Sightseeing involves a particular kind of itinerary for many travelers — one that’s thoroughly researched, meticulously planned, and strategically mapped in order to ensure that all time between a hastily scarfed-down breakfast and a final lobby entrance is spent exploring efficiently. Each day’s to-do list is packed with enough must-see monuments and unique museums to leave a wanderer exhausted, dreaming of just a deep sleep.
Consider a different point of view. Sightseeing can begin from the very first moment when you open your eyes in the morning, as you wake up in a suite that has inspired art on the walls and a gorgeous view from the balcony. To help you do so, our expert editors traversed a slew of travel guides — published by noted niche magazines and recollected from our personal globetrotting — to find the most beautiful hotels in the world.
Below, we’ve put together a list of 50 international lodging options — each of which are, from our perspectives, a bountiful feast for the eyes.
Courtesy of Emirates Palace
Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, this palatial expanse is nothing short of grand. Brace yourself for opulence, everywhere you look: whether soaking in one of the resort’s decadently-landscaped pools, riding a camel along its nearly mile-long beach, enjoying five-star cuisine in a candlelit cabana, or wrapping up a company-wide meeting in the conference center. For an extra touch of luxury, book the Khaleej Deluxe Suite, which includes Arabian-inspired furnishings, a private Jacuzzi and an 180-degree scenic view of the Arabian Gulf.
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
As part of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts group, the Amsterdam location maintains the brand’s luxury standards while still celebrating the city’s Dutch heritage (look no further than the hotel’s grand staircase built by Louis XIV architect Daniel Marot). Its 93 rooms, suites and lofts provide mesmerizing views of the canal or courtyard garden. Indulge at the Guerlain Spa with a refreshing facial or rest your body in the sauna room, before ending your evening with a seven-course dinner at two Michelin-starred Librije's Zusje Amsterdam.
Courtesy of Gamirasu Cave Hotel
Once the site of a monastic retreat in the Byzantine Era, Gamirasu Hotel is a historic gem that features 35 restored cave rooms. The hotel, located near Urgup, maintains some of the location’s history — the kitchen and dining hall that once belonged to the monastery are still used as such spaces. Live your best life in the Byzantine King suite — the largest and most luxe cave room in Cappadocia — and enjoy everything the spacious room has to offer, including the handmade Ottoman-style furniture, heated floors, and jacuzzi with an epic view of the valley.
Courtesy of Four Seasons Private Island
When a penthouse suite or a private home just aren’t enough, book the entire island of Voavah in the Maldives. The seven-bedroom retreat — located in a UNESCO biosphere reserve where the world’s biggest population of manta rays cruise through pristine waters— lets guests indulge in a playground of immaculate white beaches and vibrant coral reef — the perfect site for the exclusive use of a certified dive center, a 62-foot luxury yacht, and the latest extreme water sport toys. The site is equipped with a slew of pools as well as a library, gym, game room, and a spa. For the full VIP treatment, be sure to arrive by private plane.
Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn
Who says you have to choose between stunning views of the mountains and the ocean? Guests of this intimate inn have it all — and without any televisions, alarm clocks, or kids. A favorite destination for honeymooning newlyweds, vacationers get treated to daily buffet breakfasts and guided activities like hiking, stargazing, yoga, whale watching, and tastings in the chef’s garden. To relax in true seclusion or entertain a group of guests, go beyond the resort’s 39 guestrooms and book one of its private homes, which are each equipped with full-size kitchens and private hot tubs, and can easily host in-room massages.
Courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff
Snag yourself a hearty serving of Southern hospitality with a stay at this luxurious inn, which recently underwent a massive. Since the resort includes an extensive nature preserve, walking trails, a marina, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, guests can go fishing (freshwater and saltwater), kayaking, paddleboarding, clay shooting, horseback riding, bowling, and more — all without leaving the resort grounds. Make time to stroll through the Wilson Village ruins to discover what’s left of a former Southern estate. The experience is definitely best enjoyed with a few tall glasses of sweet tea.
