By , Krisanne Fordham
Published March 22, 2018
Private plunge pools aside, there are few things more thrilling and luxurious than a clifftop hotel.
Perhaps it’s the sheer seclusion, or the unobstructed views, or the feeling that you’re living on the edge—quite literally. From lofty hideouts on the Amalfi Coast to precariously-perched Balinese sanctuaries, we’ve hand-picked the world’s most beautiful clifftop hotels.
The aptly-named Cliff House is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and scenic hotels, clinging to a cliff overlooking Ardmore Bay. The ultramodern building’s angular slate-and-glass design is a dramatic contrast to its craggy, untamed surroundings, which makes for some Instagram-worthy photographs. Not surprisingly, each of its 39 cozy, sun-drenched rooms come with stunning bay views, but book a terrace suite for extra bragging rights.
Set atop a towering mountain ridge above the Pacific, this 19th-century homestead is one of the dreamiest destinations in the country. Bungalows of slate, marble, and wood are divvied up between separate buildings and are designed to blend seamlessly into the property’s lush natural landscape (book one with an ocean or mountain view). The property’s pièce de résistance? The Jade Pool, an ocean-facing infinity hot tub perched at the edge of the bluff.
Built right into the face of Santorini’s dramatic sea cliffs, Mystique boasts unrivaled views over Santorini's caldera and the southern Aegean Sea. The boutique hotel’s 18 whitewashed, free-form rooms are also carved directly into the cliff, and feature uninterrupted vistas across the caldera all the way to Fira, the island's capital. Mystique’s pool bar, Aura, makes for the ideal spot to watch the sunset.
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Though gorgeous hotels in Bali are a dime a dozen, the Bulgari Resort, with its lofty clifftop perch 500 feet over the Indian Ocean, is at the top of the list. Located on the rugged Bukit Peninsula at Bali’s southern tip, you’ll find show-stopping ocean views from every vantage point, whether you’re at the pool, any of its four bars and restaurants, or your own villa. Added bonus: there’s a secluded beach tucked beneath the hotel, accessible only by a glass elevator that makes the 500-foot journey down the cliff face.
Perched high above the fishing village of Conca dei Marini, this 17th-century monastery-turned-luxury hotel is worth visiting for the views alone. Though the hotel is just four years old, it’s already established itself as one of the most beautiful hotels on the Amalfi Coast, holding its own against grand dames like Le Sirenuse. We prefer Monastero for its secluded location—hidden away in the cliffs between touristy Amalfi and Positano—and its spectacular rooftop pool, which sits at the edge of a cliff, 660 feet feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea.