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It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
2013 was kind of strange year. There was some good, quite a bit of bad, and a lot of just plain weird stuff happening (globally and personally.) Which is why when we were flipping through the year's Killer Views, we found ourselves drawn to the views that were far, far, away. Like this one and this one.
You can read Jetflyboy's full report on Tokoriki Island Resort here or you can just drool over more of his photos from the resort below. Say it all together now, "We want to go to there."
A few years ago, Hawaii was hit with a tsunami that caused damage to hotels on both sides of the island, mostly in the lobby and the lower levels where the water rushed in and ripped through.
We're happy to report that the unlucky hotels have since renovated, which we suppose is one (and perhaps the only) benefit of having your entire first floor wiped out by a wave of water - an excuse to spruce things up.
We visited two hotels on opposite sides of the island, the Hilo Hawaiian and King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, which were both affected by the tsunami and have since redone their lobbies and parts of their property. Although there is a risk that comes along with the ocean-front location, it also rewards with rockin' killer views.
Sure enough, just as we compile a list of our favorite killer hotel views comes another view that nearly tops them all.
This is the view outside room 336 at the luxury resort, Capella Pedregral, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What more can you ask for? The ocean, the beach, a couple of palm tree, a boat happily sailing by and in case you can't see it, your own private plunge pool on the terrace. Muy bonita!
Rates for this Ocean View King Room, the starting room category at the hotel, are currently going for about $650 a night. That rate includes complimentary WiFi, complimentary minibar refreshments (non-alcoholic) and a daily delivery of Coronitas, tortilla chips and guacamole. We'll have more on that and other authentic Mexican touches at Capella Pedegral next week.
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Two weeks ago, we ran a story on some of the details about a hotel room that bother the average luxury traveler. Have you ever flung open the drapes in a gorgeous room, only to see a brick wall a few feet away? Yeah, we should’ve added that to the list. Few things can be so disappointing. In complete contrast, when you score one of those oh-so-sweet views to die for, it can be the difference between an okay hotel stay and the memory of that room with the great view. So, in case you were out to make your next great memory, allow this list of killer hotel views to inspire you:
We begin with Capella Lodge (pictured above), located on the itty-bitty (11 kilometers in length) Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. The landmass is located in the midst the world’s most southern coral reef, an area declared an UNESCO heritage site in the early ‘80s. Seriously, who wouldn't want to wake up like this?
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Based on its setting within the Zoofenster skyscraper, the views to be had from Waldorf Astoria Berlin already looked good on paper, but having seen a number of rooms ourselves recently, we can tell you that the hotel does indeed serve up some killer views.
These particular vistas, stretching all the way across the city’s Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag in the distance, come courtesy of one of its Tower Suites, recognisable even from the outside as being located in the all glass block within the limestone façade. Accessible only by a separate set of lifts, which need a key card to be activated, they each measure 900+ square feet with living and dining room, powder room, master bedroom and bathroom, and kitchenette. More pictures after the jump.
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There's something about a swim-up bar that gets hotel guests excited, but the one at Cancún's Nizuc Resort & Spa truly blows our socks off. The pool is still pretty pristine as the hotel has only been open since March, so there's no wear-and-tear as of yet.
Also, Nizuc is not an all-inclusive, so this bar isn't three-deep in 18-year olds clamoring for cloyingly sweet margaritas and cervezas. No, this is a more civilized ( and pricey) experience in an infinity pool with a sleek, dark blue hue, rather than the traditional garish turquoise coloring. The over-sized serving area is manned by a crew of talented bartenders who mix up such concoctions as the Rocket (made with reposado tequila, lime juice, and cranberry) and a green powerhouse of a drink made from local chaya leaves and vodka ( a healthy-boozy drink!).
One of the many waiters will bring your drink to your bali bed (no charge, first-come, first served) or lounger and from there it's just you and the incredible scene you see above and after the jump.
Downtown Manhattan might be home to some of the chicest hotels in the world (The Standard High Line, Andaz Wall Street, Dream Downtown, The Bowery Hotel, we could go on and on) but there's still something so magical about Central Park, and even more so when your hotel suite overlooks both the park and Columbus Cirlce.
That's what you will find at the Trump International Hotel in this two-bedroom suite on the eighth floor. If you go higher up, you will have even better views into the park but we prefer this view better so we can see the action in Columbus Circle as well. Don't worry, the exterior of the building is mirrored so while you may be able to see the hot dog vendor scratch his nose, he can't see you do the same.
