By Tiffany Ryes, International Banker
One of the best things about travelling is the opportunity to take in the picturesque views of the corner of the world that you’ll call home for a few days. A one-of-a-kind view is something that you can’t find anywhere else and can make all the difference. In fact, more than the enviably lavish accommodations that even the most expensive suites can provide, it’s those breathtaking views from out of those gilded, wall-to-wall windows that can provide the best experiences and keep guests coming back. This is because unique, picturesque views are luxuries in themselves; it’s not every day that you can wake up and look out on to the world’s most beautiful vistas.
All over the world, you can travel to the best suites, but it’s those luxury lodgings that offer the most mesmerizing, unforgettable and unsurpassable views on which you can’t really put a price tag.
Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India)
Guests feel like royalty lifted straight from Indian folklore stepping into the ornate Oberoi Amarvilas hotel in Agra, India. From the immaculately maintained gardens to the glistening carved sandstone and the regal pavilions, as well as the Moorish architecture reflected in pristine pools, guests feel transported back to the romantic time when Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Today, the Taj Mahal, an impressive ivory marble structure that literally translates to “Crown of the Palace”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and you can soak in this view from your suite at The Oberoi.
Only 600 meters away from the legendary world heritage site, The Oberoi is the best—and only—hotel with a breathtakingly unique view of the Taj Mahal. All of its 64 luxuriously appointed rooms have views facing the Taj; but if you’re looking for the most dramatic vista, the Luxury Suite and Kohinoor Suite are worth staying in. Both suites feature mirror mosaics and carved marbles in the traditional Mewar style. However, the crème de la crème of these suites can be found outside—the impressive million-dollar view of the Taj Mahal glowing against the sunset.
The hotel itself is a wonder, with its handcrafted furniture, rich carpets and detailed artwork. Meanwhile, the rooms are equally opulent. Guests can enjoy a private candlelit dinner on their own balconies overlooking the Taj Mahal, shining like a gem amidst the foliage. They can also opt to dine in one of the two restaurants: Esphahan, offering authentic Indian dishes, or the hotel bar, providing all-day Indian and international dining options.
Because of the hotel’s uniquely privileged position, guests also have easy access to the Taj by golf cart, providing a treat as they approach this majestic wonder.
Eiffel Suites at Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)
If all the romance and allure of Paris can be summed up in one place, it would probably be the splendidly enchanting Plaza Athénée, specifically the Signature Eiffel Suites. A favorite among fashion designers, models, A-list celebrities and the who’s who of the business world, the Signature Eiffel Suite has all the trappings of the ideal romantic Parisian getaway: the opulent décor, sophisticated color palette, top-of-the-line furnishings—and, of course, that famed, irresistible view of its namesake, the Eiffel Tower.
The palatial suites are perfection in themselves. Embodying luxury with rich silk and satin fabrics, massive bathrooms with bespoke amenities, as well as generous walk-in wardrobes, guests definitely feel like French royalty. However, the best thing about an Eiffel Suite is what’s outside—a commanding view of the Eiffel Tower, standing serenely at daytime and romantically lit up at night. The suites have enviable views from huge windows and overlooking balconies, truly making all the difference and taking a stay in the City of Love to a whole new level.
The Eiffel Suites offer two décor options: Art Deco and French Regency. The former boasts of dark hardwood such as mahogany, ebony and rosewood throughout its furnishings. These are then contrasted by light neutrals and silver-grey tones in varying patterns and textures by Pierre Frey and Jean-François Lesage. Meanwhile, the French Regency suite is a truly Parisian gem, thanks to interior designer Marie-José Pommereau. The furnishings are clad in rich fabrics and bold colors, and yet the total feel is private, intimate and luxurious.
Overall, these suites embody that culture and sophistication that make Plaza Athénée the best place to stay in order to wake up to a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Roof Suite at The Omnia (Zermatt, Switzerland)
Taking pride of place atop a rock in the heart of Zermatt, The Omnia hotel offers the best suites overlooking the iconic Matterhorn. In fact, this stunning modernist hotel can be reached by a tunnel that cuts through the mountain, then up through an elevator to the elevated hotel’s lobby, almost 1,650 above sea level.
The Omnia is a five-star mountain hideaway that offers luxury accommodations in the middle of a pristine Swiss village, yet its enviable position atop central Zermatt makes it the ideal place in which to wake up to a commanding and unobstructed view of the famed Matterhorn.
Omnia’s Roof Suite is particularly sought after because of its sweeping views of the valley and the Swiss Alps beyond. The spacious 1,184-square-foot suite features a modern interior that is the hallmark of the hotel. It has a precise aesthetic composed of grey granite, neutral leather and white oak. However, it’s far from sterile, as each detail of the hotel and its rooms offers a special warmth and comfort brought by none other than New York modernist architect Ali Tayar.
The Roof Suite itself is an homage to understated luxury, yet no expense was spared in every detail. From the clean lines of the rooms to the USM Modular Furniture, down to the plush king-sized beds and Aesop toiletries, guests can feel right at home in the brand of luxury that design-focused Omnia provides. Guests can even make the most of their stay at the top of Zermatt with a telescope to fully soak in the sweeping views of the Matterhorn and the surrounding sylvan and snow-capped landscape.
Mara Plains Camp (Maasai Mara, Kenya)
For a taste of the wild, the world-famous Maasai Mara is perhaps the best place to sightsee as well as experience the beauty of the people, land and wildlife. Its off-the-beaten-track luxury camps offer the ultimate in exclusivity and privacy. And the best among them would be the most luxurious one—Mara Plains.
Mara Plains is a world-famous luxury camp that showcases the most iconic wildlife destination in the world. In fact, the experience here is centered in that. The arrival itself is a treat, as guests have to cross a bridge over the Ntiakitiak River and hike through a lush forest—to be eventually greeted by a single, flat-topped tree amidst a clearing with only an endless Kenyan horizon beyond. This small detail is just the start of an unparalleled experience at the Mara Plains Camp.
Sitting in the middle of a wild ecosystem without trying to upstage its natural beauty, the tented camps of Mara Plains reflect deeply rooted East African influence and ancient Swahili heritage. Boasting of large wooden doors, rich leathers, brass and copper furniture, as well as deep red and rich purple accents, the luxury tents ensure a lavish yet cozy atmosphere that perfectly blends in with the wilderness.
The best of what Mara Plains has to offer, however, is outside of its tents. Being one of only five camps in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, guests can enjoy enviable big cat sightings. Its position also affords guests a view of river crossings as well as wildlife migrations during certain seasons, completing the unbeatable African safari experience that only Mara Plains can offer.
Luxury hotels may promise top-of-the-line accommodations and exclusive amenities, but what sets one apart is the view that it affords its guests. So, whether your suite’s window looks out over wildlife, mountains or a world heritage site, these vistas truly complete a remarkable getaway—much like the cherry on top of the icing on the cake that is a luxury vacation.