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Taking Relaxation to New Heights

August 13, 2013

For taking in the rays, the views or the breeze, refined rooftop venues at Leading Hotels fit the bill. Sleek pool areas, sophisticated bars, and serene, secluded terraces await atop some of the world’s finest properties.

Just like the hotel itself – a well-kept secret of sophistication – the terrace, on the Hotel Raphael's seventh and top floor, boasts stunning panoramic views of the rooftops of Paris. In summer, the heady scents of budding plants fill the air. Here guests can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and enjoy a cocktail around the giant chessboard or savor a light meal while taking in the magnificent 360-degree panoramic views over the City of Light.

It would be a shame to visit Athens and not see the Acropolis, but sometimes, battling heat and crowds to get there is just too much! A better idea is to check in to the warm and welcoming Divani Caravel and make your way up to the rooftop pool area, where a leisurely swim is sure to cool and refresh. From here the ancient city spreads out at visitors’ feet, and in the evening, the iconic Acropolis is handsomely lit and impossible to miss!

Visitors to Rio may mistakenly believe that the best place to be part of the action is to stake out a spot on Ipanema Beach. Truly savvy travelers know, however, that the place to be is up on the roof of the very stylish Hotel Fasano. Located on the eighth floor, the rooftop infinity pool offers unparalelled panoramic views of Ipanema from an angle that captures Arpoador, the Morro Dois Irmãos and the Corcovado, and this vantage point is available exclusively to hotel guests. The bar menu offers a wide array of fresh-squeezed fruit juices, cocktails, and delicious al fresco dining throughout the day.

Devotees of La Serenissima might argue that just being in Venice is like being in seventh heaven, but guests of Bauer Il Palazzo can honestly say they have breakfasted in Settimo Cielo. Located on the seventh floor, this gorgeous rooftop lounge and terrace are perfect for relaxing over the morning meal while taking in incomparable views of the city and the lagoon.

Considered among the best restaurants in Beirut, Indigo on the Roof is the beating heart of Le Gray. There are intimate lounge areas, both covered and al fresco on the garden terrace, all of which share spectacular sixth-floor views of the city. Cherry on the Rooftop is a Mediterranean holiday destination in its own right. With 100 seats, both indoor and outdoor, this poolside lounge is always bubbling with energy. It seems to draw in the spirit of the Mediterranean, which dominates the views, and is defined by cocktails, fruit punches, sharing platters and early-evening music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

High above the roofs of Munich, the Blue Spa is the crowning glory of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Here star architect Andrée Putman has created a unique oasis in the midst of a lush roof garden. What better place to relax, than this generously sized spa, located on the city’s loveliest sun terraces? Guests can enjoy a magnificent view from the pool over the whole of Munich. In good weather, they can also swim under an open sky, thanks to the pool’s sliding glass roof.

If you stayed out just a bit too late taking in the milongas around the city, and your feet are weary from hours of tango, take yourself up to the top floor of the new Alvear Art Hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires! Indulge in a massage at the spa and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool – with views out over the city. The retractable roof encloses the space in cooler weather, and opens wide to let in the fresh air in warmer months.

At the Market Pavilion Hotel, the cascading rooftop pool – unique in Charleston, South Carolina – draws a stylish crowd who admire the unobstructed view of the harbor and city skyline. The Pavilion Bar, also on the rooftop, serves up signature cocktails, eclectic cuisine and the city's most spectacular sunsets, with impeccable Southern hospitality against a backdrop of historic Charleston. The Pavilion Bar maintains a sophisticated atmosphere for its guests, and is open daily 11:30a.m. to midnight.

Visitors to Lima, Peru, would do well to schedule a stay at the handsome Miraflores Park Hotel. Here they will find that the rooftop reveals the hotel's glamour factor, with an outdoor pool, spa and stunning views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. The perfect venue for marveling at spectacular sunsets over the ocean.

It doesn’t have to be midnight in Paris to appreciate the rooftop pool at Le Bristol Paris. This unique sixth-floor installation has a panoramic view which sweeps from the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur. Made entirely from solid teak, it is reminiscent of the bow of a large sailing boat, with a splendid trompe-l'oeil shown in perspective. In the distance, between the pine and olive trees, you can make out the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, which, like Le Bristol, is owned by the Oetker family.

For reservations, visit In the USA & Canada please call 1-800-223-6800 or contact a travel professional.

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
When extraordinary and one-of-a-kind intersect, you have likely found a Leading Hotel. As the largest luxury hotel collection, with more than 430 of the world’s greatest properties in over 80 countries, we seek out the exceptional. From grand palaces to intimate city hideaways, from ancient castles to sumptuous safari tent villages, from tropical aeries to mystical paradises, all are utterly unique and boldly independent. Each celebrates the culture of its destination, rather than trying to mask it with corporate-mandated sameness. Established in 1928 by several influential and forward-thinking European hoteliers, it started with 38 initial members. With our eight-decade-long commitment to providing unforgettable, authentic travel experiences, LHW selects only hotels that meet our high standards for quality and distinctiveness. To us, hospitality is not an industry; it’s an art…and our passion.
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