On my last trip to Singapore I had drinks on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands. Standing by the infinity pool that spills over the edge of the hotel’s 57th floor, gaping at the cityscape lit up at night, I couldn’t help but wish I were staying there. Normally I can enjoy a hotel without sleeping in it—I just pop into historic hotel lobbies while sightseeing—but when I find myself on a hotel roof whose views really capture the essence of the destination, I usually wish I’d splurged on a room.
That’s because a panoramic rooftop that’s in the middle of all the action—and that has a pool, a bar, a breakfast area, or all three—can really make a trip. Check out these 10 incredible hotel rooftops and you’ll see why.
So, the next time you’re considering whether or not a hotel with a spectacular rooftop might be worth the splurge, think about what having such a rooftop means:
You can sightsee without leaving the premises.
A rooftop gives you license to be lazy, and sometimes that’s just what you need on vacation. To experience the hustle and bustle of London’s Trafalgar Square from a serene perch above it can be just what the doctor ordered. I don’t know about you, but I’m always running around the world, so once in a while it’s nice to sit still and let the world run around me.
Jet lag doesn’t have to stop you.
When you’re awake at 3:00 a.m., instead of tossing and turning in bed, you can go to the rooftop and soak up the nighttime city scene.
You can savor the views at different times of day.
If you’re sleeping in the hotel, you get to experience the vistas at sunrise, in broad daylight, at sunset, at twilight, and late at night. Your Instagram page will thank you.
Crowds don’t have to mar your photos of iconic landmarks.
From the roof of the Palazzo Manfredi in Rome, for instance, you can get a clear shot of the Colosseum without having to work around tourist hordes, street traffic, and pickpockets.
Breakfast comes with a bird’s-eye view.
When we travel, we usually focus on finding just the right spots for lunch and dinner. When you get breakfast with a view too—like the one at La Sultana in Marrakech or at Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni in Florence—that’s when you really start to feel like you’re on vacation.
I’d love to know: What’s your favorite hotel rooftop?