10 Hotels Around the World with Great Views

Who needs postcards when you have this outside your window? Check out these ten hotels around the world that offer show-stopping views of their destinations.

405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4, Canada
This hotel is on our list of The 10 Best Hotels in Canada.

Set in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Banff National Park, the year-round Fairmont Banff Springs was the brainchild of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. On arrival at Banff, the tourism visionary made the canny observation, “Since we can’t export the scenery, we’ll have to import the tourists;” thus, he set about building a string of great railway hotels across Canada. The original wooden hotel that opened here in 1888 burned down in 1926, but was replaced two years later with the grander castle-meets-baronial-Scottish-hall structure that exists today. The public lobby spaces are vast, and there are countless nooks to curl up in with a book where guests will remain undisturbed. With its signature stone walls, turrets, and winding staircases, Van Horne’s gambit paid off: The Fairmont Banff Springs feels for all the world like an elegant and ancient castle, albeit one with all the modern conveniences.

Rooms in the main building come with quirky period details such as chandeliers and crown moldings, while those in the Stanley Thompson Wing (the old staff quarters) are more spacious and a solid bet for families—who will also enjoy the kids’ club packed with activities such as campouts, science projects, and arts and crafts. The hotel also has 11 different restaurants, cafés, and bars, with the choices so diverse—from sushi, fondue, and Italian to Canadian steakhouse and southern U.S. barbecue—that guests are issued a food guide upon check-in to help them make the most of the hotel’s offerings. Of course, there are also a wide array of activities to help round out your time between meals, from skiing and rounds on the resort’s 27-hole championship golf course to downtime in the expansive Willow Stream Spa, which features indoor and outdoor whirlpools, a European-style mineral pool, and 23 rooms for therapeutic treatments.
Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
This landmark hotel, built in the Swiss rustic style popular at the turn of the 19th century, has hosted Winston Churchill, Arturo Toscanini, Albert Einstein, the Shah of Iran, Henry Kissinger, and the Rolling Stones, among others. Situated high above Zurich, with a sweeping forest and a golf course for company, it offers breathtaking views of the city, the lake, and even—on clear days—the Alps.

Renovated in 2008 by Lord Foster for a cool 385 million Swiss francs, it now features a bold, contemporary edifice that wraps around the turreted original, two entirely new wings (the Spa Wing and the Golf Wing), and a completely revamped interior. While the rooms in the Main Building (the historic structure) are appointed with traditional furniture and hand-painted wallpaper to give a regal, turn-of-the-century feel, the newer rooms are equipped with balconies and bathrooms of white marble or sand-colored Jura limestone. Imagined by London-based United Designers, they also come with flat-screen televisions with integrated Bang & Olufsen CD and DVD players.

The four signature suites sprawl over hundreds of square meters and feature steam showers, whirlpool baths, and even (in one case) a grand piano. The hotel also offers an expansive spa and wellness center.
800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Not everyone gets to live across the street from the White House. Before the current Italian-Renaissance hotel was constructed in 1927, the prime real estate was occupied by the homes of two little-known American icons: John Hay—personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln, ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Secretary of State under both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt—and Henry Adams, Harvard professor and great-grandson of John Adams. Their houses were hubs of D.C. culture for decades at the turn of the last century, and so, when the Hay-Adams opened, it was only logical that the hotel would continue that tradition. Washingtonians play at the sultry bar scene, everyone from Amelia Earhart to the Obamas has stayed in its elegantly Old World rooms overlooking historic Lafayette Square and the White House beyond, and the hotel is known for its discreet and comprehensive, no-questions-asked service. Should guests need a ride to one of the District’s many important meetings, the house Mercedes drops off anywhere downtown, guaranteeing a first impression worthy of a luminary. Though if you insisted on the meeting coming to you, no Beltway insider would mind.
3-7-1-2, 3丁目-7 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist Park Hyatt may have the sexiest cocktail bar in all of Tokyo. The rest of the property—set on the upper floors of the three connecting columns of the 770-foot Shinjuku Park Tower—is just as attractive, with a bamboo garden, swimming pool, and restaurant seated high in the sky. The interiors are the work of Pritzker Prize–winning architect Kenzo Tange and designer John Morford, ornamented with wood, woven abaca, and granite to add warmth to the hotel’s sleek glass surfaces. Starting at just under 600 square feet, guest rooms are practically palatial and include glass knobs that let you control everything from the lights to the curtains right from your bed, as well as walls paneled with rare water elm from Hokkaido, some sourced from trees that were submerged in lakes for up to 2,000 years.
89-113 Kent St Sydney, Australia
A longtime favorite among royalty, rock stars, actors, and visiting dignitaries, the Langham hotel completed a $30 million renovation in December 2014. London-based GA Designs was charged with retaining the hotel’s stately character—check out the original fireplace transplanted from the Sydney’s beloved Elizabeth Bay House—while creating a sun-drenched new look dressed in white, amber, and silver. The new design also maximizes the property’s Darling Harbour views, most notably in the opulent lobby, whose Calcutta marble floor and gold-leaf paneling are reminiscent of a high-end spa. What hasn’t changed is the Langham’s superlative customer service. Guests can request a chartered yacht or helicopter to get to their show or meeting, and arrange a private picnic, tennis match, sunset Harbour Bridge climb, or tour of the hotel’s display of Sidney Nolan paintings (Australia’s largest private collection of his work). There’s even a discreet entrance and in-room check-in for guests who want maximum privacy, as well as an unpacking service for travelers eager to feel at home right away.
Torres del Paine, Torres de Paine, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
Located next to Torres del Paine National Park and Lake Sarmiento, Awasi Patagonia is the perfect setting to take in some of the most striking views in the Chilean Patagonia region. Awasi Patagonia comprises 12 private villas and a main lodge with a restaurant and comfortable lounges to admire the scenery. All buildings are made of local procured wood, which allows the structures to easily blend with the surrounding natural landscape.

