Why is something as arbitrary as the view of the hotel room important to travellers? Perhaps it is the notion of waking up to something, or having that perfect canvassed backdrop against an evening cocktail or a romantic dinner-a-deux. Sometimes, it is because it presents the perfect image of the city or place, a microcosm of sorts. But there is no doubt that a hotel or room with an iconic view holds a special place in the heart of guests, and subsequently also costs that much more per night. This splurge is completely vindicated at the hotels below:
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris (France)
Visitors to the city of love dream of walking down Champs-Élysées, enjoying decadent fine meals and professing their love with a 'love lock' at Pont des Arts, but nothing exemplifies Paris as much as the Eiffel Tower. Nowhere is this more prevalent than at one of the city's finest hotels: the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, formerly the home of Napoleon Bonaparte's grandnephew Prince Roland Bonaparte, a 19th century palatial residence that has beautifully preserved its elegant façade, matched only by the meticulous restoration of the interiors. Despite the iconic exterior and intricately detailed interiors, the winner here is the rooms and suites which offer uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower, some from private balconies, terraces and porches, as the tower shimmers and sparkles gold at night.
Oberoi Amarvilas (India)
Speaking of love, although the once glamorous city of Agra is now largely decrepit, it holds probably the most majestic structure ever built in the name of love – the Taj Mahal. Millions queue up each year waiting to catch a glimpse of this marbled monument, but guests staying at the resplendent Oberoi Amarvilas can witness the iconic structure in all its glory daily: just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, every room at the Oberoi Amarvilas – itself a majestic ode to Mughal architecture – offers unmatched views of the domed edifice, against the backdrop of soft sunrises, flaming sunsets and the surreal moonlit nights.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (Finland)
When the Inuits conceived the concept of the igloo, it was designed to provide a warm space in the frozen Arctic. Taking that inspiration further, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland offers guests the chance to live out a Disney-like fantasy: glass igloos, log cabins, snow igloos and even a cabin named Santa's cabin offers glamourous and comfortable living in harsh conditions, with one twist: the spectacle of one of nature's most mystical sights abound. An absolutely unforgettable experience, from the cozy comfort of their transparent glass igloos, guests can witness the colourful play of natural lights available only in the northern hemisphere: the Northern Lights.
Lion Sands Game Reserve – Tinyeleti Treehouse (South Africa)
After spending one night gazing skyward at the bare-open Tinyeleti Treehouse within Kruger National Park, loosely translated as 'many stars', it is abundantly clear to see where the inspiration for the name comes from. An experience like no other, the Tinyeleti Treehouse is booked as a nightly excursion when staying at one of the Lion Sands Game Reserve lodges. Unlike at other resorts where the view is static, here it is dynamic and ever-changing, with the only focal point being the Sabie River in the vicinity that is frequented by prey and predators alike who quench their thirst at this watering hole.
Le Sirenuse Positano (Italy)
The Amalfi Coast has inspired mankind for over two centuries: leading writers, artists and composers of their day have used this dreamland, often as a short-stay to act as a muse for their works. Le Sirenuse is housed in the former family home of one of Positano's oldest and most prestigious families – the palazzo is now a first-class resort that tempts leading writers, artists and musicians of today who visit the resort and region to seek calm with views over the Bay of Positano and the vast Mediterranean Sea beyond, to search for their own inspiration.
Jade Mountain Resort (St. Lucia)
The Caribbean has always been considered a dreamy destination, defined by sweeping ocean and mountain views, but also by a colourful culture. Facing the knife-edged sharp Gros Piton mountains in St. Lucia from an elevated position above sea-level, each suite at Jade Mountain Resort is daringly designed in a futuristic style, but maintaining local elements with colourful tiles, and the most distinctive feature is the prevalent lack of a fourth-wall in each suite, opening the view up to the panoramic vista, which can be enjoyed from the expansive private infinity pools that look out over the ocean in most suites.
Longitude 131 (Australia)
Nature is at its rawest when stripped rare and bare – a dry, arid land with barely a soul for miles, or even hundreds of miles. But it is at this juncture that it can also be at its most beautiful. In the central heart of Australia, next to the daunting red Uluru, more commonly known as Ayers Rock, the wilderness tented camp of Longitude 131 finds its home on a red sand dune, blending in seamlessly among desert oaks and spinifex. The resort sits at the gateway to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and the 15 luxury tents overlook one of the world's largest monoliths, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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