Probably a primary requirement when booking a room is to ‘get a good view’. The reason we travel is to get away from the norm, and obtaining a prized vista that entrenches us completely in our new destination is immediately illuminating. In one awe-inspiring shortcut, we are, from this new unique vantage point, plunged into the very heart of a place without the need to take barely a step, and we are free to let those views sway us, intrigue us, suck us in anytime, be it over breakfast on the balcony or on a terrace at dusk with a cocktail in hand.
Breathtaking glimpses of the views over these pages take you on a similar shortcut, whisking you off on a spectacular visual treat whether you are laying low after a school run or taking a mini-break from your email. From the bleached rock faces of Oman to Thailand’s untouched coves, from Istanbul’s domed mosques to enchanting lochs of the Scottish Highlands, these views will transport you from the here right now. Let the mind spin…
BADRUTT’S PALACE HOTEL ST MORTIZ, SWITZERLAND
A majestic property set against the alarming natural beauty of the Engadin Alps, in Switzerland’s St Moritz, the Badrutt’s Palace has a long five-star history, and a host of recognisable guests from the worlds of sport and entertainment as well as royalty have stepped over its legendary threshold. There’s a kind of unspoken reverence to the place, perhaps as much brought about by the hotel’s grand buildings as its stunning mountain backdrop.
Rooms are plush, fitted in a traditional style – think comfy yet luxurious – and every room guarantees views of nearby Lake St Moritz, but quintessential Alpine views are promised to those booking into Grand Deluxe rooms or suites.
Naturally, the alluring destination informs much of what’s offered here. A recently renovated wellness centre is inspired by the surroundings and comprises a treatment centre with hair and pedi spa, massage, facials and a wet spa,with natural, organic care a focus. And the natural seasonal swing from spring through to winter benefits a mind-boggling transformation from carpets of flowers to spellbinding snow every winter. Embark on a challenging ski session – these slopes are highly regarded – or glide over what were tennis courts in summer around what emerges in winter as a glassy rink surrounded by mountain quiet.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ISTANBUL
AT SULTANAHMET, TURKEY
At some point back in time, the stunning Four Seasons Sultanahmet was a prison. We can’t help thinking it might just have paid to break the law a little if even a few of those cells had shared the same bombastically blue views as the rooms and suites in what has now become the hotel. The property’s sunshine yellow neo-classical exterior arches in contrast to the breathlessly blue hues of a never-ending sky, and rooms look over the sun-bleached walls and wide domes of the commanding blue mosque (named for the blue tiles lining its interior, not exterior, walls) as well as the Hagia Sophia. One of Istanbul’s most sacred monuments, the building has shared a starring role in both Turkey’s Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Want to take in more of the timeless view?
Then pitch up at the hotel’s A’YA bar and bag a table on the terrace. As dusk falls, a peach glow ripples the blue and the city’s domes and spires darken into shadowed black outlines. The effect is mesmerising.