The 7 Most Stunning, Gravity-Defying Cliffside Hotels
Sure, you could journey up a cliff, mountain, or hilltop for a blustery reward of sweeping, cinematic views. Or you could travel to cliffside hotels and stay in a boutique hotel, resort, or lodge perched several hundred (or thousand) feet above sea level for those same pinch-me vantage points 24/7—and then some.
Enjoy fine-dining on a private balcony in France as the Mediterranean laps against the shore below. Swim in an infinity pool overlooking the glassy surface of a Swiss lake at sunset. Or venture outside the confines of your lodge to go zip-lining, or heli-hiking in Colorado’s Royal Gorge.
We’ve put together a list of the seven best hotels in the U.S. and abroad for luxurious amenities, serious adventure, and, of course, gorgeous scenery.
Cliff House, Maine
Cliff House Maine—Opens a New Window.part of Destination Hotels—is nestled atop Bald Head Cliff on the southern coast of Maine, stretching over 70 oceanfront acres. The rooms boast private balconies with sprawling views of the Atlantic Ocean from 200 feet above sea level. Take advantage of year-round activities, like golfing (the 18-hole course at Cape Neddick Country Club has a newly renovated outdoor driving range and putting greens), hiking, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, cross-country skiing, and helicopter tours of the neighboring lighthouses and coastlines. You can kick back and roast s’mores at one of the outdoor fire pits or relax inside the property’s unique Cliffside hot tub.
Casa Palopo, Guatemala
Casa PalopóOpens a New Window. overlooks three volcanoes that jut out across the Guatemalan Highlands— San Pedro, Atitlan, and Toliman. Naturally, the sunsets are next-level at this boutique hotel. Take boat tours to the indigenous villages that line the shore of Lake Atitlan, like San Juan La Laguna in San Marcos. Kayaks and standup paddleboards are provided free of charge and can be acquired from the hotel’s dock. It’s also possible to kayak to nearby towns like Santa Catarina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo. Or, you can go horseback riding along the quiet, quaint streets of San Pedro, passing local shops and homes, stopping at the base of San Pedro volcano to explore its surrounding coffee plantations and farms.
Bighorn Mountaintop Lodge, Colorado
For an epic guys’ getaway, rent out Bighorn Mountain Top LodgeOpens a New Window.. It’s a 3,000-square-foot hangout perched roughly 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. Your group can spread out in the lodge’s three bedrooms, fireplace lounge, panoramic dining area, and secluded outdoor patio. The site comes with a completely stocked kitchen and an outdoor grill—but we do suggest venturing out for some adventure. Head over to Royal Gorge Bridge & Park to mosey across North America’s highest suspension bridge (956 feet above the Arkansas River). Or you can really ramp up your adrenaline and try your hand at whitewater raftingOpens a New Window., go on a helicopter tourOpens a New Window., go skydiving, take a half- or full-day Jeep tourOpens a New Window., go rock climbing, and/or pedal along single-track bicycling trailsOpens a New Window.. One thing that shouldn’t be missed: ziplining on the tandem CloudscraperOpens a New Window.. It’s America’s highest zipline.
Bürgenstock Hotel, Switzerland
Bürgenstock HotelOpens a New Window. (one of three luxury hotels that make up the resort) is nestled on a high ridge some 1,640 feet above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. The luxury accomodation has an on-site golf resort, three championship tennis courts, and four swimming pools. There are also two spas on the grounds: a 107,000-square-foot Alpine Spa and a medical spa in the sister space WaldhotelOpens a New Window.. The Spices Kitchen & TerraceOpens a New Window. restaurant is dramatically cantilevered over the lake with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. Head outdoors to explore the 43 miles of hiking and biking trails outside of the resort; you can arrange activities and excursions—like heli-skiing and heli-hiking—with B-OutdoorsOpens a New Window., the onsite sports activity and tour department.
Casa Angelina, Italy
Located in Praiano, Italy, Casa AngelinaOpens a New Window. is a quiet retreat from the busy nearby towns along the Amalfi Coast. The minimalist, stark white design of the hotel complements the azure water of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The owner, Antonino Cappiello, displays his private contemporary art collection in Casa Angelina’s lobby, transforming the space into a living art gallery. Perhaps best of all, guests have access to the hotel’s private boat for excursions to surrounding towns, like a romantic dinner on the water.
Chevre D'or, France
The area surrounding the village of Eze in southern France was first populated around 2,000 BC, and as you climb the narrow cobblestone roads and steep slopes of the French Riviera, you feel the richness of its history. Stay in the 5-star Chevre D’orOpens a New Window. (or Golden Goat); it’s located over 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean. Dine in the Michelin star restaurant La Chevre D’OrOpens a New Window., then stroll around the property’s exotic gardens filled with desert and Mediterranean plants, or visit the cliff-side Monaco Oceanographic Museum. It’s just a 15-minute walk from the hotel.