You stumble from bed in the morning, bleary eyed, and head straight for the bathroom. As you fumble to find your toothbrush, your eyes focus on the jagged snow-covered peaks of the Teton Mountain Range. No — you're not still asleep and dreaming. You're in a bathroom in one of the 40 suites at the Amangani Resort located in Jackson, Wyo.
When there's nothing to look at but grout and boring bath tiles, bathing can be a dull chore — one that travel has the ability to transform from day-to-day drudgery to a memorable, even luxurious, experience. The following hotels, located in some of the world's most picturesque national parks and exciting cities, realize this and kick-start their guests' sightseeing by bringing the outdoors inside.
It's not exactly what E. M. Forster had in mind when he wrote about a room with a view. But there's no denying it's revitalizing to start your day at Shanghai's Hyatt on the Bund, in the Pudong district on the Huangpu River, with a shower looking through floor-to-ceiling windows at the illuminated pinnacle of Jin Mao Tower.
If you prefer seascapes to urban panoramas, head to St. Lucia's Jade Mountain, where the rooms have no fourth wall and are completely open to the elements. There you can unwind in a whirlpool tub, which is raised above the rest of the living area, for unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea and the verdant mountainsides of the Pitons World Heritage Site.
However, there's no need to worry — these hotels are not replacing function with form in these astounding bathrooms. The following are also some of the world's most well appointed bathrooms, complete with marble finishings, heated floors, and royal-worthy toiletries. Though some of the toilets in these bathrooms have great views, too, rest assured many of them also have separate water closets so that the loos are a little less, ahem, public.
So, sit back, relax in private, and take in the scenery.