Wanderlusters the world over have been stopped in their tracks this spring as the effects of the pandemic have spread from continent to continent, putting our travel plans firmly on pause for the foreseeable future. With weeks and months of social distancing and working from home ahead, now is the time for some isolation-induced voyeuristic escapism.
Fuel your need to explore by looking away from your work email for a few minutes, escape from your front room, and daydream about the next time you’ll step off a plane into warmer climes. The end destination could be anywhere, but here are our picks of five hotels worth travelling to just for the views.
Views of the Duomo at Hotel Savoy, Florence, Italy
If you’re looking for the ultimate view of Florence without even leaving your bed, the panoramic suite at Hotel Savoy, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Florence, is truly the only option. Guests are privy to one of the most sought-after views of the famous Duomo straight from the comfort of their bed. The two-storey suite was designed to feel like your own private apartment in the heart of this classical city, with an elegant colour palette of creams, blues, and greys complementing the unmistakably-Italian terracotta rooftops and sweeping cathedral dome visible from the lounge and bedroom.
Inspired by the landscape of Tuscany, the space is filled with sumptuous patterned fabrics and furnishings in soft greens and warm yellows. On the lower floor, guests can relax in the ‘room-with-a-view’ and the cosy sitting room, whilst the upper floor lives up to the suite’s name thanks to a private terrace with a fully serviced bar, where you can take in the entire skyline.
Breathe in the Mediterranean Sea at Abaton Island Resort and Spa, Crete, Greece
Situated in a prime beachfront spot and named after the Greek word for ‘sea’, the thalassa deluxe seafront room at Abaton Island Resort and Spa offers far-reaching vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. Beautifully whitewashed, laid-back interiors in traditional Grecian style allow the sea view to take centre stage, with pared back decorative touches like the hand carved headboards and light wooden tones giving the space a contemporary feel.
Outdoors is the best place to enjoy this view though, so make the most of the furnished balcony with your morning coffee or breakfast outside. Our tip: leave the balcony doors ajar overnight and allow the sound of waves lapping against the coastline to soothe your slumber.
Overlook the old town and Edinburgh castle at The Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland
The landmarks of the Scottish capital are plentiful, but none are more famous than Edinburgh capital. If you’ve had enough of the hordes of people walking up to the castle, why not appreciate the historic monument from further afield? The castle view suite at The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh, offers a direct view of the Scott Monument, the greenery of Princes Street gardens, and up to the majestic castle and beyond to Arthur’s Seat.
Famed for its timeless elegance and gothic grandeur, The Balmoral occupies the prestigious address of Number 1 Princes Street, located directly above Edinburgh train station. All 188 rooms and suites have been designed by Olga Polizzi to perfectly balance tradition with contemporary touches and unmistakable Scottish nuances such as rich tartan upholstery and various shades of blue portraying the waters of Scotland’s many lochs. The hotel originally opened in 1902, and the original clocktower still stands, a recognisable landmark of the city which still runs two minutes fast to ensure late-running travellers don’t miss their trains.
180-degree views of the Greek coast at Ultima Corfu, Corfu, Greece
Opening in 2020, Ultima Corfu is a cliff-side private villa, which guests can occupy in its entirety, enjoying the side-to-side views of the Greek and Albanian coasts. Experts in the private residence experience (the Ultima Collection has luxurious private chalets in destinations like Megeve, Courchevel, and Crans Montana), Ultima Corfu offers all the amenities and services needed to make the villa your home-from-home during a trip to Corfu.
The 1000 square metre property sleeps up to 14 guests across seven suites, each comprising its own bedroom with a connected dressing room and bathroom. At the very heart of the villa is a statement design kitchen and spacious dining room, perfect for gatherings and entertaining. The views are overwhelmingly present throughout the property, from the glass lift that connects the house to the waterfront terrace on the Adriatic Sea, to the two-level infinity pool.
People-watch in Piazza del Popolo at Hotel de Russie, Rome, Italy
Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Rome, was widely considered the first design hotel in the city when it first opened in 2000, and 20 years later remains one of the most popular choices for design-savvy travellers in Rome. For those who are more interested in what’s going on outside rather than interiors, the Popolo suite is a must.
With a stunning wrap-around terrace that overlooks the Piazza del Popolo, this suite offers a unique viewpoint perfect for people-watching. Numerous seating areas outside make the terrace ideal for entertaining with an unbeatable backdrop, while accents from Rome’s classical and contemporary heritage such as antique wall reliefs and sculptures, bespoke rugs and mid-century furniture make for just as interesting a backdrop inside. Located between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna, the hotel has become a hangout for artists, writers and politicians alike over the years.