Awasi promotes a tailor-made experience at its two properties, Awasi Atacama and Awasi Patagonia, and the team pays close attention to ensure each guest’s visit is personalized to their needs and tastes. Ahead of a stay, guests complete a questionnaire outlining special interests, physical conditions, and meal requirements, and their preferences are seamlessly blended in to their stay. A stay at Awasi is also all-inclusive, and comes with excursions led by Awasi guides who are educated on the region’s history, wildlife, and first aid, and can lead you through the park’s stunning trails on foot, horseback, or 4x4 vehicle on full- or half-day outings. Guests can also follow trails from the property to explore the area at their own pace.

And while the breathtaking landscape is not to be missed, there is much to do at Awasi Patagonia itself. Awasi Patagonia is a member of Relais & Châteaux, and is home to a restaurant showcasing Patagonian cuisine and led by Executive Chef Federico Ziegler. Villas are also equipped with fireplaces in the living rooms and outdoor hot tubs, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the remarkable destination.
Carretera Hiram Bingham KM 7.5, Aguas Calientes, Peru
You’ll never sleep anywhere closer to Machu Picchu than Belmond Sanctuary Lodge—it’s adjacent to the site entrance, and the only hotel on the mountain. In fact, the lodge is built on the former staging area for American explorer Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered the “Lost City of the Incas” in 1911. You’ll pay a pretty penny but consider the price a once-in-a-lifetime splurge. If you arrive the day before your visit to Macchu Picchu on the bus up from Aguas Calientes, you can be at the gates right when they open at 5 a.m. and get a head start on most of the crowds—and the sunrise. And if you’re coming off a days-long hike on the Inca Trail, the spacious showers and plush robes will be the best you’ve ever experienced.

There are only 31 rooms here, some with terraces and mountain views but all with exquisitely comfortable beds and marble bathrooms. The light-filled restaurant—only open to guests—serves both international and Peruvian dishes, and the bar is a great place to enjoy a pisco sour after a day of exploring the ruins. If you really want to stay in style, consider arriving by the elegantly restored Belmond Hiram Bingham train from Cuzco—the hotel offers packages.
Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, Wai Tan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
The first new building to be constructed on the Bund in 60 years, the terraced, granite Peninsula opened in October 2009. Celebrating the city’s Roaring Twenties, the standalone hotel creates a grand sense of arrival with a sweeping driveway. Art Deco design elements occur throughout the property, and traditional decor employs lacquer, marble, granite, wood, and original art. Rooms and suites come with spacious dressing rooms with a full-length valet box for discreet delivery of laundry and packages; they also feature Peninsula’s industry-leading, intuitive in-room technology, with room functions controlled at the touch of a button, and VOIP telephones that allow guests to make free local and international calls. For arrival and departure in style, book the hotel’s Rolls-Royce Phantoms or 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The property also has China’s first hotel private yacht, a British-built Princess 54 model.
Bordering Serengeti National Park
Whether you’re up for the adventure of a mobile tented camp, or would prefer a private house staffed with personal chefs, Singita Grumeti is the place for the ultimate safari experience and unbeatable Great Migration views. The 350,000-acre protected nature reserve is home to five distinct properties (plus an exclusive private villa option), ensuring there is an option for any traveler—though luxury, service, and attention to detail are constants across the board.

The five main Grumeti properties offer a singular setting and experience, along with the option to visit any of the others for meals, or to make use of their facilities. Choices include traditional tented-style camps like Sabora Tented Camp, with its plush, 1920s-explorer-inspired decor, and Explore Mobile Tented Camp, an eco-friendly setup that can be moved as the migration progresses. Faru Faru Lodge features contemporary interiors and boasts two striking pools, while Serengeti House is a four-suite private house favored by honeymooning celebs. The grande dame of the reserve, Sasakwa Lodge, boasts luxury cottages, a spa, a wine cellar, dining room, a bar and lounge, a billiards room, a conservatory, and even an equestrian center.

With all this to choose from—not to mention the endless panoramas, gourmet cuisine, and unforgettable wildlife viewing—Singita Grumeti has become known as the pinnacle of safari getaways. And with good reason: the experience here is so impeccable, it just might spoil you on safaris for life.
139 Tepene Tablelands Rd, Matauri Bay 0245, New Zealand
At this luxury property perched over Matauri Bay near the top of the North Island, the colonial-style buildings are dwarfed by the endless wavy greens of a championship, par-72 golf course that ends at the Pacific. The ocean views and holes positioned adjacent to plunging precipices make Kauri Cliffs one of the most famous golf resorts in the world. The hilltop infinity pool is another crowd-pleaser, especially when it reflects the pinks and purples of the sunset. Featuring a beach-meets-country vibe, lodge interiors are outfitted with New Zealand artwork and furnishings imported from Europe and Australia. Outdoors, patches of totara trees dot the 6,000-acre property—one section houses the tranquil spa. Walking paths lead to a waterfall, three secret beaches, and picnic sites that offer sweeping views of Cape Brett and the Cavalli Islands.
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