This iconic Cape Town hotel — a bright-white Art Deco beacon perched on a mountainside with crashing ocean waves below — is the ultimate spot for that quintessential African experience, the sun-downer. Grab a spot on the Leopard Bar terrace for a memorable Atlantic Sunset — the bar’s rainbow-coloured cocktail that mirrors the view beyond. Then glide onto a table at the hotel’s award-winning Azure restaurant for Seafood Espetada, if you’re in the mood for flame-grilled langoustines, tiger prawns, and calamari tubes, or the delicately spiced Fynbos Vegetable Curry, which uses plants and herbs from the region’s unique vegetation that doesn’t grow anywhere outside South Africa’s Western Cape. After a climb up the Twelve Apostles (the mountain the hotel sits on), a splash in the ocean-view infinity pool, and a soak in the spa’s rock-hewn hot tub, collapsing in your elegant hotel room is tempting. But prop your eyelids open long enough to enjoy a classic film in the hotel’s 16-seat cinema, complete with popcorn, ice cream, and vintage movie posters. Doubles from ZAR 4755.00 (USD 679.00).
Brits flock to the county of Cornwall, the southernmost point on the mainland, for its pristine beaches and dramatic coastline. A peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, Cornwall is renowned for its fine dining and you’ll find nowhere better to eat than the romantic Scarlet, a luxury green hotel perched on a cliff above a sandy beach. From its Frank Lloyd Wright-esque architecture to its 37 stylish seaview guestrooms, this is one of those places you’ll wax lyrical about for years to come. Swim in the solar-heated interior pool or brave the bracing open-air rock pond before hopping into a wood-heated clifftop hot tub. You’ll scarf down every last morsel of the local, seasonal dishes in the glass-walled restaurant, presided over by a Michelin-starred chef Ben Tunnicliffe. The menu changes frequently, but expect delights like stuffed courgette flowers and pistachio frangipane. Doubles from £190 (USD 290.00).
The vertiginous Amalfi Coast has been wooing honeymooners for decades and the town of Positano is its glamorous gateway. With pastel-coloured hotels tumbling down the hillside like a marshmallow avalanche, you’re spoiled for choice for rooms with a view. But few can promise Mediterranean vistas like those from Covo dei Saraceni, a 61-room hotel owned by the same family for more than nearly 100 years. With its enviable position on the beach, it’s tough deciding whether to soak up the sun on the sand or the rooftop pool. Guestroom décor is a little old-fashioned and spartan, but you’ll spend most of your time on your room’s balcony looking out, not in. Book ahead to guarantee a seaview table in the restaurant, locally renowned for its handmade pasta. Doubles from €240 (USD 340.00).
About midway along California's Highway One, on the stunning section known as Big Sur, you’ll see a discreet sign tucked under the redwood trees on the side of the road. Turn in here for a woodsy world that seems a million miles from anywhere. Of Post Ranch Inn's 39 dreamy rooms and two houses, just under half have unobstructed ocean views and each has its own unique architectural and interior designs. Some hang precariously over cliffs, others sit serenely on lush hillsides, while a few wrap around trees. The drama of Big Sur is ever-present with reclaimed wood, glass and stone décor bringing nature indoors. In some rooms, you can soak up ocean views while soaking in the bath. In others, the crashing waves of the beach below provide a soundtrack that ensure you'll sleep like a baby. But just because you’re getting away from it all doesn’t mean you’ll need to gather berries for dinner. Chef Craig von Foerster uses local, seasonal ingredients — many from Post Ranch’s own gardens — to prepare meals worthy of a Michelin star like grilled squab breast or carpaccio of diver scallops with jalapeño and mint. Doubles from $595.
Overlooking Penobscot Bay in Maine, the recently restored Samoset Resort draws golfers and families to its 230-acre estate. The 178 traditionally-styled rooms of this historic hotel provide the expected comforts, while the new freeform pool is a warmer alternative to the chilly waters of the bay, and the adjacent hot tub and firepit seating area mean you can linger in the fresh air as the sun sets and the temperature lowers. Don’t forget your clubs for the championship golf course and book ahead to secure a treatment session in the new spa while the kids’ club keeps the little ones entertained. And while Maine may be famous for boiling live crustaceans, why not book a table at the hotel’s elegant new family-friendly Italian restaurant, La Bella Vita. Doubles from $160.