Hawaii

Hotels with the Best Views in America

Posted July 30, 2014 by SmarterTravel.com

 

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California (Photo: Preferred Hotel Group)

A perfect view is a priceless hotel amenity. It allows you to enjoy a perspective of a landscape or monument that's, for the time being, yours alone. You get to maintain a visual connection to your destination even after you've retreated to your room with a bottle of wine and the room-service menu. And it affords the opportunity to take some pretty impressive pictures without battling crowds of camera-wielding tourists.

Some of the greatest views of America's most spectacular sites—the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the rugged beaches of California's Central Coast—are available from the guest rooms of hotels. Here are 10 U.S. properties that overlook superb vistas and offer guests a picture-perfect point of view.

 

(Photo: Ian A Gratton via flickr/CC Attribution)

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, New York City, New York

New Yorkers are knee-deep in marvelous views, from teeming Times Square to the high-flying city skyline to the emerald-green expanse of Central Park. But at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, telescopes in harbor-view rooms help you get a special perspective on one of America's icons: the Statue of Liberty. One of two Ritz-Carlton properties in New York City, the Battery Park Ritz property is located about 100 yards from the harbor, giving guests an unobstructed look at Ellis Island. Plus, the port for Statue of Liberty tours is a stone's throw away.

 

(Photo: Grand Canyon NPS via flickr/CC Attribution)

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The astonishing views are what draw many to the rim of the Grand Canyon. So why not stay in a place that's as close to the powerful landscape as you can get? The Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim is the only lodging inside the park that's located at the North Rim. (This means you should book your stay far in advance.) The lodge consists of cabins and motel rooms; the prime spots to book are the cabins close to the rim of the canyon. For best results, be sure to ask for a cabin with a North Rim view.

 

(Photo: Hotel Vitale)

Hotel Vitale, San Francisco, California

The Golden Gate isn't the only San Francisco bridge worth looking at. Last year, an enormous installation comprised of 25,000 LED lights was hung on the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco to Oakland. The Bay Lights make up the world's largest LED sculpture. And Hotel Vitale, which sits on the San Fran waterfront across from the Embarcadero promenade, offers guests perfect Bay Bridge views. When booking your stay, ask for a bridge-view room. You'll get to see the Bay Bridge sparkling with more than a mile of glittering lights from dusk until dawn, right from your room. Some guest rooms also offer views of the Ferry Building Marketplace along the Embarcadero.

 

(Photo: Preferred Hotel Group)

The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island

Enjoy a view fit for a gilded-age baron in … where else but the former home of a gilded-age baron. There's little argument that this gorgeous historical property offers the best ocean views in Newport. The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a mansion constructed in the 19th century by Civil War-era congressman John Winthrop Chanler, is the only hotel located on Newport's celebrated Cliff Walk. It's perched directly on the trail that snakes between the Atlantic Ocean and a sequence of ornate gilded-age manors. Grab an Ocean Villa to enjoy unforgettable views of the ocean and the historical town of Newport directly from your room.

 

(Photo: Far View Lodge)

Far View Lodge, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

This hotel's name says it all. The only lodging available inside Mesa Verde National Park, Far View Lodge sits amidst miles of arid sagebrush-blanketed wilderness on the Colorado Plateau. All rooms at the lodge have private balconies from which guests can stargaze, search for wandering Rocky Mountain elk, black bears, or coyotes, or simply enjoy the rolling cuesta landscape that seems to extend forever.

 

Corner Executive Suite (Photo: Swissotel)

Swissotel Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

This Magnificent Mile property affords views of the best of both Chicago worlds: Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Certainly, the finest viewpoints are available via Swissotel Chicago's corner king rooms; these accommodations have wide windows that allow guests to enjoy full views of water and city in two directions. Need an excuse to work out? The property's fitness center, located on the 42nd floor, also offers panoramic Windy City views.

 

(Photo: Ryan Harvey via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Arizona

Tucked amidst the multihued red rocks of Sedona, Enchantment Resort has a well-deserved reputation for stunning views. The property is located on 70 pristine acres at Boynton Canyon, where a mix of forest, desert, and canyons forms a unique and visually stunning ecosystem. Trails are accessible for those who want to explore the extraordinary natural setting. Or you can order room service from one of a handful of on-site restaurants and dine on your own private terrace in full view of the Sedona scenery. For the best perspective, request a room with a view of the canyon face or a room on a higher floor.

 

(Photo: Four Seasons)

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii

The secluded Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay is one of just a few hotels on Lanai, so you won't see any other properties from your window; that equates to pristine, unobstructed views of red lava cliffs and blue ocean. Even if you don't snag a room with an ocean view, you won't have to worry about getting stuck with concrete high-rises in your visual field. There's not a bad view in the house: You might have a view of the sea. You might have a view of the property's lush tropical gardens. Either way, you'll be hard-pressed to spot any signs of commercial development from your accommodations on this calm, quiet island.

