From ancient monuments to sweeping cityscapes and a great natural wonder: The best hotel views in the world
- Neil Simpson has rounded up some incredible places to stay in the world’s most iconic spots
- For unrivaled views of The Sydney Opera House head to the Park Hyatt where guests rave about room 114
- See the Northern Lights from Iceland’s Hotel Ranga – and staff will even wake you at night if they appear
A room with a view transforms a good holiday into a great holiday.
And why should you settle for a boring B&B when you could be feasting your eyes on the best hotel views in the world.
We’ve rounded up some incredible places to stay in the world’s most iconic spots, so follow our lead to check in, pull back the curtains and get a perfect holiday photo from your bed.
Heart of power: Admire the White House and the Washington Monument from the Hay-Adams
The view: Whatever you think about its occupants, you can’t avoid the lure of the White House. From the South Portico to the West Wing, the 200-year-old mansion is rarely off the TV. Heightened security makes it difficult to get close to the building, let alone inside – the British Embassy says tours are ‘on hold’ for the foreseeable future.
The hotel: The Hay-Adams delivers low-key luxe – staff say ‘nothing is overlooked but the White House’. It was built on the site of the former homes of statesmen John Hay and Henry Adams in the 1920s. It is in the heart of the US capital, so once you’ve seen Air Force One land and spotted the Trumps, you can walk to the Washington Monument and the city’s excellent free museums.
The room: Any even numbers work well and the seventh floor is optimal – 702 is perfect, with French doors and a Juliet balcony facing the main attraction.
The deal: From £390 a night (hayadams.com).
The view: Nothing encapsulates the magic of the City of Angels like the 45ft-tall letters of the Hollywood sign. The sign went up in 1923 – saying Hollywoodland – to advertise new houses in the Hollywood Hills. Now it’s hard to imagine an LA-based film that doesn’t feature it. Tour buses help passengers take good shots from the streets below. Alternatively, hike towards the sign from the Griffith Observatory.
The hotel: The Everly, where Hollywood’s cool creatives hang out. The hotel is 15 minutes from the sign but the distance helps frame the perfect view from your room – and puts you in the heart of movie land. The Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars, are just blocks away. After a day of star-spotting, slip into the hotel’s rooftop pool and later enjoy an outdoor screening.
The room: Guests like 1402 – or splurge on the Everly Suite.
The deal: From £260 a night (everlyhotelhollywood.com).
Harbour heaven: The Sydney Opera House seen from the Park Hyatt. Guests rave about the views from room 114
The view: The Sydney Opera House vies with the kangaroo as the symbol of Australia. The sail-like structure is a working building, hosting a million visitors at 1,500 events a year. If you can’t get a ticket for the concert hall then experimental theatre in the studio can be as memorable. Hungry? Explore half a dozen restaurants and bars inside.
The hotel: The Park Hyatt – because if one thing beats a room with a view it’s a balcony with a view. The hotel is on an old wharf close to the cobbled streets of the trendy Rocks area. Every room has harbour or city views and you can take in the Opera House from its restaurant and rooftop pool.
The room: Room 114 is a favourite.
The deal: From £738 a night (hyatt.com).
Grand: The Electra Palace in Athens has views of The Parthenon, one of the oldest buildings on Earth
The view: The Parthenon is one of the oldest buildings on Earth. And the rubble that lies around its crumbling columns reflects all the turbulent years it has stood guard over Athens. An elaborate jigsaw of precisely carved stone blocks, it comes alive at night when it’s bathed by golden spotlights.
The hotel: The Electra Palace is a grand, whitewashed hotel where aristocratic surroundings take you back to the golden age of travel. Outside you’re in the heart of the Plaka district, where pavement tavernas resemble those on Greek islands. Inside the hotel, head to the romantic rooftop restaurant to ‘dine with the stars’.
The room: Guests laud 517.
The deal: From £194 a night (electrahotels.gr).
RIO DE JANEIRO
The view: The statue of Christ the Redeemer stands, arms outstretched, on top of the Corcovado mountain, overlooking the teeming city. The statue is 100ft high and just beat the Statue of Liberty to be named one of the new Seven Wonders of The World.