Courtesy of 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge
People who prefer not to stay in Manhattan should opt for the breathtaking view of the island’s skyline from the eco-friendly comfort of this boutique offering. As part of the 1 Hotels family, the wind-powered waterfront retreat features locally-sourced furnishings made of reclaimed woods, industrial steel and custom organic cotton. Each room is equipped with low-energy light bulbs and a personal filtered water tap, and uses a rainwater reclamation system to irrigate the Brooklyn Park next door. Going green never felt so chic, especially while sipping a craft cocktail at the splendid and trendy rooftop pool and bar.
Courtesy of Lizard Island Resort
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. And this resort happens to sit right in the middle of it as all of Lizard Island is a national park. The 40-room property is the only accommodation on the entire island, and those lucky enough to visit will find a rare combination of exclusivity and a down-to-earth vibe perfect for exploring the surrounding awe-inspiring nature. The island features 24 private beaches, big game fishing opportunities, a multitude of restaurants and bars that offer just-caught seafood and some of the best wines from Australia and New Zealand.
Courtesy of Amangiri Resort
All of the Aman hotels offer ethereal accommodations in exotic places, but this remote resort spans 810 acres in a protected valley in Canyon Point, bathing its guests — who either stay in spacious, minimalist suites or sleek private homes — in serene, sweeping canyon views. Complete the desert getaway with locally-sourced meals (served on stones!) and Navajo-inspired spa treatments, as well as unforgettable adventures like rafting in the Colorado River, horseback riding in Monument Valley, and flying via hot air balloon to see Lake Powell, Navajo Mountain, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Courtesy of Saffire Freycinet
On Tasmania’s east coast is one of the rugged state’s most magical coastal areas: Freycinet National Park, which comes complete with some of the bluest waters and most epic lookout points you’ll likely ever encounter. And in the middle of the park against the Hazard Mountains and Great Oyster Bay is the Saffire Freycinet, an unfussy yet exclusive luxury lodge that allows visitors peace, quiet, and pampering in one of the most majestic natural settings in the world. The property features a mere 20 suites, and those who opt for a private pavilion can choose to have a private chef-created dinner from the comfort of their very own kitchen. Experiences including in-water oyster tastings and Tasmanian devil education trips are complimentary for guests.
Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado
Soak in the Southern California sun at Hotel del Coronado, a beachfront resort located just a few minutes from downtown San Diego. The 28-acre hotel features a mix of historic Victorian architecture, contemporary suites and ocean-view villas, all of which have attracted the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Madonna, and other notable guests. The Del’s quintessential Cali feel has also made its way into classic Hollywood films such as 1959’s Some Like It Hot and 1990’s My Blue Heaven. Take a dip in the vanishing-edge pool at the resort’s full-service spa or enjoy views of the water from your private balcony. For the full seaside luxury experience, check in to the Beach Village, where an enclave of cottages and villas come equipped with fireplaces, marble bathrooms and a personal concierge.
Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch
For those dreaming of retreating to the Montana Rockies, this collection of classy cabins and ranch homes sits the heart of the beautiful Bitterroot Mountain Range. The all-inclusive lodge hosts a ton of activities such as trail rides, Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, guided nature safaris, hiking, fly-casting lessons, fly-fishing, archery, and sapphire panning. Local retailers also offer trap shooting, dog sledding, snowmobiling, whitewater rafting, cattle drives and more adventures. And doing so alongside Western art, local produce, and native wildlife like elk and deer is a given at this wonderfully woodsy resort.
Courtesy of Atlantis, The Palm
Want to spend a night under the sea? Atlantis, The Palm, a luxury hotel located on the man-made island The Palm in Dubai, offers its Signature Underwater Suite, which boasts a floor-to-ceiling window that looks directly into a lagoon with more than 65,000 marine animals. Surround yourself with more water activities at Aquaventure Waterpark or The Lost Chambers Aquarium. You can even swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to have a blast.
