Extra-plump pillows or flatscreen TVs are nice to have when staying in a hotel, but what really makes a room something special may be the great view from the window. Here, we gaze through the glass of five hotels that look out to truly iconic sights in different cities around the world.
Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur
Background: Opened August 24 this year, this is the newest hotel in Kuala Lumpur and the first international luxury hotel to open in the Malaysian capital since 2003.
The view: The hotel looks out to the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur’s most most landmark rising about half a kilometre away
Which rooms have it: Those facing north, including the grand, deluxe, and club rooms. All of the hotel’s rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows.
Otherwise: The hotel’s lobby is located at the top of the building and gives 360-degree views of the city. You can also ascend to the hotel’s restaurant Thirty8, on the 38th floor, which has windows offering the same vista.
W Hotel New York
Background: Opened in mid-2010, this member of Starwood's design-conscious hotel brand is part of the downtown revival taking place in New York right now.
The view: The hotel looks onto the 9/11 Memorial and the One World Trade Centre Tower (formerly known as the Freedom Tower) currently under construction.
Which rooms have it: Those facing Albany Street, to the northeast.
Otherwise: Head to the hotel’s Living Room Bar and Terrace which has a large outdoor space with unobstructed views of the city and One World Trade Centre.
The Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai Pudong
Background: The second Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai opened in June 2010 in the city’s new CBD on the east side of the river, located in the Shanghai International Finance Centre.
The view: The syringe-shaped Oriental Pearl Tower next door or across the river at the art deco buildings of the Bund.
Which rooms have it: At the top of the hotel, the Ritz-Carlton and Chairman suites, on floors 51 and 50 respectively, offer spectacular views of both the tower and the Bund. Club-level and regular rooms can be upgraded for the view of the river.
Otherwise: The Flair lounge, located on the floor 58, has an outdoor terrace from which you can peer down at the tower below, while the Aura bar on floor 52 has floor-to-ceiling windows also offering great views.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London
Background: Fully opened to guests in March 2010, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge was the largest hotel to be built in the city in a decade.
The view: The hotel looks out across Westminster Bridge to the far bank of the Thames where Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament stand.
Which rooms have it: The hotel’s Penthouse suites all offer these iconic sights of London. Its other suites and studio rooms can be upgraded for the view. The hotel’s standard rooms are interior-facing, looking into the central lobby.
Otherwise: The executive lounge has a huge glass wall looking out at the Houses of Parliament across the river.
Background: First opened in 1992, the hotel underwent a full renovation last year. It’s located in The Rocks district, the oldest neighbourhood of the city that has recently been transformed into a vibrant area of cafes and restaurants.
The view: The Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour.
Which rooms have it: Most of the hotels higher-tier rooms offer views of the Opera House and harbour, with the Premier Grand Harbour View rooms providing the best one in 270 degrees.
Otherwise: For even more impressive views, ascend to Blu Bar on 36 or the restaurant Altitude, which has floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views in all directions.
Nicholas Olczak and Reggie Ho