 

View from Peak House Guest Room (Photo: Preferred Hotel Group)

Port Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

At Post Ranch Inn, secluded cliff-side dwellings offer expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Take in the sea view from a private porch, a living room warmed by a crackling fire, or a roomy jetted tub positioned before a wall of glass. (The windows facing the ocean hang above a steep incline, which supplies the requisite privacy for large-windowed bathrooms.) You'll also find amazing views in the property's restaurant, Sierra Mar, where walls and floors made entirely of glass extend over the sloping cliffs, creating the perfect visual setting for an unforgettable meal.

 

(Photo: brianandjaclyn via flickr/CC Attribution)

Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park, Montana

It's generally agreed upon that Many Glacier Hotel offers the best views of all the lodgings in Glacier National Park. And what views they are: Lake-facing windows at this Swiss-style property provide a flawless perspective on glacier-carved mountainous landscapes. See the jagged peaks reflecting onto the clear water of Swiftcurrent Lake right from your room. But book early. There are only a handful of hotels within the national park, and lake-facing accommodations fill up especially fast.

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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title 10 Hotels with the Best Views in the U.S.

Follow Caroline Costello on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

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Paint a Picture-Perfect Vacation in Honolulu

Posted April 21, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti

Honolulu Honolulu is the gateway to the island state of Hawaii, and the capital city has entranced visitors for generations. Once home to Hawaiian royalty, Honolulu evidences the rich heritage of the Hawaiian people all around town. Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach are famous draws for history buffs and honeymooners, but it’s also possible to find off-the-beaten-path attractions that won’t drain your wallet.

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Art on the Zoo Fence: If you’re wishing you could take a little piece of Hawaii home with you, drop by the Art on the Zoo Fence. For more than 50 years, local artists have been displaying their works on Saturdays and Sundays. The non-profit group sets up shop on the east wall of the Honolulu Zoo, across from the bandstand at Kapiolani Park. While there, you can admire the paintings and photos, speak with the artists who created them, and even take home a one-of-a-kind reminder of Honolulu.

You can use our tool to compare airfares to Honolulu from multiple travel providers.

(Photo: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau)

Contortion Envy in Maui

Posted June 22, 2009 by Katie Blais

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Eeek!  I am just a few days away from my summer vacation, and that means it's time to bite the bullet and take out my bikini. Every March, in those first few warm days after a long New England winter, I think, " I have three months to get in shape for the beach." But inevitably, I get derailed by drinks after work, French fries, and my couch, and before I know it's late June and I am faced with two choices: hide under a muumuu all summer or just suck in my gut and get a tan with the rest of the sun babies.

With the opening of Cirque Polynesia at Kaanapali’s Hyatt Resort in Maui, beach-goers in Hawaii have even more motivation to get in shape before hitting the white sand beaches this summer. The new show combines Polynesian culture and crazy Cirque du Soleil artistry, with a cast of contortionists, acrobats, mother-and-daughter high-wire walkers (6th and 7th generation!). You know that French fries are not in these performers' diets. Have you seen Cirque performers? It’s like they are one big muscle. 
So, if you are planning a vacation to Maui this summer, don't miss this spectacle. The show is appropriate for the whole family. And try not to feel too bad about your muffin top when you leave!

(Photo: circuscharacters.org)

Maui's Inland Adventures Offer a Break From the Beach

Posted June 19, 2009 by Jamie Moore

HI-HaleakalaNP-DEF Take a break from the beach on your next visit to Maui and head inland, where you'll find one-of-a-kind, island-grown attractions. Savor a Maui-grown cup of java, check out a volcanic view, and indulge in Hawaiian-inspired fusion cuisine.

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MauiGrown Coffee: You can't buy Maui Mokka coffee anywhere else in the world. The beans in this blend are found only on MauiGrown Coffee's farm. The medium-roast cup o' joe is infused with a range of chocolate flavors and known locally as the "champagne of coffee." Sample the famous Maui Mokka and take a self-guided tour of the coffee farm. This rare coffee is available in whole bean or ground for $28.95 per pound.

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Haleakala National Park: There's something about Haleakala that has drawn locals for as long as people have lived on Maui. Maybe it's the walk above the clouds on the world's largest dormant volcano or the rare endangered species you can't find anywhere else on Earth. Decide for yourself on a day trip or multi-day excursion. Hike through a cinder desert landscape or get jungle fever camping beside freshwater falls, bamboo forests, and tropical vines. The park is open 24 hours a day, and permits are $10 per car (valid for three days).

Eat
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine: Blend local ingredients with Asian spices and European sauces, and what do you get? Hawaiian-fusion dishes a la Roy Yamaguchi. He's credited with creating this nouveau cuisine and, when you sit down to his Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi or Blackened Ahi Tuna, you'll be glad he did. The fusion fun doesn't stop with the food. Try a mango mojito or a martini infused with Maui pineapple and vodka. For dessert, don't pass up Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle. The prix fixe menu is $35, and a la carte entrees start at about $23.

