by: José Berrocoso
Around the world, city-defining skyscrapers are pushing the limits of technology and engineering. The best part, many of them are home to luxury hotels, giving travellers the chance to check-in, look down and soak up the cities below.
Huge skies, mesmerising views, endless horizons, seeing the world from up high can be truly breath-taking. So if you are looking to take a break and find a nice perspective, check out these five skyscraper hotels where the real world will feel a million miles away!
THE MODERN BANGKOK
Where: Peninsula Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand
Busy, bodacious and bold, the capital of Thailand is a sound bet for those seeking the bright lights of the city. Travellers can explore the best of Bangkok in style with Mundana´s exclusive tour in this must-visit hotspot in Asia where the sky is the limit when it comes to construction.
New addition MahaNakhon with its cut-out cuboid design is Thailand’s tallest skyscraper while the quirky Elephant Building, a third of its height, remains an old favourite in the Chatuchak District, itself worth a detour for its sprawling weekend market.
The Chao Phraya River remains the lifeblood of the city, providing much needed respite from the bustle of Bangkok’s traffic. Stay at the Peninsula Hotel and you’ll be guaranteed a river view; the Peninsula Suites even boast landscaped balconies. At ground level, hop on a river ferry to reach the city’s attractions the scenic way. Alight at Tha Chang for the Grand Palace and Phra Pin Klao Bridge for the Royal Barges Museum. Tha Tien gets you to Wat Pho, where you’ll find the spectacular Reclining Buddha, and also Wat Arun on the river’s far bank. Afternoon tea at the Author’s Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental is a must even if you’re not a hotel guest and nearby, the colonial architecture of the old Western Quarter offers a precious glimpse into the past of this fascinating and ever-changing city.
UNRIVALLED VIEWS OVER THE NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE
Where: The Lowell, New York, United States of America
The Garden Suite at The Lowell boasts unrivalled views over the New York City skyline which guests can enjoy from its two terraces featuring cosy lounge seating, a dining area, luscious greenery and cascading water fountains. The perfect escape in the heart of the city.
The suite was designed by Michael S. Smith (who also designed Obama’s White House) with hand-picked furnishings to resemble a luxurious Manhattan apartment. Many of the elements evoke nature, such as the bedroom’s floral 18thcentury Chinese inspired wallpaper by Oplontis and the hardwood floors throughout the living area. The suite also features a sumptuous bedroom with a palette of soft blues and greens, a comfortable living space where guests can linger by the wood-burning fireplace and a private gourmet kitchen perfect for hosting stylish, in-suite dinner parties.
The Lowell, long the New York hotel of choice for ‘in the know’ world travellers, has recently relaunched with a new restaurant and bar, library lounge, and garden, in addition to an updated lobby and Pembroke Room. Situated amongst the most exclusive addresses on the Upper East Side, the privately owned The Lowell was established as a luxury hotel in 1927 and is the definition of classic New York elegance.
KNOCKING ON HEAVEN´S DOOR
Where: The Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London, United Kingdom
London’s skyline has altered greatly in recent years following a relaxation of laws governing building height that had been in place since 1894. The city’s tallest skyscraper is The Shard, constructed in 2012 and standing 309 metres tall. The panoramic views from its open-air deck on Level 72 stretch across London and beyond – on a clear day you can see up to 40 miles. Other landmark buildings reflect the British love of nicknames: the Gherkin, the Cheese Grater, the Walkie Talkie and, amongst the most recent to be topped out, the Scalpel.
Begin your visit by checking into Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard London. Understated luxury is the watchword here with soft linens, contemporary furnishings and floor to ceiling windows to maximise those views. London’s premier attractions are right on the hotel’s doorstep. Historic St Paul’s Cathedral and the imposing Tower of London are within sight just across the River Thames, while bustling Borough Market is an easy stroll. London’s excellent public transport – or its iconic black cabs – make short work of heading ‘up west’ to visit Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament,
Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks. Neighbourhoods like trendy Notting Hill, edgy Shoreditch and leafy Hampstead are just begging to be explored.
OVERLOOKING THE CROWDEST CITY IN SOUTH AMERICA
Where: Tivoli Mofarrej, São Paulo, Brazil
It´s hard to think of a better location for a luxury hotel in São Paulo than the upscale Jardins district, the safest area in the city. In the middle of the skyscraper jungle of the city center, overlooking the magnificent Trianon Park, is located Tivoli Mofarrej. The imposing tower embodies the Tivoli brand´s commitment to stylish, modern luxury without feeling overly formal.
Designed by Paulistana society architect, Patricia Anastassiadis, the hotel oozes ostentatious urban luxury.The interior of the lobby, a cavernous, glass-ceilinged space surrounded by greenery and furnished with sleek white sofas and black vehicular-looking chairs, is a decent indicator of things to come.
After a few laps in the hotel’s magnificent orange swimming pool, a visit to the sumptuous Anantara Spa is mandatory. Decorated in oriental style, it specializes in treatments with a base of oils and aromatic herbs, ideal for relaxing after a day in bustling São Paulo. In the evening, after a drink, it’s time for dinner at ‘The Seen São Paulo’ in the sky above the city!
HONG KONG´S FIRST URBAN RESORT
Where: Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong
The Kerry Hotel Hong Kong is the latest and most stylish addition to the city´s renowned Victoria Harbour, and the first hotel in 20 years to be built on the Kowloon waterfront. The hotel has been designed as an ‘urban resort’, seeking to evoke an experience of relaxed luxury in one of the world´s most dynamic cities.
Big and bright, the interior was designed by Andre Fu. The lobby, the rooms, the outdoor areas and the ballroom are about size and sea; a recurring ripple motif refers to the harbour beyond the enormous windows. Guests who pine for urban greenery will appreciate the leafy landscaping and the lobby´s signature scent, entitled ‘Walk in the Woods’.
The Kerry Hotel´s Red Sugar is a must-visit stop when you are in Hong Kong. Part indoor with outdoor terrace garden, it has 270-degree views of the harbour and an east-side perspective of Hong Kong Island not seen from the more established parts of Kowloon.