NEW YORK— Over in Manhattan, there are lots of hotels clustered around 42nd St, making it easy to see a Broadway show, visit Restaurant Row (46th St btwn Eighth and Ninth Aves), or hop a train downtown. But for simply gazing down on Times Square, a safe bet is the Crowne Plaza Times Square, whose rooms don't even begin until the 15th floor. Be sure to ask for a Times Square view, though, as other west or north-facing rooms look out onto the Hudson River and uptown.
SHANGHAI— There's a lot of competition these days for "tallest building" this and "tallest hotel" that (for the record, the upcoming JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is on track to be the tallest hotel in the world when it opens this fall). But who really cares when you can zip up to the restaurant on the 91st floor at Park Hyatt Shanghai and enjoy views of the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower?
SAN FRANCISCO— Mandarin Oriental San Francisco has long been a fave of ours, both for its central location and its killer views. But things got even better recently when the entire hotel received a top-to-bottom renovation, and new lobby restaurant to boot.
SYDNEY Who could ever get tired of this fantastic vista from the rooftop at Park Hyatt Sydney? With the Sydney Opera House across the harbor, and frequent celebrity sightings (Lady Gaga, Orlando Bloom, and a pant-less Zac Efron), you won't even need to leave the hotel since all the sights come to you. (As for rooms, try a Deluxe Opera King, which offers an even more up-close vantage spot than the roof).
DUBAI— While a trip to the top of Burj Khalifa is not to be missed when you're visiting Dubai, it's still worth trying to snag a room where you can behold its weird, skinny beauty at your leisure. And while we love the Radisson Royal's bathroom view, you can better behold the Burj from a Deluxe Burj View Room over at Address Dubai Mall where each of the rooms come with their own private balconies!
VENICE— We were pretty much instantly charmed by this shot we stumbled upon, taken from Hotel Cipriani Venice. Piazza San Marco, sure it's a nice place to sit and watch the world go by, but from Cipriani's plush restaurant, you get to spy on the famous basilica as well!
[Photos: HotelChatter; Crowne Plaza]