Whether it's Niagara Falls, an active volcano, or a spot of Brazilian beach volleyball, we've got the best seat in the house.
Part of Francis Ford Coppola’s burgeoning hotel empire, Blancaneaux Lodge’s individual cabañas and villas seem to merge seamlessly with the lush Belize landscape, providing views of the Privassion River, beautiful creeks and waterfalls and manicured gardens. The riverside spa, horse stables and organic garden are carefully integrated into, rather than imposed on, the flourishing forest.
The hotel’s treehouse-like Montagna restaurant serves up the best (OK, the only) Italian in the Belizian jungle, while at the poolside Guatemaltecqua you’re more likely to savour authentic Mayan dishes. The ceiling fans in the Jaguar Bar are souvenirs from Apocalypse Now.
Nothing to do with Mr Manilow, this luxurious hotel provides a perfect view of Copacabana’s classic horseshoe beach; dusk is dreamy, while sunsets can be magical. Set yourself up with a sunlounger and caipirinha and gaze out on to white sands, blue seas and brown Brazilian beach bodies. With overcrowding a feature, Rio de Janeiro’s most popular beach is almost better now as a view than as a sunbathing experience.
Choose from feijoada (a traditional stew of black beans and pork) or more international fare at the poolside hotel restaurant Pérgula. Fresh seafood is a speciality.
Jaw-droppingly close views of the Niagara Falls are part of the deal at this high-rise hotel. The natural drama is so close you may not even feel the need to step outside; but the hotel offers tours that’ll take you right up to, and even behind, the thundering waters.
Tuck into king-size slabs of meat at the Keg Steakhouse & Bar on the ninth floor, with tables right next to the king-size view of the Falls. Check the year-round firework schedule for maximum viewing pleasure. Hilton Embassy Suites(+905 356 3600, www.embassysuitesniagara.com).
Hotel Arenal Springs
The Arenal volcano, which overlooks this resort, is one of the most active in the world, and while you sit in the terrace bar, drink in hand, watching one of its frequent eruptions, you’re just a kilometre away but perfectly safe. We hope.
The Ti-Cain restaurant has one of the prime views of the volcano, and serves up food from the on-resort farm (a popular attraction for kids).
It takes some initiative and a small hike to get there, but once you’ve reached your (extremely reasonably priced) balcony room at Lomas de Tzununá, the view is unrivalled. Two huge mountains sit like islands on a lake that stretches away for miles in front of the hotel, an occasional fair-weather cumulus cloud in a blue sky the only thing to obscure your vision. A restaurant and poolside bar offer perfect viewing spots, especially after sunset.
Look down on the full Tokyo cityscape from a height of more than 200 metres in the luxury Tokyo Park Hyatt hotel in Shinjuku, and picture Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, which was filmed here. The hotel crams in four restaurants, two bars, a bakery, deli, spa, gym and pool, most complete with spectacular view.
To experience hearty, home-style Japanese cooking, head over to the hotel’s Kozue restaurant, which uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, beautifully presented, and which boasts an extensive saké list.
Individual bridges lead to private infinity pools and each ‘sanctuary’ has, in place of a fourth wall, a vista of the Caribbean Sea and the St Lucia Piton, two volcanic plugs that are listed as a World Heritage Site. The ‘organic architecture’ of this mountain-top resort, along with the banning of telephones or any connective technology, pulls you irresistibly into what must be some of the world’s most stunning natural surroundings.
Breakfast on guavas, tangerines and breadfruit picked from the surrounding trees. Dine on fresh fish and Caribbean recipes, finishing off with a glass of St Lucian rum, while overlooking the mountains and sea.
Bangkok is a city of temporal and spiritual contrasts; skyscrapers shoulder shrines and temples, and you can see them all from the Millennium Hilton, which towers imposingly above the Chao Praya River. Take the Skytrain, the city’s mass transit system, for equally impressive cityscape panoramas.
If you’re looking for culinary delights, take to the streets. But for decent food with an unsurpassable 360-degree skyline to boot, head to Zense (+66 2 100 9898, www.zensebangkok.com) at the top of the Central World mall, where you can choose from four types of world cuisine.
All rooms here come with a balcony and a breathtaking view of the Bosphorus sea that divides Europe and Asia (as well as Istanbul) and runs alongside the hotel.
Dine next to the water at the hotel’s Roof Restaurant & Bar, where meals are accompanied by live music; or, for a quieter option, the Terrace Restaurant, where Turkish and Mediterranean dishes are served up with aplomb.
Plan your perfect trip with this inspirational compendium of failsafe holiday suggestions. It's packed with fresh ideas for traditional breaks, from beach idylls to winter sun and family camping, along with great suggestions for trying something different – all around the world. Whether you're looking for a weekend break or the trip of a lifetime, Time Out's worldwide team of travel specialists can take you there.