Edwardian novelist E.M. Forester might have made the phrase Room with a View synonymous with the romance, passion and thrill of travel, but he was just calling them like he saw them.
Since his classic was published in 1908, hotels have only gotten taller, glassier and farther-flung to some of the most scenic regions of the globe, giving travelers a bird's-eye view of all the exciting splendor they came so far to see.
From urban skyscraper views out of glass-walled rooms to tropical fish and coral seen through a glass floor, some hotels around the globe take the room with a view concept to a whole new level. Here we check out ten hotel rooms with the best views on the planet, making sure to cover all the bases from urban to the remote, luxury to affordable. The only general qualifier is that this view is one you won’t ever forget.
Panorama Glass Lodge, Iceland
Remote in Icelandic tundra, Panorama Glass Lodge is a year-round eco-friendly lodge that is all about the view. Whether it's seasonal viewings of the Northern Lights or sunny hours that extend through midnight, your glass-walled lodge has got the best views. Off the Map Travel recently launched the lodge's first-ever privately guided program, a four day Panorama Glass Lodge Escape, which helps a bit in getting there and exploring the area with ease.
Le Meridien, Bora Bora
The view: Colorful reefs without getting wet
On an Instagram-perfect white sand islet lined up just right for a dead-center view of Mt Otemanu, Le Méridien Bora Bora's out-of-this-world hotel room views were built to wow. The overwater bungalows hover over the Tiffany-blue lagoon synonymous with Bora Bora and feature glass-bottom floors big enough to lay your entire body across. You can spend hours watching the reef from your floor, or you can grab your snorkel mask and hop off your balcony to get even more up close and personal.
While overwater bungalows (and Bora Bora) in general are definitely a bucket-list splurge for most, Le Méridien is more affordable than similar properties on the island. And, thanks to a recent renovation, it also has a more modern look than its neighbors. The property even hosts a sea turtle rehab center, and guests have the option of paying a visit to the turtles during their stay.
Longitude 131° at Ulu?u-Kata Tju?a, Australia
The view: Two natural wonders at once
The only hotel in Australia to offer views of the iconic red curves of both Ulu?u and Kata Tju?a, Longitude 131° has some of the best views in the world. The entire property makes the most of its location, with floor-to-ceiling glass in the lobby and the Dune House bar and restaurant.
There are 15 private, luxe tents wrapped in glass with views of what was once known as Ayers Rock by European settlers right at the foot of your bed. The tents are kitted out with details like private balconies with day beds, fireplaces and en-suite rain showers. But it's the Dune Pavilion suite that boasts panoramic views of both of the massive landforms held sacred by the Pitjantjatjara and A?angu people and mythologized in the Aboriginal Dreamtime.
Kimpton EPIC Miami, USA
The view: A birds-eye-view of the party scene
Fresh off a top-to-bottom renovation that modernized the rooms, the Kimpton EPIC Hotel offers views to match its name. The hotel sits in the middle of the downtown Miami skyline with rooms and suites that feature floor-to-ceiling walls of glass overlooking the financial district and Miami River. What really sets this property apart are the spacious balconies in every room. Book a corner suite for not one, but two balconies, including one off of the bathroom that also boasts a window wall.
More views can be found on the terrace of its house restaurant Area 31, which serves seasonal Mediterranean fare and does an excellent happy hour. There are even top-notch views from the adjacent swimming pool area. Other luxe amenities here include an outlet of Exhale Spa with fantastic deep pressure massages; and Zuma, one of Miami’s hottest modern Japanese restaurants. Don't forget to share the view with man's best friend – the Kimpton EPIC is fabulously-dog friendly and never charges a fee for pups of any size.
The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
The view: A luxurious perch over one of the world's busiest harbors
The views from the pillowed glass windows at The Silo Hotel in Cape Town are legendary. Set inside an old grain elevator in the vibrant V&A Waterfront, The Silo is one of the most luxe of the city's newer properties. The rooms and suites are stylishly decorated with a contemporary but romantic appeal and have become a favorite spot for honeymooning couples and social media influencers alike.
The views don’t stop in the rooms (and bathrooms), either. Head up to the roof for panoramas across the Mother City, including the harbor area, Table Mountain and the ocean. The Silo Hotel also features a swimming pool with glass sides for uninterrupted viewing.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
The view: The Eiffel Tower, need we say any more?
If your idea of a perfect morning in Paris is throwing open your balcony doors and seeing the Eiffel Tower nearly straight ahead a la Carrie Bradshaw in the final season of Sex and the City, you're in luck. That scene was filmed in the Eiffel Suite right here at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, an Art Nouveau palace hotel which has been at the center of the Paris social scene since opening in 1911.
With a fabulous location in the 8th arrondissement walking distance from the Champs-Élysées, you're right in the middle of it all. And the views at this opulent five-star landmark don’t diminish after dark either – at night you have front row seats to the tower’s impressive light show just across the Seine. There are multiple dining options onsite, too, including renowned chef Jean Imbert's new Le Relais Plaza.
Jade Mountain, St Lucia
The view: The transfixing serenity of St Lucia's natural splendor
The 29 postmodern suites at Jade Mountain in St Lucia have just three walls and a roof, leaving the fourth open to bring the outdoors inside. It is an amazing design scheme that, combined with the resort’s hilltop locale, creates unobstructed sight lines to the jungle, ocean and soaring mountains. The suites also feature either double Jacuzzi baths or private infinity swimming pools, so choose the style that best fits your vibe. Either way, you'll be tempted to linger in your room.
The adults-only resort is one of the most luxe in St Lucia and butlers attend to every whim here. You can even enjoy all your meals in your room, should you choose. Jade Mountain’s sister property Anse Chastanet Resort is just down the hill and guests have access to its spa, dive center, restaurant and beach if you do decide to grab your room key and venture out.
InterContinental San Francisco, USA
The view: Golden panoramas of the Golden City
Touch a button and the seriously stunning cityscape fades to black as the shades automatically draw close for sleep at the InterContinental San Francisco. Just make sure to set your alarm for a few minutes before sunrise then hit that button again to rise and shine to the city bathed in a brilliant golden pink glow. This glass tower skyscraper hotel is in a convenient SoMa location walking distance from Union Square, and fits right in as part of the downtown skyline.
At night, the views from the floor-to-ceiling wrap-around glass walls – extending all the way into the bathroom in some – are the best in the city. You can watch a light show play out from various buildings and as far as the Golden Gate Bridge from your super comfy bed in the newly renovated rooms and suites. Many rooms also come with Molekule air purification systems, which remove dust and allergens from the air and led to a great night’s sleep (especially when traveling with a dog – the InterContinental is pet friendly). The Michelin-stared restaurant Luce on the ground floor is worth a reservation, and a brief break from taking in 49 square miles of bliss.
Hotel Explora Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
The view: A snow-globe come to life
Set on the shore of Lake Pehoé in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, Explora Patagonia Hotel features in-your-face panoramic views of the Paine Massif from large picture windows. The interior room design here features varying types of wood and neutral colors so as not to compete with the natural beauty outside. The hotel makes a great base for exploring this wild region of Chile, whether you're into brief day excursions or rewarding yourself after completing a Torres del Paine thru-hike. Daily rates at the property are inclusive of food and drinks, as well as more than 40 different outdoor door activities from hiking to horseback riding.
Park Hyatt Tokyo, Japan
The view: The bright lights of the big city
If you’ve seen Lost in Translation then you know the Park Hyatt Tokyo. It’s been nearly two decades since Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson got the world to fall in love with it, and yet this legendary five-star property still makes the list.
Covering the top floors of a glass skyscraper in the Shinjuku district, the best rooms have views of Mount Fuji and the city skyline from walls of glass. The 52nd floor New York Bar and Grill should not be missed, and not just because of it's big-time feature in Lost in Translation. The bar remains a Tokyo hotspot with excellent cocktails, live jazz and killer views.
Le Sirenuse, Amalfi Coast, Italy
The view: One of the most romantic views of the ocean in the world
A favorite of honeymooners and artists, Le Sirenuse offers deeply romantic views of the Mediterranean, not to mention the colorful coastal hillsides of Positano coated in terraced buildings. It's inspired such creative greats as John Steinbeck, who stayed here in 1953 and called it "a dream place that...becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."
These days, however, you might be more likely to see the Sirenuse flash by on your Instagram feed. The rooms boast private terraces and balconies perfect for fruit-filled breakfasts overlooking the sea, while inside the design is simple, classic Italian luxe, with Amalfi tiles, Frette linen sheets and well-selected antiques. If you can tear yourself away from the scenery, you'll have no problem falling asleep with turn-down niceties like Italian chocolates on the pillow, too.