The Ahwanee, Yosemite National Park
Nothing man-made can rival Mother Nature at her finest. For those who love the great outdoors, the most memorable vacations aren’t at massive mega-resorts — they’re at hotels that bring you closer to some of the world’s natural wonders. From an historic landmark hotel in Yosemite National Park to a lodge at the top of a massive waterfall to luxury tree houses nestled among California’s redwoods, these 10 hotels have natural settings that are truly jaw-dropping.
During our travels around the globe, we have stayed in some pretty gorgeous rooms. But a beautiful room means nothing if it looks out at a brick wall. On the other hand, a drab room can be seriously lightened up by an amazing view. So we rounded the 10 best hotel room views we’ve ever seen.
Hotel Duquesne Eiffel
Hotel Duquesne is a comfortable 34-room hotel in the 7th Arrondissement within walking distance to Left Bank tourist sites, such as the Musee d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. Some rooms even boast exceptional views of the iconic structure, built in 1889 by on the occasion of the World’s Fair in Paris.
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Cambridge Beaches Resort sits on four private beaches.
This 96-room, 30-acre resort trumps almost every other resort in Bermuda as far as style and sophistication are concerned. Of course, you’ll pay some of the island’s highest rates to enjoy it. But with its two stunning pools, expansive spa, four private beaches, three restaurants, and some of the most beautifully landscaped grounds around, you might just consider it a worthwhile investment. Like many resorts on the island, Cambridge Beaches has a fascinating history, dating back to the 1600s when a former sea captain and one-time island governor placed this coveted parcel of land along Mangrove Bay for sale. Today, the resort, though modern and even somewhat trendy, has lovingly maintained the former owner’s residence, converting it into one of its most expensive guest units, the two-bedroom Pegem Cottage, which features its own private gardens and traditional Bermudian decor. Most of the remaining units are significantly smaller (and several of them do not have the same stunning ocean views), but all are beautiful and romantic (after all, this is an adults-only resort). So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa.
This beachfront gazebo at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort in Bermuda is the perfect place to exchange intimate "I dos."
For an intimate destination wedding, Bermuda’s Grotto Bay Beach Resort is an excellent option. With lush grounds and enchanting grottos, the property provides a beautiful natural backdrop for a blissful ceremony — without busting the budget. Unlike many other properties on this island outpost, the hotel’s room rates are affordable, especially considering the bevy of amenities guests can indulge in: a private beach with a shipwreck dive site just off the coast, three restaurants featuring excellent local fare, and a quaint, island-style spa. Rooms may be small and a bit dated, but they all feature private balconies with stunning ocean views.
In addition to the gazebo seen here, couples can choose to wed on the hotel’s lawn overlooking the water, or directly on the beach. The hotel will set up an aisle and wedding arch, as well as provide a one-tier wedding cake and two bottles of bubbly for the bridal party. Music, floral, and photography arrangements are available, but are not included in Grotto Bay’s standard wedding packages – allowing for customization, but also tacking on extra fees. But no matter what you choose, this venue is a beautiful — and affordable — choice if you’re considering tying the knot on Bermuda’s pink sandy beaches (and you should). Check out more wedding-inspired photos of Grotto Bay here »
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There are few things as sexy as taking a long bubble bath with your significant other.
The Caribbean is hands down one of the world’s most romantic destinations. The region’s gorgeous islands and quaint coastal communities draw thousands of honeymooners and couples every year with the pristine beaches, laid-back vibe, and outstanding resorts. Many hotels cater to couples, and hotel designers, aware that an appealing bathroom with a deep tub can be the cherry on top of a romantic getaway, are spending more time than ever in coming up with the best bathroom layout. Click through the slideshow to discover some of the sexiest bathrooms in the Caribbean, and don’t forget order some champagne and rose petals for your bubble bath!
The pool at Newstead has gorgeous views.
The breezy, laid-back Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa is one of Bermuda’s only properties built within the last decade, and modern rooms, gourmet dining, a serene spa, and a spectacular infinity-edge pool prove it has raised the luxury bar for Bermuda’s more seasoned resorts. And with such gorgeous views, the pool makes us just want to lounge on a recliner all day and soak up the sun. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Newstead Belmont Hills.
Better this than a concrete wall, huh?
No one likes to work out in a depressing basement with stuffy air and no natural light, but sometimes travelers have to take what they can get. After all, many hotel fitness centers feel like afterthoughts, with a few rusty machines crammed into a sad little rooms in forgotten corner of the hotels. But some hotels go above and beyond to provide an appealing space for travelers to work out, with large windows overlooking the city, the mountains, or the beach! Check out our 12 favorite hotel fitness centers with awesome views — and don’t forget to pack your workout clothes!
Credit: iStock Photo
Welcome to our new series, Ask Oyster! Have a burning travel question you’d like answered? Contact us and put “Ask Oyster” in the subject line.
My husband and I have always wondered what it would be like to try the nude lifestyle on vacation, but I have no idea what kind of resorts might offer this. (And I would be a bit embarrassed to call up a hotel and ask!) What are my options?
–Uses Lots of Sunscreen
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Golf Course at Makena Beach and Golf Resort -- Maui
A round of golf can always do a body good. Sure, golf can be one of the most frustrating sports on the planet, [Ed. note: We've seen a few snapped clubs in our day.] but there’s nothing like the feeling when you sink that putt for eagle. (Not that we can speak from personal experience, per se, but we’ve heard stories.) So what could possibly make hitting the links even better? Gorgeous ocean views, duh. For all you golfers out there – Hi, Dad! — we found twelve beautiful hotel golf courses around the globe that have killer vistas to boot. Pack your clubs and get ready to work on your swing–these spots will be sure to inspire you to play your very best.
One of Bermuda’s most stunning resorts, the all-inclusive Pompano Beach Club offers expansive ocean views from nearly every point of the property, including its three restaurants, two bars, lounge, pool, three Jacuzzis, boathouse, game room, spa, and fitness center. Yup, it’s both that well-equipped and that gorgeous. While decor is admittedly a bit dated, this “pretty in pink” hilltop resort nonetheless exudes the pastel charm and rich history for which Bermuda is known. So picture yourself poolside this morning and, as we always say, sit back, relax, and soak in the goodness that is the Pompano Beach Club.
Palatial Pastels: Beach at Pompano Beach Club, Bermuda