Rates for these suites, which we redesigned nearly three years ago by Ivanka Trump, start around $2,000 a night and feature the two bedrooms, a kitchen with Sub-Zero appliances, a dining area and a separate living room. And don't forget about the Travel Fit Kit!
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Last week, the National Park Service flipped the switch on nearly 500 scaffolding lights that surround the Washington Monument and now these new "night lights" are the big buzz in D.C. The monument remains closed as it undergoes repairs for damage sustained from the freak East Coast earthquake two years ago but the night lights are giving it a new life.
And judging from this shot above, one of the best places for a killer view of the monument in its new lit-up glory is from P.O.V., the rooftop bar at The W Washington D.C.. P.O.V. also has a killer view across the street to the White House making it the perfect spot to stay during Inauguration Time.
Rates right now are totally doable at around $229 a night but of course, you don't need a room to head up to P.O.V. Just a love of tapas and cocktails. The bar is closed this weekend on July 28 but after that it will resume its normal hours of 3pm to midnight during the week, 3pm to 2am on Friday, 11am to 3am on Saturday and 11am to midnight on Sunday. And this is D.C. so fellas, please don't try to rock your baseball hats, tank tops or sneakers. Collared shirts are actually preferred.
[Photo: The W Washington D.C.]
Last week, we spent the day on the Greek Island of Mykonos, which is most notably known for it's classic flat-roofed, white-washed architecture that you see in the photo above.
Not surprisingly, we found that Mykonos is riddled with killer-view hotels set upon vistas and mountainsides, and tomorrow, we'll take you through a few different areas of the island and the hotels you can expect to find in them.
As somewhat of a teaser, we offer you some eye candy from three luxury properties: The Mykonos Grand Hotel, the Saint John Hotel, and the Cavo Tagoo. We dig their open-aired, view-heavy designs to go along with that unmistakable traditional Greek exterior (we don't mind the private pools, either). If you've been to Mykonos, let us know in the comments where you stayed and how it went.
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A 45 minute flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, Tioman Island is considered one of Malaysia's most beautiful islands. It is mostly covered by dense forest, with a range of different types of resorts dotted along the coast. By far the most charming of these is Bagus Place Resort, a sustainably-built eco-resort with seven private "chalets," or small villas.
Pictured above is Bagus Place's private jetty. At 162 paces from end to end (we counted), it's the longest on the island.
Click below for more photos!
Everything you've heard about the city of Athens being packed tighter than a New York City subway car is absolutely true. On a recent trip to the capital of Greece, we fell in love with the pace and pulse of the city (not to mention the gyros), but boy, talk about a maze. Navigating those Greek-named streets was by no means a walk in the park, and while the city is surrounded by mountains and dotted with hills, it can be tough to get a grip on where you are due to the limited sight lines and endless infrastructure.
But, like New York, the rooftops of hotels and restaurants give you a whole new perspective on the chaos below, turning those closed-in, clustered feelings to ones of awe and appreciation. One such opportunity is found at the Hotel Melia, located right downtown in the heart of the city and boasting a view of Athens' most infamous attraction, the Acropolis.
The view, as you'll notice, is indeed killer, especially at night when the Acropolis is lit up like a torch over the city. But beyond the aesthetics, the Sky Lounge Rooftop Dining Bar turned out to be one hell of a nest, a relaxing pool scene by day and a delicious dining area at night. When in town, you've got to have a few drinks during the sunset and watch the lights of the Acropolis turn on as the daylight dwindles down. Check out the photo gallery below!
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For most of us, we're just happy that our hotel room in Manhattan doesn't look out onto a brick wall. But for those of you who are particular about your views, we've rounded up the best hotels in lower Manhattan for river gazing. And no, you don't have to spend a fortune to do it, which is another reason to consider downtown versus uptown when planning your stay.
5 SCENIC WATERFRONT HOTELS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
1. It's all about the views at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which also took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy (everything's back to normal now, though). The 298-room hotel often gets overshadowed by its uptown counterparts (Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons New York), but actually this place outshines all of them put together when it comes to fresh sea breezes and plenty of open spaces around the hotel The rooms even come with telescopes!
Rates from $395/night.
Four more after the jump!