Lagazuoi mountain refuge: the highest
Only 110 miles away from Venice, the Lagazuoi mountain refuge stands over the Falzarego pass since 1965. This 9,000 feet high charming wooden hotel overlooking the Italian prairies can be accessed either by foot or with a cable car. Cosier than a mountain cabin, it doesn't suffer seasonal changes. When the sun lights the Dolomites, the soft summer warmth engulfs the refuge, before making way for the thick covering of winter snow. This spectacular panorama of steep rock formations and green valleys delightfully stretches over, for your eyes only.
Dorm: from 30 EUR
Room: from 42 EUR
Pilatus-Kulm Hotel: the most historic
35 miles away from Zurich, the Pilatus-Kulm Hotel proudly peaks on Mount Pilatus, 7,000 feet above sea level, offering a stunning view over the area. Built in 1890 and listed as historical monument, it was entirely renovated in 2010 in order to welcome up to 270 guests. The green and white brick façade is of Art Deco appearance, and the designer furniture, wood and leather upholstery give the rooms a look both modern and authentic.
You just have to go down to the Queen Victoria restaurant to savour freshly produced and locally prepared Swiss dishes, like plates of beef jerky, saucisson, bacon and cheese, the sliced Stroganoff chicken with rice or the Graubünden Barley soup. You'll also have the opportunity to drink one of the purest source waters ever, collected by the hotel themselves.
Rooms: from 263 EUR
Santa Rosa Monastery: the most luxurious
35 miles away from Naples, Santa Rosa is perched high up the cliff of a small fishing village on the Amalfi Coast. You'll enjoy a bird's-eye view of the Gulf of Salerno, which happens to be picture postcard worthy. The address was actually a 17th century monastery turned luxury hotel facing the sea. Admire the architectural elements of the former cloister rooms, kept untouched for their history and authenticity. Discover the 20 rooms and suites, at once sleek, unique and refined. From your window, or for the luckiest from your terrace, you'll enjoy gazing at the beautiful shades of blue separating the sea and the sky. Spend some relaxing time on the deckchairs of the flowered garden and dive in the infinity pool. The promise of an ideal stay.
Rooms: from 600 EUR
Hôtel du Grand Canyon du Verdon: the most humble
About 70 miles from Toulon, the Hôtel du Grand Canyon overlooks the Verdon Gorge on its 1,000-feet high peak. Here, simplicity and friendliness are key. Lay down your hat in one of the 14 rooms, most of them with a balcony, and relax in this unique setting between steep rocks and an ocean-blue river. Enjoy the bar, the pétanque strip, the solarium-terrace and the panoramic restaurant to try local specialities. On the menu, pesto soup, terrine du chef, chicken with crayfish or trout with almonds, with view onto the Verdon as a bonus treat!
For the most athletic, make the best of the region and start a trek. For instance, the Imbut trail constitutes one of the best excursions in the Gorge, though it is also the most difficult.
Rooms: from 85 EUR
Crane Hotel Faralda: the most unusual
Spend the most unusual of your stays in one of the three suites conceived in this port crane. From the top of its160-feet high structure, the Crane Hotel Faralda overlooks Amsterdam's NDSM shipyard. This industrial monument offers a truly unique kind of experience. The very contemporary design of the 36 sqm rooms displays personalised decoration, from eastern influences to stripped-down loft space. You'll enjoy all necessary comfort to feel just as good as home. Everything has been carefully devised: the Jacuzzi for instance, installed on top of the structure, offers a bright and shining view onto the city as soon as night falls. The bold will try bungee jumping from a few hundred feet under professional supervision.
Rooms: from 595 EUR