If you’re truly eyeing an island getaway, head to this sail-shaped resort, which lives on an artificial island that’s connected to the Jumeirah Beach mainland by a private bridge. This suite-only structure takes luxury to new heights — literally. It’s the third tallest hotel in the world, with each floor equipped with a private reception and host of personal butlers. Take a ride either in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, a helicopter ascending from the on-site helipad, or on a boat to go windsurfing, water skiing, deep sea fishing, or scuba diving.
Courtesy of Hotel Villa Honegg
Relax at Hotel Villa Honegg, perched high above Lake Lucerne in Ennetburgen, Switzerland. The five-star superior hotel’s 23 elegant rooms and suites provide views of the scenic lake or majestic mountains — either way, you can’t lose with the postcard-worthy backdrops. If you want to feel like you’re floating in the clouds, spend some time in the heated outdoor pool that overlooks the area’s natural wonders.
Courtesy of Mukul
Nicaragua is quickly shaping up to be the next Costa Rica. The ultra-luxury hotel brand Auberge opened Mukul on Nicaragua’s Western coast in 2013 and changed the game. Often considered one of the best resorts in Central America by the likes of London’s Telegraph and Travel & Leisure, this sprawling oasis — which means “secret” in Mayan — is perfect for surfers (Rivas, where the resort is located, is considered one of the best surf breaks in the world) or those who simply want to relax (the property features six semi-outdoor spa pavilions where every treatment is completely customized).
Courtesy of Zaborin
An intimate ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inn), Zaborin is nestled in the Hanazono woods in Hokkaido. The 15 separate villas provide guests with peace and privacy, with each room featuring an indoor and open-air onsen (hot spring baths). Zaborin strives to be an eco-friendly establishment, using its natural hot spring water for underfloor heating and water from the volcanic spring to cool rooms. A stay at Zaborin isn’t complete without trying Hokkaido-born executive chef Yoshihiro Seno’s local cuisine, including a traditional Japanese breakfast with milk tofu and grilled Hokkaido seasonal fish. (Umai!)
Courtesy of The Peninsula
Come for the afternoon tea, stay for the elegant accommodations. The Peninsula Hong Kong’s afternoon tea service at Palm Court is among the city’s best, with a menu that offers Wedgwood specialty teas, savory bites, and sweet treats. After an afternoon of indulging, check into the executive room, where the set-up mirrors that of a luxury high-rise apartment. The spacious room features a fireplace, an expansive lounge area, and an Italian-style bathroom with a rainfall shower.
Courtesy of Ciragan Palace
Nestled against the banks of the Bosphorus on Istanbul’s European side is this former Ottoman palace turned five-star hotel, which — in true royal fashion — is the only hotel in Istanbul that can be reached by helicopter, yacht and car. The impressive property features all of the trappings one would expect a circa 1860s palace to feature — think rich woods, ornate architecture and a Turkish breakfast/fine china-festooned coffee service that puts all American caffeine to shame. The on-property grand ballroom holds 1,100.Tugra, the hotel’s premiere fine dining restaurant, happens to have an underground room that exists solely for making the 15 types of baklava served on premise. Jet lag keeping you from dessert? Fret not, as your turn down service comes complete with an array of Turkish delights.
Courtesy of The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
When it’s truly Thai-me for a relaxing getaway, be sure to stay at the Sands. Located an hour away from Phuket airport, the resort — which is generously peppered with palm trees and equipped with multiple family-friendly and adults-only pools — reserves exclusive use of a section of Nang Thong Beach. And since you’re on vacation, here’s an upgraded definition of happy hour: watch the region’s unbelievably idyllic sunset while sipping on a frothy cocktail or a young coconut — or, better yet, while enjoying a rejuvenating massage at the hotel’s seaside spa.
Courtesy of Southern Ocean Lodge
This epic luxury lodge that sits three and a half hours outside of Adelaide in the south of the country is an ultra-exclusive cliffside marvel on Kangaroo Island. It is a wine-and-wildlife-soaked destination filled with kangaroos along with koalas, sea lions and unspoiled bushland as far as the eyes can see. The lodge itself strikes the perfect balance of modern luxury and impeccable service that will find you greeted by your first name at every turn. While most suites overlook the ocean and come with stone fireplaces for an extra dose of coziness, the Ospery Pavilion (aka the Lodge’s version of a presidential suite) has a sunken living room, heated limestone floors and a private outdoor plunge spa for the ultimate way to feel like you’re on the edge of the world.
