Local minibars, Bluetooth speakers, and custom toiletries. Increasingly, hotels are stocking their rooms with luxury facilities and the latest technology to draw reservations. But for many travelers, there’s one feature that trumps pillow menus, LCD TVs, and everything else: a balcony. After all, is there anything better than watching the sun rise or set? Or just get some fresh air? It’s nice to have extras in the room, but they just can’t compete. Of course, not all balconies are cut from the same cloth. These are some of the best hotel balconies we’ve seen, from Big Sur to Bangkok.
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
There are hotel rooms in the world, then there are the Jade Mountain rooms. Called “sanctuaries,” rooms at Jade Mountain feature an innovative three-wall design (something many hotels have tried to emulate) that opens up the space to the elements. Those elements, by the way, are views of the Pitons, the lush rainforest, and the Caribbean Sea. Where the fourth walls should be, there are stone platforms with cushioned armchairs and minimal railing to maximize the view. All 29 sanctuaries have hot tubs or infinity pools that extend into the outside world. The pools are covered with luminous glass tiles and fiber optic lights, for nighttime swimming under the stars.
Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza
This secluded boutique offers the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean in Ibiza. Set amidst pine forests and dramatic rocky cliffs that drop sharply into the sea, the property focuses on tranquil luxury and stunning ocean views. All 77 rooms and suites feature furnished balconies or terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in the outdoors. Eden Rooms adds lush garden terraces with pergola, sun loungers, wicker chairs, and plunge pools.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast
Housed in an 11th-century palace, the Belmond Hotel Caruso sits dramatically at the highest point in Ravello, some 1,000 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Naturally, the architecture takes full advantage of the delete configuration. Arches and floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the turquoise sea, terraced gardens, or the village. Flower-draped brick balconies extend from most of the 50 rooms and suites, some of which also have private gardens with olive trees.
The Resort in Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is an elite resort town on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, known for its famously beautiful coastline and long list of luxury hotels. At the top of that list is The Resort at Pedregal, a romantic boutique hotel so secluded it’s accessed via a private tunnel through the base of rugged mountains and somewhere can feel the sun and the vibes of the summer in Mexico. The cliffside property was designed to ensure splendid ocean views from nearly every vantage point, including each of its more than 100 guest rooms and suites. Rooms have huge furnished balconies, all of which include a pool with ocean views. (The beachfront casitas even have lawns, pools, and fire pits.) The balconies are especially rewarding during whale-watching season (January through March, but particularly March). Binoculars are provided.