The Eiffel Tower with sunrise blazing through its bars. The White House and Washington Monument illuminated against a nighttime sky. The majestic mountains of Torres del Paine glistening in the summer sun. What do all of these iconic, stunning views have in common? They are all views that you can enjoy from the luxury of hotel rooms around the world. Below our travel advisor team lists some of our favorites from across the globe!
Europe: Paris – Le Meurice
Paris, the city of lights. While this nickname originally appeared because of Paris’ early adoption of electricity, it’s still just as appropriate today as the city sparkles after dark. The iconic structure of Paris, The Eiffel Tower, even has a special light show each evening. One of the most amazing views of this twinkling city is from the Belle Etoile Penthouse, the crowning glory of Le Meurice in the 1st Arrondissement on the Right Bank. The penthouse’s expansive terrace provides an uninterrupted view of Paris from all directions. The Tuileries Gardens are your front yard, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur and the Eiffel Tower are all visible as you stroll through your own private garden. All in all, this is a place to feel inspired and delighted by the enchanting city of lights, maybe even a place to kick off your shoes and dance among the stars.
Africa: Cape Town – The Silo
Rising above Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront like a cathedral celebrating South Africa’s emerging modern art scene (or perhaps like the modern art equivalent of the old grain elevator that it truly is), The Silo hotel’s many faceted windows glisten and reflect the scenes of the bustling city below. This striking boutique hotel (recently voted the best in the world) has only 28 rooms, each with its own individual design aesthetic and each boasting stunning views of the city, harbor or Atlantic Ocean.
The most breathtaking views though must be the ones visible from the three walls of windows in the Penthouse suite at the apex of the hotel. This one bedroom suite boasts the best versions of all of the hotels views! The bedroom overlooks Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, the lounge overlooks Table Mountain and you can gaze at the V&A Waterfront, Harbor and Atlantic Ocean from the comfort of you bubble bath in the bathroom’s enormous soaking tub. Bubble baths, bubbly wine and a beautiful view out a bubble shaped window, what more could you ask for?
Asia: Shanghai – The Peninsula
Shanghai is known as the Pearl of the Orient or the Paris of the East, and for good reason. There are few cities that can evoke the same sense of excess and glamour while still maintaining its sense of history. While the city’s historic districts, the French Concession, the Bund and others are stunningly maintained and are beautiful in their own right, the real star of Shanghai is the modern metropolis across the river, Pudong. This city within the city is filled with modern marvels of engineering; Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower and the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower whose steel and glass glitter in direct contrast to their counterparts across the river, the historic buildings along The Bund.
For the best views of this, the new Shanghai, one must spend time within the old by strolling or staying on The Bund. One of the best options for this is The Peninsula Shanghai. Situated in one of the only new buildings along The Bund, The Peninsula offers some of the best views across the river and they have River View rooms in almost all categories, no need to book a suite here! Our recommendation, step into the hotel’s Michelin starred restaurant, Sir Elly’s for dinner then continue your evening on the expansive rooftop terrace of Sir Elly’s Bar with a nice martini and a panoramic view of the skyline after dark.
North America: Washington DC – The Hay Adams
Washington D.C., a monumental city whose corridors resound with power, both current day and historical. Despite its compact geography, this first city of the United States if filled with monuments to our history and those people who have shaped it. The Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, the National Mall and even the Smithsonian Institution are well known landmarks of our capital city, but none of these immediately call to mind Washington D.C. in the same way as the Washington Monument and The White House. While many hotels in Washington D.C. can claim stunning views of the Washington Monument and other famous sights in the city, only one can claim a White House and Washington Monument View, The Hay Adams.
The hotel originally began life as the homes of two of Washington’s elite, John Hay and Henry Adams (yes of THOSE Adams!), who along with their wives often hosted the who’s who of Washington. Throughout its long and storied history, first as a private home, then hotel, embassy and again hotel, the Hay Adams has carried on this legacy of being the place to see and be seen in Washington. While the downstairs rooms provide the opportunity to sight senators, congressmen and other power players in the political scene, the real sight is upstairs in one of the White House View rooms. While the normal White House View rooms do give the occupant a stunning view of the stately home, the best views are available from the aptly named Presidential and Federal Suites. If you are fortunate enough to elect the Federal Suite as your headquarters while exploring the city, we recommend having breakfast set up on your private terrace overlooking the White House Lawn. Maybe you’ll even see the famous occupant.
South America: Patagonia – Explora Patagonia
In a bit of a departure from our previous entries on this list, our pick for South America is not a city hotel, but rather a rustic, modern retreat set in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. Patagonia is a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes, undulating steppes and sparkling glacial lakes and ice fields. The only 5-star hotel located within the national park, Explora Patagonia is perfectly situated to take full advantage of these views and the unique access that their location provides. Their location inspired the overall design aesthetic, striving to link man and nature and to disconnect their guests from the outside world, if only for a short while. By using natural materials such as local hardwoods and stone, and by placing massive floor to ceiling windows throughout the property, they truly succeed in bringing the outside in.
However, the real stars of the hotel are the expeditions led throughout the park by Explora’s expert guides. Whether you are looking to hike The W Trek or to gallop across the plains with a gaucho, there is something to match everyone’s tastes. While every one of the 49 rooms in the hotel has a stunning view, we recommend the Cordillera Paine Rooms or the Exploradores Suites. These rustic but chic rooms both feature wall to wall windows with stunning views of the Cordillera Paine mountains. Their design allows guests to take advantage of the privacy and silence of the expansive landscape and to rest and renew after a long day of exploration.
Australia: Sydney – Park Hyatt Sydney
When people are asked to name an iconic view, one that always ends up on the list is the white, shell-like exterior of the Sydney Opera House rising above the dark waters of Sydney Harbor. Our favorite view of this icon comes from the grounds, restaurant and (of course!) the rooms at the Park Hyatt Sydney. Perfectly situated between the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the hotel enjoys expansive views of Sydney Harbor and its multiple icons, not to mention the superb level of service and beautiful design. When it comes to the room with the best view, you’re spoiled for choice here. With Opera House Views or Harbor Views available in every category and stunning suite options like the Sydney Suite, there’s a room and view for everybody. Want to double your views? Enjoy dinner in The Dining Room, the hotel’s lovely waterfront restaurant that routinely makes the list as the best restaurant views in Sydney.
Antarctica: EVERYWHERE – Le Commandant Charcot
Were you wondering how we were going to include a hotel room for Antarctica? Well, we’re not! Our choice of best room with a view in Antarctica is actually a stateroom with a view. Our personal recommendation is Ponant’s new ship, Le Commandant Charcot, which hits the water in 2021. This ship is specially built to explore the polar regions and is equipped with a super-efficient hybrid engine that minimizes the environmental impact. Don’t think that this is going to lessen the level of luxury inside the ship’s hull though, Ponant has outdone themselves with the design of the ship and has created a warm and comfortable setting inside to combat the chilly waters that they sail.
While there is not a bad choice of cabin on board (all 135 staterooms have private balconies and panoramic windows), the best view is from the newly conceptualized Panorama Bar. The aptly named watering hole is located on the top deck and in the bow of the ship, and thus commands the most impressive views of the landscape through its curving wall of floor to ceiling windows. Go ahead and save us a seat (and a cocktail!) near the window, we can’t wait to join you on board!