Courtesy of Singita Sweni Lodge
Singita Sweni Lodge is a hidden gem located within a 33,000-acre private concession in the Kruger National Park. Its close proximity to the Sweni River means guests can often spot animals and birds wandering by the river. The five-star hotel’s seven suites come equipped with outdoor showers that overlook the river and outdoor day beds for sleeping under the stars. Meanwhile, the pool suite includes a private swimming pool and shaded riverfront deck.
Courtesy of Pumphouse Point
Smack in the middle of Australia’s rugged Tasmanian wilderness lies Pumphouse Point, a 1940s hydroelectric plant that was converted into a luxury boutique hotel in 2015. Guests will marvel at the hotel’s location — which seems to float in the middle of its Lake St Clair home — as well as its amenities. Guestrooms come stocked with Tasmanian cheeses and locally-made terrines, and a quick phone call gets you a piping hot baguette from the oven in a matter of minutes. Meals at the serene property are a communal affair, with flowing Tasmanian wines and market-sourced produce from the comfort of the property’s cozy dining room, complete with a roaring fireplace and lake views. Think peace, quiet, and understated luxury in the middle of nowhere. Perfection.
Courtesy of The Connaught
Nestled in the heart of Mayfair in London, The Connaught has welcomed royalty and offered its guests the best in fine dining from word-renowned chefs at its Michelin-starred restaurants. In addition to its top-notch cuisine, the five-star hotel is known for its carefully curated art collection. The interior is lined with original artwork (roughly 3,000 pieces and counting) by famed English artists including Graham Sutherland, Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst. Inside selective signature suites (all recently refurbished in late 2007) you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows, a wrap-around terrace and private balcony. Before you check out of this hotel, be sure to pay a visit to the Aman Spa (London’s very first!), where a black granite pool and massage treatments await.
Courtesy of The Egerton House
Built in 1843, this luxury boutique townhouse hotel resides on a quiet Knightsbridge street and overlooks a set of stunning private gardens. Its 28 distinct yet traditionally-designed rooms make travelers feel like they’re guests in a home — one that features original works by Picasso and Matisse on the walls, no less. After enjoying some delicious finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with the award-winning afternoon tea in the elegant Drawing Tea, enjoy the short walk to a slew of London’s must-sees, including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Sloane Street, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, just to name a few.
Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Dive into Marina Bay Sand’s rooftop pool — the largest infinity pool in the world at 492 feet — and take in the city’s skyline at 57 stories high. Opened in 2010, the luxury hotel has enough attractions and amenities — complete with a fitness center, casino, indoor shopping center, museum, and fine-dining restaurants opened by renowned celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Nancy Silverton and Wolfgang Puck — to keep you occupied during your stay. If you watch close enough, you’ll even spot the architectural wonder in the recent Crazy Rich Asians trailer.
Courtesy of Amanjena
Amanjena, which translates to “peaceful paradise,” is a five-star resort located in Marrakech, Morocco that offers its guests exactly what its name might suggest. With striking architecture infused in Moroccan history and views of the Atlas Mountains, Amanjena offers luxurious accommodations and plenty of opportunities for beautiful landscape photography. Find your inner zen while lounging at one of the hotel’s numerous pavilions and maisons, some of which feature heated pools, private butler service, personal bars, garden courtyards and decorative gazebos.
Courtesy of The Setai
Amidst the signature craziness of South Beach sits this serene, Asian-infused Art Deco oasis. The intimate oceanfront property lets guests choose between the minimalistic Art Deco Suites, located in the landmark building, or the Ocean Suites, housed in a 40-story glass tower with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the coast. At this hotel, eating is a full-on event, with Friday nights hosting an Asian night bazaar and Sunday mornings putting on a brunch with live jazz. Both are delicious ways to refuel between dips in the resort’s three pools and private beach.
