Everyone wants to get to the top, but nobody knows how to stay there. Metaphors aside, it is possible to stay at the top — the top of the mountain, that is. While people are busy flocking to the beach, try checking out mountain hotels instead. The view is always going to be spectacular and ever-changing. The vast expanse of the ocean may just remain as it is — water for miles ahead — but there is always something new to see where there are mountains and forests involved.
That said, you don’t need to be a seasoned mountain climber to be able to get to these mountain hotels. Most are accessible by car, while some may need other modes of transportation such as a helicopter or cable car. But it certainly won’t be your average taxi ride from the airport. Whatever the means needed to get there, one thing’s for sure: the view you get upon checking in will be like none other.
While you’re there, be sure to go on a digital detox. Mobile reception will be scarce at the top, but you don’t need to scroll through your Instagram when there are so many other things to see and do while you’re up there. Check out our picks for the best luxury mountain hotels to check in to, and then check out some mountains you can hike while you’re still in Southeast Asia.
Did you think that mountain hotels only encompassed views of snow-capped mountains and huddling under fur coats? It can be tropical and cool as well, as Topas Ecolodge in Sapa Valley, Vietnam proves. Its location on a hill consists of 33 bungalows and an absolutely beautiful infinity pool. Each bungalow only has one bedroom and a balcony that offers sweeping views of the rice valleys below.
Topas Ecolodge, Thanh Kim, Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam, +84 24 3715 1005.
Avid skiers will be familiar with the Rocky Mountains, and The Lodge at Breckenridge doesn’t disappoint. It helps that the resort’s location within the forest is a picturesque one that overlooks several mountain ranges. Pick from over 45 rooms or two private homes outside of the hotel building. Of course, there’s also a spa to keep warm and moisturised in spite of the blistering cold. If skiing isn’t your idea of a fun activity, guests can go hiking, golfing, and rafting during off-season periods.
The Lodge at Breckenridge, 112 Overlook Dr, Breckenridge, CO 80424, USA, +1 970-453-9300.
Experience a slice of old-world luxury at the Terminal Neige, which has been around since the 1800s. When you’re there, think about how guests from centuries back are seeing the exact same view of the Mer de Glace glacier, Grandes Jorasses, and the Drus. It goes without saying that the interior and amenities are most definitely not high-tech. Instead, they bask in the vintage sensations — lamps, raw wood panels, vintage luggage as decorations, and more. If you have no fear of heights, definitely check out the in-house restaurants that perch off the side of the cliff.
Terminal Neige – Refuge du Montenvers, Impasse du Montenvers, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, +33 4 50 53 87 70.
Looking like a building out of a Wes Anderson movie is the Riffelhaus 1853, a mountain hotel perched on the Matterhorn of the Swiss Alps. As its name suggests, the hotel has been around since the 1800s as well. This “ski-in and ski-out” luxury hotel is one of the best and most convenient to stay in if you’re there to take on the slopes. The best part after a long day of skiing? Soaking in the hot tub that looks out to the Matterhorn.
Riffelhaus 1853, Riffelberg 2500 m, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland, +41 27 966 65 00.
If the view of just snow-capped mountains bore you, then consider coming to this part of Spain instead. Parador de Cañadas del Teide is located in the high altitudes of the Teide National Park in Tenerife, a volcanic island in the Canary Islands. The mountainous view here is excellent with a palette of burnished reds, browns, and greens. The low-rise building is designed to blend in with its natural surroundings, but its interior takes on a classic mountain lodge style with plenty of wooden elements.
Parador de Cañadas del Teide, 38300 Las Cañadas del Teide, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, +34 922 38 64 15.
Iceland is known for having some of the most architecturally-stunning accommodations, and the Ion Adventure Hotel is no different. If the long and boxy hotel’s exterior doesn’t already draw your attention, then we’re sure its interior will. 44 rooms take up the formerly abandoned inn for the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant workers, which now has a minimal-chic Nordic interior. Its location right smack in the middle of the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park will make your views a spectacular one, particularly of the mossy landscape and Kerid lake, which was once a volcanic crater.
Ion Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir 801, 801 Nesjavellir, Iceland, +354 482 3415.
The ruins of Machu Picchu is a sight to behold, nestled in the slopes of the Andes. While those who come to explore the site need to take a winding bus ride upwards, guests who stay at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge only need to stroll out from their rooms. This luxury resort is the only accommodation situated right at the entrance of the Machu Picchu at an altitude of 2,350 metres above sea level. The 31 rooms in the lodge are tasteful and take on a pre-Colombian design aesthetic with a lot of traditional fabrics and wood used. Reservations are full-board, which means all your meals will be provided. Not that it’s a bad thing, especially where fine Peruvian fare is concerned in the in-house restaurant Tampu.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Carretera Hiram Bingham KM 7.5, Aguas Calientes, Peru, +51 984 816 956.
Imagine waking up to a view of one of the tallest and most majestic mountains in the world — Mount Everest. Officially the highest hotel in the world for over 45 years, Hotel Everest View has only 12 rooms, so be sure to book in advance. Unfortunately, getting there will not be as easy as the other hotels. Guests will need to hike to the hotel from the town of Lukla for several days or take a helicopter up to the hotel. While all rooms offer a panoramic view of Mount Everest, there’s also a rooftop patio and a sunroom where you can take in your surroundings all the better.
Hotel Everest View, Lukla – Shyangboche Marg, Khumjung 56000, Nepal, +977 1-5012150.