Set outside under different skies, the terraces of the world open up a destination to us, with sometimes grand and celebrated views. Take our hand and explore these ten terraces—from New York to the French Riviera, the Cappadocia to the Caribbean.
1. I want to go somewhere iconic
Head to the Private Roof Garden of The Surrey, between New York’s Fifth Avenue and the Upper East Side, with its views of this energetic city’s famous skyline and Central Park. Between explorations of the buzz of Manhattan, retreat to this private island of calm and charm—with a glass of wine, a yoga mat, a camera, or all three—and watch the city that never sleeps.
2. Slow in the snow
The joy of a Swiss mountain retreat lies in the outdoors—you’re not going to want to be far from the sight of those snowy scenes surrounding you. Chalet Schönegg, on the Matterhorn in Zermatt on the Swiss-Italian border, with its infinity terrace, makes this easy to do. On its never-ending veranda, simply switch off and breathe in the fresh mountain air over a glass of wine. Sink into the armchairs, go slow and indulge in the tastes of the terroir.
3. Fly away with me
As you travel around the world, collecting memories, those hours spent on the terrace of the Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey, watching countless majestic hot-air balloons floating over the valley at sunrise or while you enjoy dinner or drinks, are undoubtedly ones well spent. Be sure to look past the balloons at the view of the major districts of the region: Avanos, Göreme, Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, Red Valley, and Mount Erciyes.
4. Let’s revel in some history
Sometimes our hearts call for something more than rest and relaxation, something like a journey through history and culture. Hotel Neri is the start of just that. This renovated 18th-century aristocratic house sits in the square of Sant Felip Neri in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Dine or take a drink at the hotel restaurant and lounge-bar terrace in the square or, for something quieter, head up to hotel’s fourth floor, to the Roba Estesa, an intimate rooftop garden terrace, to watch the sun set over the city with cocktails and tapas.
5. Clear your mind
At Castel Fragsburg, on the hills overlooking the valley of Merano, on the slopes of the Dolomites, you’ll find romance and wellness and memories that start and end with those terraces—whether experienced from the wood bath on the panoramic terrace of the spa, the outdoor Jacuzzi on a deck enclosed by vineyards and mountains, or on the dining terrace high above the Alto Adige Valley. In the heart of the Italian Alps is exactly where you want to relax outside on a cozy perch and gaze out over endless natural beauty.
6. In the mood for Mediterranean
Between the colors and scents of jasmine, bougainvillea, and roses, gardens of sculptures, fountains, waterfalls, flowers, herbs, trees, and shrubs, the terraces of La Chèvre d’Or are a space to wonder, to relax, to bathe in the sunlight of this corner of the Mediterranean. In the city of Èze in the South of France, the château is housed in a medieval castle on the steep slopes of the French Riviera, with views of the Côte d’Azur. Wonder, relax, bathe, repeat.
7. Let’s run wild
Wait for the animals to find you, on the terrace of the intimate Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge in the Nambiti Reserve of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Whether from the lodge’s main terrace or the private terraces of each suite, the view from this cliff-side lodge stretches over vast wilderness, including the Sundays River, bush and savanna, plains and waterfalls. Take a seat at a table on the main terrace for meals or on the massage table of your own deck, listen to the birds and look out for the movements of the Big 5 and other wild things that roam freely below.
8. I want to be moved
Close your eyes and sway to the sounds of Morocco—the muezzin’s call to prayer at sunrise—from the rooftop terrace of the Riad Fès, in the heart of the Medina of Fez. Open your eyes and drink in the unique sights of the city, the romance of traditional Morocco, and the views of the Atlas Mountains in the distance. Let the city’s hums and echoes play out while you curl up with a cup of strong coffee, recline with a novel, or pull up a chair for a meal outdoors.
9. I’m hungry for more
The Raphael’s multi-level Bramante Terrace combines a restaurant and a flowering rooftop garden with 360-degree views over the “Eternal City”—Italy’s capital city, a stone’s throw from the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. While you savor the tastes of Rome, with organic cuisine from the hotel’s restaurant, La Madre Terra, the city looks back at you with its rooftops and monuments. In the evenings, toast to life with a glass of wine or champagne and watch the sun set over scenes of endless history and allure.
10. Get tropical in the trees
A 10-minute drive from the town of Portsmouth, in Dominica, sits Secret Bay, a hideaway in a clifftop rainforest. Here, on “The Nature Island” of the Caribbean, Secret Bay’s different villas and bungalows entice you to walk out onto the outdoor decks and breathe in vast views of the blue, blue Caribbean Sea or the mountain peaks of Dominica.