Courtesy of The Taj Mahal Palace
A five-star hotel in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, the Taj Mahal Palace opened its grand building in 1903 and later expanded with the Taj Mahal Tower wing in 1973. The architectural gem has hosted a number of notable figures, including Duke Ellington, Mick Jagger, and Michelle and Barack Obama. A star in its own right, the hotel is featured in the 2015 thriller-drama Taj Mahal, which references the 2008 terrorist attacks on the famous establishment. The palace will soon also appear in the upcoming thriller Hotel Mumbai, starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer.
Courtesy of The Cotton House
The hotel was originally an old cotton warehouse, before British theatre stage designer Oliver Messel transformed the building into a luxury resort on this island frequented by the British royal family in 1968. Parisian architect Tristan Auer recently refurbished the building, giving the structure a refreshing makeover while still maintaining Messel’s original style. Each room features four poster beds draped with billowing white muslin nets, traditional rattan chairs and elegant artwork.
Courtesy of Meadowood
One of Forbes Travel Guide’s top-rated hotels, Meadowood has plenty to offer in relaxing spa treatments, luxurious room accommodations and unparalleled wine selections (it’s located in Napa Valley, after all). Rooms and suites are the perfect blend of elegant and cozy — embellished with French doors and equipped with stone fireplaces and private decks. Every afternoon, the resort invites guests to come together for wine tasting, a must in California’s wine country. Enjoy a glass as you chat with local vintners at the resort and bond with other wine enthusiasts.
Courtesy of Gramercy Park Hotel
This 1925-built masterpiece is where Humphrey Bogart got married, a young John F. Kennedy once lived, and Babe Ruth drank. Today, celebrities come and go from this Gramercy Park adjacent hotspot (and its super exclusive Rose Bar) like it’s no big deal. But whether you’re Beyoncé or Bob from Ohio, all guests of the GPH can expect loads of privacy, dark and moody lighting and sexy, leather-trimmed bed frames and furnishing throughout. Guestrooms come complete with mini Aesop amenities as well as a coveted key to Gramercy Park — one of Manhattan’s last private green spaces. Grab a take away coffee from Danny Meyers’ on-site Maialino restaurant before perusing the park’s Alexander Calder sculpture, an experience that’s well worth the property’s roughly $489 per-night starting rate.
Courtesy of One&Only Reethi Rah
Located 45 minutes by speedboat or yacht from Velana International Airport in Malé, One&Only Reethi Rah is the ultimate paradise. The award-winning resort features extravagant villas, designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, that provide direct views of the sand, water and sky. All villas also feature outside showers, unpacking and packing luggage services, and daily fresh fruits. Never worry about getting bored on the secluded island — the hotel provides a variety of amenities and activities, including 12 beaches, tennis, rock climbing, diving and snorkeling, boutique shopping, and more.
Courtesy of Andronis Luxury Suites
Planning a honeymoon? Consider booking Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia, Greece. The honeymoon suite, located on the upper levels, provides a private terrace and jacuzzi for you to take in the jaw-dropping views of the blue Aegean Sea. There’s even an indoor cave plunge pool, in case you’d prefer to take a dip in the privacy of your own space. Even if you’re not planning a romantic getaway, this luxury location is still worth a visit for dining under the stars at its cliffside restaurant called Lycabettus.
Ready for your next hotel stay to have one of the most breathtaking views in the world? Look no further than Katikies Hotel in Oia, a photogenic coastal village in Santorini, Greece. The luxe location, perched on the town’s cliff edge, overlooks the deep blue waters and provides a picture-perfect view of the surrounding white buildings on the island. Each elegant room features fresh bed linens, arched ceilings and private terraces that offer views of the Caldera. Take a dip in one of the hotel’s three infinity pools, before grabbing a cocktail at the bar and catching a stunning Santorini sunset.
Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn
This sprawling family-owned gem in the Ojai Valley — otherwise known as the Valley of the Moon – is less than two hours from Los Angeles.. Guests are treated to simple, old-California style luxury in the form of in-room fireplaces, Spanish tiles and lush, green grounds that seem to turn pink at sun down (upon arrival look for the timing of that night’s “pink moment” so you don’t miss a second of the magical sunset). Golf, wine tasting, a spa and multiple dining experiences await you on-site, or the quaintness of Ojai’s city center (and Bart’s Books, the must-visit outdoor used bookstore located there) is a mere five-minute drive away.
Courtesy of Peninsula Paris
Located in the heart of the city, The Peninsula Paris is within walking distance from the Arc de Triumph, Le Lido (cabaret and burlesque show) and Palais de Tokyo. The iconic hotel offers 200 luxurious rooms, including 86 suites. The largest one — the Peninsula Suite — is an authentic Haussmannian residence featuring high ceilings with unique moldings, large double-doored windows, fine chandeliers, a grand piano, and a fireplace. Best of all, you can end your evening the hotel’s rooftop restaurant l’Oiseau Blancl, where you can marvel at the Eiffel Tower. Parfait.
Courtesy of Hanging Gardens Of Bali
The world’s first seven-star hotel, Hanging Gardens of Bali is the ultimate luxury escape in the jungle. The remote getaway, located near Payangan, offers 44 private villas and a swimming pool that’s considered one of the best in the world. Every suite offers open-aired dining areas and master bathrooms. Relax at the hotel’s Royal Day Spa, where you’ll be treated to a 30-minute refreshing body scrub, 90-minute flower petal massage and a 60-minute facial. The spa also includes a photo session with an in-house photographer. Why not show off your glow up with Instagram-worthy portraits?
CCourtesy of Matakauri Lodge
Set high on a cliff overlooking the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital, this luxury lodge is the perfect setting for a quiet, secluded getaway in the middle of nature. Visitors can enjoy the serene surroundings from one of the property’s eleven guest rooms and suites, each appointed in understated neutral tones designed to feel like a cozy yet exclusive home away from home. The on-site owner’s cottage is the property’s piece de resistance and features an outdoor kitchen, open fireplace and private infinity hot tub that makes you feel like you’re truly in the middle of Middle-earth.
Courtesy of Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro
A stay at Hotel Fasano calls for a celebratory caipirinha. This oceanfront offering sits on the coveted boundary between the Arpoador and Ipanema beaches — both of which can be gorgeously viewed from the comfort of the resort’s white marble rooftop infinity pool. Originally a co-venture with the iconic designer Philippe Starck, the hotel now pays subtle tribute to Brazil’s Bossa Nova era (each floor houses an original Gaetano Pesce “La Mamma” chair).
Courtesy of Palace Hotel
Known as San Francisco’s first-ever luxury hotel, this historic landmark still pays tribute to its original 1875 architecture but was entirely revamped with gorgeous modern decor in 2015. For the more fashion-forward travelers, the Market Street offering also treats its guests to a complimentary personal shopper and in-room stylist via the startup company Boon + Gable. Be sure to make a reservation for the hotel’s iconic Sunday brunch — complete with a locally-sourced menu and live entertainment — that’s served in the Garden Court, where Woodrow Wilson gave speeches in 1919 in support of the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.
Courtesy of Sea Island Resort
Sea Island, located on the southeastern coast of Georgia, is the only resort in the world to have received four Forbes Five-Star awards for 10 years straight — and it’s easy to see why. The charming resort boasts a five-mile private beach, tennis center, and three championship golf courses (including Plantation, home to the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic). Guests are welcome to check into a variety of rooms and suites, from The Cloister (lively and inviting) to The Lodge (warm and distinctive) to the Cottage (a home away from home) — whatever the case may be, the resort’s accommodations are sure to fit any need.
