For those of us who travel a lot whether in North America or the rest of the world, think about the cities you visit most often and like (or in my case, have an interesting relationship with). If money was not an issue, you were not concerned about points, but just wanted the very best view of that place you could get from your (hopefully balcony-ed) hotel room, describe that place.
I'll start. Since I have my love/hate relationship with Paris (and have mostly lived in apartments for extended periods), it's easy for me. I would like to be at the tip of the Ile-St-Louis (I do not even know if there is a hotel there) looking out (preferably four levels up) toward the back of the Ile-de-la-Cité and the chevet of Notre-Dame, with both the Latin Quarter to my left and the Marais to my right with the Louvre way up on the right. I have no idea if such a hotel exists, but I would stay there.
Venice has come closest to perfection for me with the Hotel Pesaro Palace. The views from suites (and you must get the suites) is to die for. The challenge for me after sunset was ever leaving the room because sitting by all the windows over the Grand Canal with my table, chairs, wine and cheese (and camera) were so amazing!
In London, I had very good views from the County Hall the four times I stayed there. However, I found it an inconvenient hotel, since I could rarely get in before 3-4pm despite arriving at around 5:30am. I actually preferred the view of Canary Wharf from the West India Quai Marriott.
In Rome, I have yet to find my hotel. I love the Flora; they are wonderful, the hotel is beautiful, but the Via Veneto is to me a bygone era. I want to stay in a place that overlooks the Tiber, perhaps with a view of the Vatican and the ancient sites as well as Trastevere. If it is December, it should not be far from the bridge to Castel Sant'Angelo.
Ghent is pretty perfect. No two ways about or better views or hotel stays. I couldn't even say that about the alas (gone) Ledra because it's location was not the best.
So what are your perfect places? Like I said, real hotels don't matter, just location, location, site, site...
Great post profchiara!
While I have no specifics, I'd love to stay in a hotel on the Champs Elysees (or very near it) with an amazing view of the Tour Eiffel. I would love a spectacular view of the Niagra Falls at the Niagra Falls Marriott too. Great views of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff and of Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are other dream destinations.
As funny as it sounds, I'd also love to stain in the South Pacific. The Likuliku Lagoon Resort is a definite bucket list item, though I can't decide if I want an overwater bungalow or an on-shore room with the outdoor shower. A similarly spectacular property in Tahiti would also be well appreciated.
Moving back to Europe, a great property with a great view of Central London would be nice, as would be a property somewhere in the Swiss Alps with a great view of the mountains. Of course, Venice with a great view of the canals would be great, and I do think the Ren in Tuscany looks like it has amazing views.
Coming back to the US, of course a great property in NYC with good views would be appreciated. And even coming back home, aspirational stays are at the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai, the Andaz Maui in Wailea, and the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island.
Basically, I'd love to stay anywhere with well appointed rooms, great service, great views, and a great food scene
Paris was the place that evoked these thoughts in me since today I watched a movie based there. I felt all the headiness and first enjoyment of the city, then remembered parts I didn't like so much. Part of it is that I have spent most of my time living in Paris in apartments in the 13th and 15th arrondissements. They were great, but it was like regular life -- not in any way like a trip or vacation since I was also working 9-5 every day at the BN.
That's why I imagined my place on the north end of the Ile St Louis. It's an extraordinarily historical place, where you see plaques for its favorite residents every few doors. And some great restaurants (except the one on the south side that served haggis). But I'd want to be where it all started in Paris as a city-- which would be the 1st arrondissement, and Ile St Louis is right next door.
I have come to care more about night views and balconies than most other things, at least when in cities. I still need a comfy bed, bath, and amenities.
profchiara, I totally understand the desire for views and a balcony. As absurd as it sounds, even when I'm doing a "staycation" near home on Oahu, the view I get with my room means a lot to me. At the JW in Ko Olina, I loved to just lay on the daybed on the balcony and listen to the ocean and soak in the beautiful view. Likewise, in Waikiki, I love getting a view of the busy Kalakaua Ave + Waikiki Beach, or a great view of Diamond Head. I once received a Jr Suite at the Waikiki Marriott with a poor view and wished I had opted for the standard room with the great oceanfront view!
As for Paris, I'd like to give it another try. I liked it when I went with school in '99, but didn't care for it much this time around. I think the mistake was staying in La Defense. The commute was simply too long for us when really, most of what we wanted to see/do was around the Champs Elysees.
Yes! Agreed profchiara! That's why I was so disappointed when the Wailea Beach Marriott gave me this room when I had paid for an Ocean View room and told them it was my anniversary.
But I did love these views from the Waikiki Beach Marriott
Or these from the JW Ihilani
And from Aulani
Haven't had much luck in terms of views otherwise
I'm just not a big fan of lakes -- I love the ocean above all. I live between China Lake and Belgrade Lake. I like seeing below me. I have no problem seeing crabs and other things in the ocean, but a mushy bottom and god knows what is not my thing. I have actually swum with barracudas and small sharks once -- In Key Largo many years back snorkeling. As long as you don't threaten them they leave you alone. But barracudas are pretty scarifying looking !
Oops! I tried to explain my pic above but the text disappeared. This was the view from a suite at the Marriott Gateway to the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It had a separate bedroom and slept up to 6 people. Free parking, a kitchenette, and $50 credit at the on-site restaurant which was quite good. Try the local wines! Kids also enjoyed the indoor pool. Highly recommend!
ProfChiara - With all your travels, and interesting questions you pose for the rest of us to contemplate, I can't help but wonder when you are in the classroom teaching? Anyway, here are some of my experiences, some of which I've perhaps posted before, but not all necessarily from Marriott balconies, or windows:
Morning view of Mount Hood at distance (above), Willamette River bridges (evening, below) from balcony room of Marriott Harbor Hotel, Portland, Oregon
Those are fantastic photo's!
Thanks for sharing! They make you want to get up each morning just to look at them, and remind yourself that you saw such beautiful places in your life!
I never go when classes are actually happening. But I do go in the summer (only 5-6 days at a time because my cat won't allow more), then fall break -- only 4 days there -- then in December and January (we can teach an intensive Janplan but I prefer to teach an additional course in one of the semesters) -- and finally spring break in March. The only time I have ever missed a class because of travel was thanks to JFK. Fortunately, since as you know I take tons of photos, and only go to places I teach and research about, the students get very excited.