The hotel: Yoo2 bills itself as Rio’s newest design hotel, created by Yoo entrepreneur John Hitchcox. It’s hip, sleek and there’s not a trouser press in sight. The hotel is situated in the Botafogo neighbourhood, where street art, music bars and craft stalls abound. Try Carioca cuisine in the restaurant (slow cooked ribs and fresh fish) and Latin American wines in the bar.
The room: Get the Corcovado Room with its clean lines and, of course, the great view.
The deal: From £92 a night (yoo2.com)
French fancy: The Eiffel Tower looks almost in touching distance from this room in the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
The view: She’s the ultimate Iron Lady – the 1,063ft Eiffel Tower dominates everyone’s photos of Paris. During the day, lifts whisk 750 visitors an hour to the top. At night, the tower puts on sparkling light shows every hour.
The hotel: The Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel is an unremarkable modern building but offers amazing views as it is just minutes from the tower’s huge, cast-iron legs.
The room: Recent guests rave about 616.
The deal: From £261 a night (accorhotels.com).
The view: Red Square, the Kremlin and the onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral are the backdrop to every spy movie and news broadcast from Russia. Tour the Kremlin to see how the tsars lived. Cross Red Square to see where Lenin’s body lies. Enter St Basil’s for icons, engravings and unexpectedly intimate chapels.
The hotel: In the 1930s, the place to stay was the Hotel Moskva. Today the building is reimagined as the Four Seasons Moscow. It claims some of the city’s largest guest rooms, though there’s a price tag to match. Throw financial caution further to the wind with a 24-carat gold scrub in the hotel spa.
The room: The Royal Suite gets you a private balcony.
The deal: From £520 a night (fourseasons.com).
Wow-factor: Northern Lights over Iceland’s Hotel Ranga. Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal ‘loved the North America Suite’
The view: The Northern Lights are notoriously fickle, and many light-chasers spend hours in the cold and never see a flicker. If the lights do come, they might not be quite as vibrant as some photographs suggest. But Iceland’s pollution-free skies give you plenty of shooting stars to enjoy too.
The hotel: The cosy wooden Hotel Ranga is a luxury resort two hours from Reykjavik, so the nights are dark and skies are sharp. There is an observatory nearby and you can stargaze from an outdoor hot-tub. Staff will even wake you at night if the Northern Lights appear.
The room: Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal loved the North America Suite.
The deal: From £260 a night (hotelranga.is).
London calling: The London Eye lit up at night, with the Marriott Hotel County Hall alongside it
The view: With Big Ben covered in scaffolding until 2021, it falls to the London Eye to act as one of the capital’s most memorable structures. The journey on one of the 32 pods takes half an hour. For special occasions, book a private pod.
The hotel: The Thameside Marriott Hotel County Hall couldn’t be closer. Some rooms get lit up by camera flashes as tourists go past windows in the pods. Afternoon tea is served in the library bar and there’s an indoor pool to work off the calories.
The room: Recent guests recommend 621.
The deal: From £388 a night (Marriott.com)
Five-star luxury: Oberoi Amarvilas Agra is just 600 yards from the Taj Mahal, pictured above
The view: The fabulously wealthy Mughal emperor Shah Jahan promised his dying wife that she would have the world’s most beautiful tomb. He then employed 20,000 craftsmen for 20 years to complete the Taj Mahal. The ivory-white marble building stands as the ultimate monument to love and loss.
The hotel: Oberoi Amarvilas Agra is a romantic five-star retreat, just 600 yards from the monument. Golf buggies are provided to take guests to the Taj Mahal and the hotel promises every guest uninterrupted views of the site.
The room: Recent guests have praised 534.
The deal: From £680 a night (oberoihotels.com)
The view: From the top of Nob Hill there are sweeping vistas of the city and Bay Area – the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are in your sights. It is a short tram hop to downtown and the Fairmont is located in the only spot in San Francisco where all of the city’s cable car lines meet.
The hotel: There is plenty of grandeur to be found in the Fairmont San Francisco, which since 1907 has hosted various US presidents and leaders from around the world. The 591 guest rooms have been recently renovated and offer sleek but traditional luxury. The hotel is also great for multi-generational travel – the junior family suite sleeps six.
The room: For the full-on showstopping Bay and city view, book the Golden Gate Tower Suite at £818 per night.
The deal: Signature Bay View rooms from £385 a night (fairmont.com/san-francisco/).
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