Located on the iconic Bund waterfront, The Peninsula’s flagship hotel in Mainland China has unrivaled views of the Pudong skyline. The hotel features 235 rooms and suites, with the Peninsula Suite (known as the hotel’s Presidential Suite) featuring a two-bedroom suite, spacious dining room with a jaw-dropping view of Huangpu River, living room with a fireplace and balcony, private gym and fully-equipped kitchen. As the only accommodation in Mainland China with two Michelin-starred restaurants, Yi Long Court and Sir Elly’s are must-try dining experiences at the hotel. (Braised bean curd with elm fungus? Yes, please.)
Courtesy of Wickaninnish Inn
Surrounded by a green forest and the Pacific Ocean, The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino is a picturesque point on the coast of Vancouver Island. With access to Chesterman Beach, every room has a captivating view of the water. The Canopy Suite, described as the “ultimate accommodation” on site, provides floor-to-ceiling windows, king-sized bed with canopy, living room, fireplace, and a bathroom with heated tile flooring. If you’re a morning person, try taking a semi-private Hatha yoga class at Ancient Cedars Spa, where courses start at $28 per person.
Courtesy of Oberoi Udaivilas
Spread over 50 acres of land, the Oberoi Udaivilas features a 20-acre wildlife sanctuary, lush garden and marvelous views of Lake Pichola. The five-star deluxe hotel, which rivals that of a royal palace, offers rooms with Mewar-Inspired designs and private pools. During your stay, you can enjoy a private dinner under an intricately carved dome by the lake or experience a yoga session with expert instructors — whatever you decide, you can’t go wrong with the hotel’s luxe programs.
Courtesy of Manor Vail Lodge
Located at the Golden Peak base area of Vail Mountain, this luxurious lodge offers avid skiers a respite between runs down the world-renowned slopes, as each condo is equipped with a full-size kitchen and an outdoor space with a grill and a breathtaking view. Loosen those muscles with a treatment at the in-house spa or a steamy soak in one of four hot tubs or two heated pools. For those looking for some après ski activities, it’s only a leisurely walk to the bars, restaurants and shops in Vail Village.
Courtesy of Juvet Landscape Hotel
Though it’s the mystery setting of the sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, it’s far from being a cold and creepy laboratory. Instead Norway’s Juvet Landscape Hotel, the four-star lodge situated in the farmstead of Burtigarden farm at Alstad in Valldal, invites visitors to become one with nature. The hotel offers nine detached pod-like rooms that present a special perspective on the rugged landscape with its floor-to-ceiling windows.
Courtesy of Encuentro Guadalupe
Situated in the Guadalupe Valley, Encuentro Guadalupe offers magical views of the mountains and vineyard grounds. The 22 lofts feature a private terrace, an outdoor clay kiva and Wi-Fi. Guests are welcomed with a house drink upon arrival, but if that’s not enough for you, the hotel’s tasting room also provides Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo, and more. Note that Encuentro Guadalupe is more of an adults-only getaway, since the hotel doesn’t allow for children under 13.
Courtesy of Hay Adams Hotel
The touches of luxury in the capital aren’t limited to the Smithsonian’s historical exhibits along the National Mall. This boutique hotel lets Hill-centric guests retreat to a residence filled with refined designs, yet still envelopes them with views of the White House, St. John’s Church, and Lafayette Park. The hotel also hosts an Author Series, a literary tradition first established by John Hay and Henry Adams in the late 1800s, and now celebrates distinguished authors over an evening of refreshments and conversation.
Courtesy of Longitude 131
Like something out of an epic adventure movie, this luxury lodge rises from the red-hued desert floor in the heart of Australia’s remote Northern Territory, offering visitors prime access to the country’s sacred aboriginal site Uluru. The property is built into the walls of a sand dune, and each of the hotel’s 15 pavilion rooms feature walls of glass for prime Uluru and Outback viewing. Those who indulge in indigenous-inspired treatments at the on-site spa will be treated to natural products that utilize traditional healing ingredients from this highly spiritual part of Australia — kakadu plum quandong, and desert lime included. Afterward, head outside to enjoy wine and canapes as the sun sets and Uluru’s magical ever-changing colors give you a sight of a lifetime. Once you finish your sightseeing, retreat to one of the world’s 10 best hotel spas.