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Hotels With Extraordinary Views

Thread counts, espresso machines, HD televisions — these things matter, of course. But often the most memorable feature of a hotel room isn’t even in the room. Thanks to their views, these hotels are not just impressive, but more or less unique — and for us, that’s the definition of greatness.

Ceylon Tea Trails
Hatton, Sri Lanka
Ceylon Tea Trails

Sri Lanka’s hospitality boom has mostly been a coastal phenomenon, but Ceylon Tea Trails is a compelling argument for the virtues of the island’s interior. Set four thousand feet above sea level, overlooking the shores of Castlereigh Reservoir, it’s surrounded by some of the most idyllic landscapes on the planet.

Rooms Hotel Kazbegi
Stepantsminda, Georgia
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi

It’s a long way to go for a view, but if business takes you to the “other” Georgia, you’ll have to take extra care to keep your eyes firmly secured to their sockets. The views of the Caucasus Mountains are no joke, and the hotel knows it — full-length windows make the most of the scenic backdrop.

The Fairmont San Francisco
San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco

Inside its windows, the Fairmont is conventional almost to a fault, a shining example of the “no surprises” school of luxury hospitality. What elevates it — pun intended — is what’s outside its windows; from this prime location atop Nob Hill, the panoramic views encompass all of San Francisco and the Golden Gate.

Villa Extramuros
Arraiolos, Portugal
Villa Extramuros

Villa Extramuros offers plenty of eye candy for fans of pared-down modernist architecture and design. Much of the power, though, comes from the contrast with what’s outside: expertly framed vistas of the Portuguese countryside and the hilltop village of Arraiolos.

Hotel On Rivington
New York City
Hotel On Rivington

Skyscraper views are a dime a dozen in Midtown, but the Lower East Side is generally, well, lower — so its occasional towers, like the Hotel on Rivington, offer an unobstructed perspective on the city’s skyline, rooftops, and bridges, all from a refreshingly novel downtown angle.

The Twelve Apostles Hotel
Cape Town
The Twelve Apostles Hotel

Cape Town is a legendarily beautiful city, and the Twelve Apostles makes the most of it — with views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Table Mountain and the namesake Twelve Apostles mountain range on the other, it’s nothing but natural beauty as far as the eye can see.

Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel
Barcelona
Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel

Another one for fans of city rooftops, Yurbban Trafalgar elevates you above your surroundings near Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya. The views from that pint-sized roof terrace, with its just-enough plunge pool, will show you a whole different side of this low-rise city.

The Vines Resort & Spa
Tunuyan, Argentina
The Vines Resort & Spa

The Uco Valley, an hour and a half south of Mendoza, is a booming wine region, and not at all an unsightly one at that. At the Vines you’ll have views from your bedroom encompassing everything from the Andean foothills in the distance to the vineyards themselves in the foreground.

Athenswas
Athens
Athenswas

AthensWas is, in a nutshell, an expression of what today’s Athens is — a modern, cosmopolitan, forward-thinking city overlaid atop the remains of antiquity. Your room’s window, if you’re lucky, faces the Acropolis, and the rooftop terrace certainly does, as illustrated by the photo above.

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Tokyo
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

It’s possible, from street level, to lose track of just how overwhelming and massive Tokyo feels — but from the vantage point of the Mandarin Oriental, which starts 38 floors above Nihonbashi, you’re confronted with its full expanse, laid out before you. (And while you’re at it, enjoy the fact that you’re in one of the world’s truly great luxury hotels.)

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