Million dollar views: 8 hotels with epic views of historic monuments
(Contributed by Jennifer Sung) Our Million dollar view series has previously covered nature resort views and urban city hotel views. You may have been wondering: where are the old cities and hotels with surreal views over historical sites? Because THAT was worthy of its own category.
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When in historic destinations, make the most of your stay as a history junkie by staying at one of the finely selected hotels below: each offering an unrivalled view of some of the most significant historical monuments, many only a curtain pull away! We’ve carefully listed them in chronological order from most ancient to most recent. Many of the hotels below are historic properties themselves (though not as historic as the views they look out onto).
Marriott Mena House – Great Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt
Soaring over the city of Cairo are the Great Pyramids of Giza that demonstrated the power and ambition of ancient Egypt. The best place to ponder and debate over exactly how the Pyramids were even constructed in its heyday? The Marriot Mena House, less than a mile away. From the hotel grounds to the Lobby Lounge to the restaurant to the rooms, the Marriott Mena House offers unrivalled views of the ancient pyramids, the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World. All rooms come with a balcony, and the Pyramid Suite comes with two, making any Pyramid-view room or suite the ideal spot from which to enjoy an early morning cup of Egyptian coffee. Once managed by the prestigious Oberoi Hotels, the hotel has been under Marriott management since 2018.
Hotel Grande Bretagne, A Luxury Collection Hotel – Parthenon, Athens, Greece
To honor the Greek Goddess Athena, the Athenians built the famed Parthenon, which sits on the hill of Acropolis. Perhaps the best time view of the Parthenon, the single most important surviving building of Classical Greece, is in the evening when the Doric temple with its Ionic columns lights up gold, best viewed from the GB Roof Garden Restaurant at Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Several room categories offer views of the Acropolis itself, but a stay at the Penthouse 2-bedroom suite comes with a private pool overlooking the Acropolis. The hotel itself offers a double dose of history: not only is your view historic, but so is the hotel, which was built in 1842, and has hosted rockstar royalty to heads of state.
Palazzo Manfredi – The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Arguably the most iconic view in Rome is that of The Colosseum, the imposing amphitheater that was once used to (brutally) entertain the crowd. Just across the street is Palazzo Manfredi, a family-owned boutique hotel that sits just steps from where the Gladiators’ former barracks, accommodation and training school once stood. For overnight guests, The Master is the room to ask for, which has a direct view from the king size bed and bathroom, and of course the suites are ever more lavish with similar views. Fancy a meal? Head to the rooftop where Aroma offers Michelin-starred cuisine with a view to (only figuratively) die for!
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet – Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
The now controversial Hagia Sophia is the main architectural tourist attraction of Istanbul along with the Bosphorus itself, and the embodiment of the region’s rich history, built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet is just minutes away, formerly a Turkish prison itself, with views peering over the 6th century place of worship as well as the Blue Mosque nearby. Many of the rooms at the hotel come with unobstructed views, but to make the most of it, stay at the St. Sophia Suite for views from any of your three private terraces. Plan on making this a spring/summer trip though, as they are closed until April 2021 due to an extensive renovation.
Amanjiwo – Borobudur, Indonesia
9th century A.D.
Standing as the world’s largest Buddhist temple is the 9th century construction of Borobudur. After being buried in natural elements through the years, this temple was rediscovered in 1815 and was carefully restored. Built perpendicular to Borubudur, merely 2 kilometres away, is Amanjiwo: an architectural masterpiece that pays homage to the Buddhist temple and mimics it elegantly in its own design. Unlike the urban views found on this list, views at Amanjiwo stretch well beyond simply the stupaed structure – with surreal views of daunting volcanic mountains of Mt Sumbing, Mt Merbabu, Mt Merapi and the rainforest that surrounds the region, all beautifully revealed one by one as the early morning fog lifts beyond Borubudur. Tourists head over in droves to the temple in the early morning for the sunrise view, so we suggest booking into a Borobudur Pool Suite or the 2-bedroom Dalem Jiwo Presidential Suite, which features its own private elevated rotunda, to enjoy morning views in the tranquility it deserves, and then heading over to the temple in the evening for a quieter (and equally as spectacular) sunset viewing. With a view this jaw-dropping, bring out your inner Monet or Bob Ross: the resort offers a complimentary set of watercolor paints in-room, allowing you to recreate your own perspective of your morning sight.
RAAS Jodhpur – Mehrangarh, Jodhpur, India
One of India’s largest forts, high above the city of Jodhpur, the former capital of the Kingdom of Marwar, is Mehrangarh. Located inside the walled city, RAAS Jodhpur, a boutique hotel, is centred around an original 18-century haveli, a traditional mansion, featuring both the traditional building but also three wonderfully camouflaged new structures around it. The hotel’s magnificent pool strikingly frames Mehrangarh in the background. The Heritage Suites, with views over the majestic fort, are the hotel’s most intricately decorated and located inside the original 18th century Rajput residence, but the Stepwell Suite, the hotel’s largest and defacto Presidential Suite, overlooks a stepwell built in 1740, as well as enjoying views over Mehrangarh above the Blue City below.
Oberoi Amarvilas – Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The domed ivory-white-marbled silhouette of Taj Mahal is perhaps the single most representative image of Indian-Mughal architecture. Standing as one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World, tourists from all over the country and the world flock over to Agra to visit this architectural wonder, often making a visit to the mausoleum itself quite a chaotic experience. And while it is impossible to resist a visit inside the grounds to touch the marbled motifs that line the elegant structure, it is actually perhaps best viewed from a distance, privately in peace. The haunting beauty of the Taj Mahal can be viewed from ANY room you choose from at the Oberoi Amarvilas; the hotel was intentionally built that way. But for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the hotel’s Presidential Suite, the Kohinoor Suite is literally fit for royalty: Prince William and Kate Middleton made the 2650 square ft. suite their home away from home back in 2016.
Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel – Salute Church, Venice, Italy
As one of Venice’s most recognized buildings, Santa Maria della Salute, better know as La Salute, sits steps away from another of Venice’s grand sights, the Grand Canal itself. In the 1630s a plague was ravaging through Venice and as a compromise to God, the Senator decided to build the Baroque-styled church. Across from the church, on the other side of the canal is The Gritti Palace – a 15th century property with picture-perfect views. The famous Gritti Terrace is the hotel’s restaurant where you can enjoy an evening view of the church across as you sip cocktails and watch the gondolas below traversing the waters. There are a host of intricately decorated palatial rooms, many with special views too, but what the Redentore 1 Bedroom Suite lacks in interior space, it makes up for with a 2,600 sq ft rooftop terrace and plunge pool with THE most spectacular view of La Salute and the Grand Canal.
Have we missed out any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
If you love being out in nature, then check out these serene views. If you’re a city dweller and prefer the buzz of the city, check out these stunning urban views instead. If you love nature, check out these glorious
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