To search for flights and compare prices to Maui, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Aimin Tang)

Alaska Airlines Shares Codes With Fiji

Posted June 4, 2009 by Nicki Krawczyk

Fiji_suva_map I tried a gentle warning. Critics scoffed, even laughed. But things aren’t so funny now, are they? No, they’re certainly not—not now that Alaska is in cahoots with Fiji and well on its way to world domination!

So, last week, I let you in on Alaska and Hawaii’s Conspiracy to Bring Down the United States. This week, an astute colleague alerted me to another development in the story. Fiji-based Air Pacific has just entered into a codesharing deal with Alaska Airlines that will allow Air Pacific customers to book Alaska-operated flights between Vancouver and L.A. under an Air Pacific flight number.

A codesharing deal? What could possibly sound more underhanded and nefarious? Let’s see, where have we heard of codesharing before…oh, gee, I don’t know, maybe: Double agents who “share” code with evil organizations to bring the world to its knees! I’ve seen Quantum of Solace, I know how sneaky the underworld can get.

Alaska is obviously enlisting as many small island chains as possible to create a web of bases to surround and conquer the United States. With the addition of Fiji to the Alaska-Hawaii alliance, they have successfully created an Evil Barrier slicing the Pacific Ocean in half. And when the United States is under attack and they call for help from Japan, just what do you think will happen?

    United States: “Japan! Help! Alaska and its evil cohorts are invading our shores! Send reinforcements!”

    Japan: “We’d love to help, but we can’t get to you—someone has created an Evil Barrier!”

And one Evil Barrier will certainly lead to another until the U.S. is completely surrounded by a Loop of Iniquity and Malevolence. Friends, this Alaska situation is dire. Today’s airline deals could be tomorrow’s road to ruin! Which nation, territory, or even state will be the next to fall under Alaska’s wicked spell? Just hope that it’s not yours.

(Photo: www.nomad4ever.com)

Alaska Airlines Adds Routes to Hawaii

Posted May 28, 2009 by Nicki Krawczyk

Alaska airlines Okay, get this: Alaska Airlines is adding service from Oakland, California to Kahului, Hawaii and Oakland and Kona beginning in November, plus expanding service between Seattle and Honolulu. Suspicious, wouldn’t you say? Alaska and Hawaii, two states who, heretofore, have never done much fraternizing are all of a sudden flying back and forth by way of California.

Coincidence? I think not. It’s blatant collusion. I propose to you: “Alaska and Hawaii’s Conspiracy to Gang Up on the Mainland” Fact: People in Alaska and Hawaii hate it when tourists go there and say things like “We’re from the U.S.” as if Alaskans and Hawaiians aren’t, too. Fact: Alaska and Hawaii were the last two states added to the union and, as such, missed out on historical moments like the launching of both fruit flies and mice into space as well as the invention of M&M's. Fact: Alaska and Hawaii are the farthest states away from Washington, D. C. and, as such, their representatives have to travel a really long time to get there and undoubtedly miss out on all kinds of congressional parties because of jet lag. Conclusion: Alaska and Hawaii are probably hopping mad and ready to take out their vengeance on the mainland.

And now, now, it appears that we've got all kinds of mingling and moving and perhaps even rampant skullduggery going on between Alaska and Hawaii by way of Alaska Airlines. There’s something big going on, people—I recommend you keep your eyes open and your mouths shut. Sure, this could end up being a nice little weekend getaways route for the people of California and a pleasant jaunt to paradise on a nice airline…until Alaska and Hawaii unleash their nefarious plans. You heard it here first. And you’ve been warned.

End of Aloha and ATA Cause Record Hawaiian Searches

Posted June 6, 2008 by Kerry Sainato

We’re data geeks here at BookingBuddy. Pm7235a_spam_asap_page

No. Really.  We rank ourselves in order of Excel wizardry.

So, when I needed to report on popular routes for the year, I saw a strange anomaly: Searches for flights between Los Angeles and Honolulu doubled from March to April. In fact, LAX to HNL was our number-one-searched route for April and beat January, February, and March’s top-ranked route (Detroit to Las Vegas) by 18 percent!

Of course, being an analysis nerd, I thought, “Look at that variance! Something must be wrong with that number!” But then my brain kicked in to gear. I remembered that April saw the end of ATA and Aloha Airlines; both carriers specializing in flights from the West Coast to Hawaii. I guess people were frantically looking for other ways to get to the Big Island and eat their weights in Spam.

Now, if I could just figure out why so many people from the Motor City (DTW) want to visit Sin City (LAS) every month, I’d feel like a real sleuth.

(Image: spam.com)


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