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Last updated: 25 February 2022

Sightsee in style…wake up to some of the world’s most famous landmarks

City breaks are all about seeing the sights, but what if you could tick some of the landmarks off your list from the comfort of your luxury hotel? No queues, no crowds, just an urban oasis of calm to call your own – you’ll feel as though you have the city to yourself. From a Colosseum-facing palazzo to balcony suites overlooking the Eiffel Tower, be sure to base your next city break out of these perfectly placed boutique hotels with monumental views.

1. Palazzo Manfredi, Rome – Italy

Palazzo Manfredi

Directly across the street from the Colosseum and just steps away from the ruins of the largest gladiator training school ever discovered in the Eternal City, you’ll be sleeping next to some of Rome’s big hitting heroes at Palazzo Manfredi. Originally a 17th century noble’s villa, this Roman bolthole has been transformed into a contemporary, light-filled retreat while keeping ancient history centre stage. Some bedrooms and suites offer direct views of the Colosseum itself, so you can soak up the world famous amphitheatre while you’re sipping your morning espresso in bed. End the day with an aperitivo at The Court, the palazzo’s buzzing bar and modern temple of mixology – which offers more of those unparalleled Colosseum views.

2. Hotel Raphael, Paris – France

Hotel Raphael

The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré Coeur…all visible from the blossoming rooftop garden and terrace of Hotel Raphael. This pinnacle of Parisian chic is superbly situated in the heart of the 16th arrondissement, and has been managed by the same family for four generations – each with an incredible eye for detail. While many of the rooms and suites boast impressive landmark views, the Eiffel Tower Duplex Suite comes with its own private terrace so you can enjoy your morning croissant while taking in the French capital’s most recognisable attractions.

More Eiffel Tower views this way…choose from Grand Powers, Hôtel San Régis, and Le Narcisse Blanc Hôtel & Spa for equally enchanting cityscapes.

3. A77 Suites by Andronis, Athens – Greece

A77 Suites

When it comes to the ultimate Athenian experience, the Iconic Suite at A77 Suites by Andronis more than delivers. Bask in the glow of the Acropolis from your jacuzzi on your private outdoor terrace, where you can watch the world go by beneath the ancient citadel. Indoors, you’ll find a subtle blend of Hellenic charm and modern minimalism where a soft, neutral colour palette makes the most of the natural light. When it’s time to explore, this recently restored 19th century listed neoclassical building is just moments from the cosmopolitan buzz of Plaka and its historical treasures.

4. Refinery Hotel, New York – USA

Refinery New York

As America’s most visited landmark, and the world’s most photographed building, the Empire State is an Art Deco icon which draws over 4 million tourists to its sky-high observation deck each year. Sitting at the centre of Manhattan in New York’s trendsetting Garment District, Refinery Hotel houses loft-like atelier rooms, a prohibition-style jazz lounge, and a rooftop bar with views of – you guessed it – the Empire State Building. Thanks to its retractable glass roof, and indoor-outdoor seating, the Refinery Rooftop is a fashionable Midtown refuge no matter the season. Sip signature cocktails like the 13th Floor Margarita and tuck into truffle fries and meatball sliders as you watch the sun set over the Big Apple.

5. Palm Suite, Rome – Italy

Palm Suite

Bid the Colosseum and Roman Forum buongiorno from Palm Suite, an 18th century palace with whimsical, eclectic, individually designed suites. Colourful, tropical-inspired patterns run riot throughout the interiors, but it’s the timeless views which keep drawing the eye. Exotic textures, lush houseplants, botanical prints and furnishings made with natural, sustainable materials cocoon guests in a tropical paradise – cleverly creating a world away from the city, yet within striking distance of all the must-see sights, from the Capitoline Hill to the Pantheon.

6. The Tokyo Station Hotel, Tokyo – Japan

The Tokyo Station Hotel

Housed in Tokyo station’s 107-year-old Marunouchi Building, The Tokyo Station Hotel blends Omotenashi (the time-honoured spirit of Japanese hospitality) with 21st century luxury – think vaulted ceilings, cut-glass chandeliers, polished floors and preserved period features. The high-ceilinged lobby lounge once served as the first-class waiting lounge whilst the original 330m-long corridor still remains leading to the rooms. This 150-room hotel survived both World War Two and the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. The Dome Side rooms face into the historic train station, with views of the station’s ornate European-style domes, while the hotel’s other rooms overlook either the Marunouchi district or the Imperial Palace. Although located in one of the world’s busiest stations, you never actually hear a train!

7. Hotel Lungarno, Florence – Italy

Hotel Lungarno

A beautifully renovated mansion on the banks of the River Arno, Hotel Lungarno echoes its waterside surrounds while transporting guests back to the Renaissance in style. Throw open your curtains and breathe in the sights of Florence, from the famous Ponte Vecchio lined with jewellery shops, to the cobbled streets steeped in medieval history. Start the day with an al fresco breakfast on a sun-drenched balcony with the Duomo in the distance, before exploring this small yet perfectly formed city. After taking in the art treasures of the Uffizi, head to Hotel Lungarno’s Picteau Cocktail Bar to sip vintage-inspired drinks as the Arno lights up, surrounded by 20th century artistic masterpieces.

8. Vintry & Mercer, London – UK

Vintry & Mercer

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the shimmering Shard – Vintry & Mercer opens up to the London skyline, and puts this ancient district within touching distance. In the winter months, two spectacular igloos sit on The Mercer Roof Terrace for groups of up to six people, which come with sweeping views of the capital. Inside, the rooms and suites contain plenty of nods to the City’s heritage. Think bespoke fabrics inspired by merchant tailors of centuries past, and historic navigation maps and photographs on the walls.

9. Hotel Villa Athena, Agrigento – Sicily

Hotel Villa Athena

Not a city break per se, but this 300-year-old villa is a stone’s throw from the magnificent Temple of Concordia, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Valley of Temples, just outside Agrigento. History truly comes alive at Hotel Villa Athena, which stands a mere 200 metres away from one of the world’s most significant archaeological sites. To watch the sun rise and set over this fifth century B.C. beauty, book one of the Temple View Rooms – or simply sit in the garden with a cold glass of limoncello amid the lemon trees and view the temple on the hill. This cinematic setting will be coming to screens in the second season of popular Italian TV series Màkari in February 2022, based on the novels of Gaetano Savatteri.

10. Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland, Kobe – Japan

Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland

Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland

With its cool location in the Harborland district of Kobe, and sweeping sea views from the balcony of each room, Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland overlooks the cherry red Port Tower – the city’s most recognisable landmark with an observatory floor and sightseeing decks. With its picturesque waterfront, Meriken Park dotted with modern art installations, and green backdrop of the Rokko Mountains, there’s plenty to explore in this pretty port city. But the bubbling jacuzzis in every room and the Teppanyaki restaurant experience at Kokoro will soon draw you back to Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland.