With parts of the world going in lockdown again, dreaming of far-flung destinations can prove incredibly calming and soothing. Let’s not forget that the world is still full of phenomenal destinations and amazing hotels waiting for travelers to come back once the pandemic eases. Over the years, while traveling the world, one of the things I learned is that what truly sets a hotel apart is its view. Indeed, instead of seeing the sights and then heading back to a hotel, why not see the sights from the hotel (room) itself? From views of snow-capped mountains to sweeping vistas of the glittering blue ocean, here’s my list of the 10 hotels with the most spectacular views in the world.
Six Senses manages five individual lodges in five separate valleys in the colorful Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, which is all operated under the umbrella of one all-encompassing name: Six Senses Bhutan. Each location has been thoughtfully designed to fully immerse travelers into the local culture. Perched on a steep mountainside, the Six Senses outpost in Punakha enjoys a gorgeous location with spectacular views of the Himalayas. The lodge identifies itself as a ‘flying farmhouse’ amidst the rice fields that unfurl down into Punakha Valley below. From sunrise meditations and holistic spa treatments to private astrology readings, butter lamp lighting ceremonies and incredible hikes and treks through pristine forests, the aim is to leave enriched and reconnected.
9. 1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE, NEW YORK, USA
This eco-luxury hotel’s 194 guest rooms and suites offer views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. Built from the ground up according to LEED standards, the hotel was designed using 54 percent regional and reclaimed materials, including original heart-pine beams from Brooklyn’s old Domino Sugar Factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and pine flooring from the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky. Rooms and common areas are decorated with environment-focused artwork, including the 25-ft (7 m) green wall in the lobby, a sculpture made with materials salvaged after a tornado upstate, and, in corner suites, a watermark painted by local artist Olivié Ponce in honor of the flooding in the neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy.
From its inception, Jade Mountain has been hailed as one of the Caribbean’s most unique resort experiences. Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain. The property rises majestically above the private estate of Anse Chastenet, bordering two soft, sand beaches with pristine coral reefs just offshore. Individual bridges lead to exceptional infinity pool suites and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called “sanctuaries”) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the extra-ordinary views of St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.
Wrapped by majestic views, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is surrounded by sand-fringed islets on an outer coral reef that encloses a turquoise lagoon. The resort offers 121 spacious hideaways with 100 over-water bungalows and 7 beachfront villas, all overlooking the lagoon’s crystal clear waters and some with spectacular views of Mount Otemanu. Inspired by local architecture, all guest accommodations offer a restful, airy ambiance; complete with traditional teak wood furnishings, high ceilings, and thatched roofs made from pandanus leaves. Special touches that accentuate the exotic feel of Polynesia include striking works of art, private pools, and sliding doors by deep bathtubs for panoramic fresh-air views of the mesmerizing lagoon.
Jabal Akhdar, meaning “The Green Mountain” in Arabic, is part of the Al Hajar mountains range, one of Oman’s most spectacular areas. Set 2000 m (6560 ft) above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar provides access to this magnificent landscape of untouched beauty. Overlooking a dramatic gorge and with views of the Hajar mountains, the hotel is perfectly positioned to explore the region’s renowned rugged landscapes, heaven for adventure travelers, nature lovers, and those seeking an escape from the desert heat. The resort’s 78 beautifully appointed suites and villas are located within the main hotel building or arranged in individual clusters of four to six suites, generously spaced out around the clifftop to maximize privacy and uninterrupted views over the mountains and down into the gorges.
Grace Santorini is an exclusive boutique hotel in Santorini, perched 363 m (1190 ft) above Santorini’s world-famous caldera, offering breathtaking views. Crisp, minimalist, and simply marvelous, the hotel skips the ornamentation for vast swatches of pristine white and sea views that stretch to infinity. The 21 innovatively refurbished rooms and suites – come with private plunge pools – showcase a contemporary style, combining cutting edge, bespoke design alongside traditional handcrafted pieces. Luxurious bathrooms offer double vanity units with marble carved basins and spacious rain showers with mosaic feature walls. Boasting heart-stopping panoramic views, the hotel’s main pool is one of the most photographed swimming pools in the world.
Being the highest hotel in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is strategically situated on the West Kowloon waterfront, a prestigious address with luxury residential development, and modern financial and retail space. Occupying floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC), the property offers magnificent and unrivaled views of Victoria Harbor and the glimmering skyline of Hong Kong Island. Inside, soaring architectural elements encrusted with custom glass artwork echo the signature glamour of the city below, transporting guests to a place of tranquility and beauty. Here, guests have both high-energy city life and sought-after serenity at their disposal, with 312 luxurious guest rooms, a rooftop lounge, and pool, Michelin-starred restaurants, and event spaces.
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At the heart of Taormina’s mystique lies Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, an elegant, classical villa built into the craggy cliffs next to the Greek Theatre, with stupendous views that have been charming and inspiring guests since 1873. The property offers 71 suites and bedrooms split between the main building and the adjacent Villa Flora. Most come with that amazing view – over the clustered terracotta rooftops of medieval Taormina, past the coves and headlands of the rugged coastline, and across to Mount Etna’s violet slopes and puffing peak. Guests can also take a short complimentary shuttle trip, or thrilling funicular ride, down the hill to sister hotel Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, a 19th-century former private residence that comes with a private beach.
Nestled deep in the heart of Namibia’s ancient Namib Desert, the lodge – which was recently completely rebuilt – is a secluded and serene oasis that overlooks awe-inspiring dunes and stony outcrops. In a world of vast spaces, endless horizons, and rugged mountain heights, the utter tranquility and extraordinary clarity of light make this area one of Africa’s most compelling landscapes. In this spectacularly beautiful location, spacious suites envelope guests in pure indulgence, complete with outdoor showers, private plunge pools, and dramatic skylights over the bed for late-night star-gazing. If you’re up for something more active, quad biking adventures, hikes and walks will let you explore the surrounding scenery and satisfy your sense of adventure.