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Top of the World: Hotels With Amazing Views

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Photo courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Oberoi Armavilas
Whether it’s the jet lag or the promise of an early morning tour of the Taj Mahal that wakes you before dawn, you’ll be delighted you did. Pre-order room service coffee, open the French doors to your private terrace and take in the mystical magic of the setting. You’ll hear birds tweeting, Hindi chanting and the Muslim call to prayer as the sun brightens on the white domes of the spectacular wonder. Afternoons and evenings are just as memorable at this resort, where all 109 guest rooms overlook the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a cup of tea in the Lounge, a gin and tonic in the clubby bar or kick back on your balcony, all while gazing upon the ultimate monument to love (room rates start at $1,000 a night;oberoihotels.com).

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Photo courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Shrouded in mountain mists and surrounded by the towering Andes stands the intimate Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel to have direct access to mythical Machu Picchu. Located a soaring 8,200- plus feet above sea level, the 31-room hideaway offers exclusive entrée to the rambling Incan site. Tour at sunrise, which is actually a misnomer, since the orb doesn’t actually come out here, due to the area’s altitude — it’s more like a brightening and sharpening of the impressive landscape. It’s an experience that punctuates the already transcendent sensation of being in such a revered site. When it gets too crowded head back to the hotel for an Incan-infused spa treatment and a hyperlocal meal sourced mainly from the property’s robust gardens. As the park clears of day trippers, return to see the magnificence that is the evening moon’s play of light across the stone structures (room rates start at $1,025 a night; belmond.com).

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Photo courtesy of Belmond

AndBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Technically, this natural marvel in Tanzania is the world’s largest caldera — a volcano that has erupted so forcefully it has collapsed onto itself. And this ultra-luxe safari camp perched on the rim is the best vantage point from which to take in the phenomenon’s beauty. Spend a day watching the sunlight move across the crater. From your villa’s balcony you may spot a pink dot in the distance — it’s a stand of flamingos — as well as some zebra and buffalo grazing closer by. Dedicate another day to exploring the crater on a guided game drive. The mineral-rich soil is a boon for vegetation and, in turn, wild animals. You’re sure to spy the big five here, plus innumerable small cats, antelopes and zebra. Just don’t expect to see any giraffes — their long necks inhibit their ability to descend into the crater (room rates start at $1,000 per person, per night and are all inclusive; andbeyond.com).

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Photos courtesy of AndBeyond Resorts

El Tovar
As one of the country’s first national parks, the Grand Canyon is also one of the most emblematic natural sites of the united states. the mile-deep gorge, which is carved by the Colorado river, is a natural wonder of the world that flaunts unforgettable color variations and geological erosional forms and inspires countless daydreams. Built in 1905, El Tovar, which stands on the south rim to afford sweeping views, was considered the most luxurious hotel between the rockies and san Francisco for many years. Today, the intimate collection of guest rooms retains an old world charm with modern amenities. For a more intimate stay, book a cottage at one of the park’s sister lodges (room rates start at $187 a night; grandcanyonlodges.com).

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