrace, fireplace, more floor area, oversized windows, multiple master suites, den/office space, jacuzzi, and more. They might be equipped with luxury kitchens featuring stainless steel appliances, granite counter-tops, breakfast bar/island, and more.

Penthouse residents often have fine views of the city skyline. Access to a penthouse apartment is usually provided by a separate elevator. Residents can also access a number of building services, such as pickup and delivery of everything from dry cleaning to dinner; reservations to restaurants and events made by building staffers; and other concierge services.