We love upscale accommodations and unforgettable amenities just as much as the next traveler, but let’s not forget the effect an incredible city skyline can have on a hotel stay, too. For your next trip, book a room with a sweeping vista at one of the following hotels and see what a difference the view makes.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
This newly opened 1 Hotel, located just under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights, is here to prove that elegance doesn’t have to equate to excess. The entirely sustainably designed hotel is constructed from reclaimed wood (pine beams from the former Domino sugar factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and pine flooring from the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky) while rooms feature a hemp bed with organic cotton bedding, a personal garden and a built-in water filtration system — plus floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the East River, the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.
Enjoy a handcrafted cocktail in the lobby while admiring the Instagram-worthy 25-foot living wall or lounge poolside on the 4,000-square-foot rooftop, which provides a front-row seat to the expansive New York City view.
You’ll find it hard to leave, but if you must, arrange a complimentary ride in the hotel’s Tesla or easily catch a water taxi up the river to Williamsburg or across to Lower Manhattan.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Circular Quay, home to the Sydney Opera House and other attractions, is undoubtedly the Australian city’s crown jewel. So, if you’re looking for a top-notch adventure Down Under, booking a room at the Four Seasons is a no-brainer.
Almost all of the hotel’s 531 rooms offer gorgeous harbor peeks, from Walsh Bay to the Opera House. The two-bedroom Presidential Suite even provides 34th-floor panoramas, which can be taken in while sipping on a drink in your window seat or lounging in a soaking tub.
Book a club room or suite on the top floors and you will also be given access to the exclusive Lounge 32, which features a lavish daily breakfast spread prepared by personal chefs, all-day refreshments, drinks each evening, plush furniture and unbeatable harbor views.
The only things that may pry you from the hotel are the city’s 37 beaches, lauded restaurants and first-rate shopping.
Shangri-La Hotel, At the Shard, London
There’s arguably no better view of London than the one found at the top of the 95-story glassy skyscraper known as The Shard. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Shangri La Hotel, which can be found on floors 34 through 52, features floor-to-ceiling glass windows for unobstructed views of the city skyline and delivers luxurious details like body-contouring beds, 300-thread-count sheets, heated bathroom floors and automatic climate control.
The hotel’s 17 spacious suites include personal butler service while three signature suites come with additional space and amenities like telescopes and binoculars to admire the city’s landmarks in detail from the comfort of your temporary home.
Four different Shard restaurants (Aqua Shard, Oblix, Hutong and Tĭng) provide elegant cuisine against the canvas of skyline and Gŏng, on the 52nd floor, is the highest bar in London, perfect for cocktails at sunset or against the twinkling night sky.
Hotel Lincoln, Chicago
The best way to see a city is often by getting out of its center, and Chicago‘s Hotel Lincoln is a prime example. The Joie de Vivre boutique property offers views of both nearby Lincoln Park and a skyscraper-lined Lake Michigan. The interior design of the 1920s-era hotel maintains a classy, vintage feel enhanced by an impressive contemporary art collection and pops of vivid primary colors.
The hotel’s crown jewel is J Parker, a rooftop bar and lounge featuring blazing fire tables, food by respected chef Paul Virant and sweeping views of downtown Chicago. While the 13th-floor gem has been called one of the best rooftop bars in the city, it shouldn’t be forgotten for breakfast before strolling through lakeside Lincoln Park or shopping in historic Old Town.
Looking out over Tokyo from floors 28 through 37 of a high-rise in the Shiodome business district, the rooms at the Four-Star Conrad Tokyo offer wonderful vistas of the surrounding city’s twinkling lights, as well as scenic views of Tokyo Bay.
When you need a change of scenery, have an elevator whisk you to the modern-art-filled 28th-floor lobby and stylish TwentyEight bar, which has nightly live jazz and floor-to-ceiling windows from which to watch the sun set over the Tokyo skyline.
Opt for the Royal Hamarikyu Suite, which is furnished in contemporary but traditional materials like Japanese zebra wood and black tile. It also boasts top-floor views of the Royal Hamarikyu Garden along the Sumida River that are best enjoyed from the free-standing soaking tub.
Working out has never been more enticing than when the 24-hour gym looks out onto an expanse of skyscrapers, but the view from the pool is pretty special, too.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
When staying in a seaside city, it’s especially important to secure a room with a view — and Vancouver is no exception. Book a corner unit at the Four-Star Fairmont Pacific Rim, and you’ll get to de-stress in a deep ofuro (Japanese soaking) tub while watching seaplanes land on the Burrard Inlet and clouds glide over the North Shore mountains.
For an extra special touch, book a Fairmont Gold room for access to a private 20th-floor lounge with views of Stanley Park, a dedicated concierge and a deluxe complimentary breakfast spread.
A visit to the Four-Star Willow Stream Spa is also a must. Enjoy a chakra-balancing treatment before relaxing on the spacious terrace, which features hot tubs, an infrared sauna, flat-screen TVs and harbor views.
Just one floor up, on the sixth level, a heated pool is open year-round, and private cabanas are available for rent from May through October.
W San Francisco
Not only does a room with a view give a hotel a real sense of place, but a sweeping landscape is also just plain fun. W San Francisco’s designers know exactly how to visually represent a good time — with bold shapes, bright colors and contemporary art.
This 31-floor SoMa hotel, appropriately located right next to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has all of those qualities but looks out over the city skyline and the iconic Bay Bridge at the same time.
Fantastic Suites, on floors 23 through 28, feature great city views and banquettes for reading or contemplating, while Extreme Wow Suites give the most breathtaking panoramas of the Bay City.
These 31st-floor suites make it easy to share the experience with friends, offering a dining table, sectional sofa and plush amenities like Bose speakers, a wet bar, a butler pantry and an optional second bedroom.