The World's Most Dramatic Cliffside Hotels

The Bvlgari Resort Bali offers pure tropical paradise in the lap of luxury
The Bvlgari Resort Bali offers pure tropical paradise in the lap of luxury | Courtesy of Bvlgari Resort Bali, Indonesia / Expedia
Photo of Sadie Whitelocks
5 August 2021
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Got a head for heights and a hankering for views? These elevated places to stay set you up to survey the scenery. And you can book your stay now on Culture Trip.

When it comes to dramatic places for a holiday, these epic cliffside hotels certainly rock. From a hanging sky lodge in Peru to a boutique sea-facing resort in Ireland, these craggy spots cater to all tastes, so scramble on up to see which one of these lofty lodges grips your attention.

Natura Vive, Peru

Capsule Hotel, Treehouse
View looking up the Sacred Valley from the top of the Via Ferrata climbing route - Natura Vive emerging out of the cliff
© David Roberts / Alamy Stock Photo

Have you ever dreamt of sleeping in an eagle’s nest? If so, head over to the world’s first hanging cliffside lodge in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Natura Vive has three transparent luxury capsules that hang off the side of a mountain so that travellers can fully appreciate the impressive views. Each capsule suite comes complete with four beds, a dining area and a private bathroom. Getting to the Natura Vive Skylodge is an adventure in itself. Guests must either climb more than 1,300ft (396m) of via ferrata (fixed climbing route) or take an alternate trail using zip lines as they go. Overnight stays at the dizzying resort include breakfast, dinner with wine and transportation from Cusco.

Casapueblo, Uruguay

Pool and terrace of Casapueblo, the Whitewashed cement and stucco buildings near the town of Punta Del Este, Uruguay
Casapueblo | © TravelPhotoExpert / Alamy Stock Photo

This sprawling cliffside hotel, near the celebrity-filled Uruguayan beach city of Punta del Este, is a sight to behold, with not a straight line in sight. Casapueblo, which looks like melted candle wax running down the hillside, was designed and built – by hand – over a period of 36 years by the late artist, Carlos Páez Vilaró, with help from local fishermen. This part-building, part-sculpture features 13 terraced floors, with rooms marked by symbols hand-drawn by Páez Vilaró himself. On-site attractions also include a restaurant, spa and museum. Vilaró, who was an ardent traveller and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot, picked this spot for its epic sunsets and the sun symbol featured in many of his works.

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, South Africa

Exterior of The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, South Africa on the edge of the ocean
Courtesy of The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, South Africa / Expedia
Voted one of the top luxury hotels in Africa year after year, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa boasts an unbeatable position on the Cape Town coast. Named after the ruggedly beautiful mountain range that towers behind it, the boutique hotel is situated on a small cliffside overlook the Atlantic Ocean. In total, there are 55 classically styled rooms and 15 swankier suites with wrap-around terraces. The on-site amenities include two restaurants and a bar, a spa and free shuttle buses to the V&A Waterfront, home to a host of shops and restaurants.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort pool with mountain views and terraced gardens
Courtesy of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort / Expedia
Stargaze from the viewing platform where Princess Diana once stood at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, which prides itself as being one of the world’s highest luxury hotels. The Omani resort is a two-hour drive from the capital Muscat and stands perched on the edge of a cliff in the heart of the desert. The luxury bedrooms boast views over the red-rock canyon, as does the stunning infinity pool. For a real cliffhanger moment, guests have the option to go climbing on Oman’s highest via ferrata or abseil down sheer drops.

Capella Ixtapa, Mexico

Orange exterior of Hotel Capella Ixtapa on a cliff edge with ocean below
Courtesy of Capella Ixtapa, Mexico / Booking.com

Tucked into a dramatic cliffside setting between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and surrounded by a lush, tropical forest, Cala de Mar Resort and Spa Ixtapa in Mexico is a sublime spot. There are 59 suites that cascade down a cliff towards the sea, boasting spectacular ocean views, private terraces and individual plunge pools. On the wining and dining front, there are three restaurants and a tiered terrace bar if you’d like to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

Jade Mountain Resort set into the hillside overlooking vast greenery and the ocean
Courtesy of Jade Mountain Resort / Expedia

Go tropical with a stay at the stunning Jade Mountain resort. The luxury hotel, meticulously designed by architect and owner Nick Troubetzkoy, is poised atop a dramatic sloping cliff amid lush jungle overlooking St Lucia’s Unesco-listed Piton mountains. As for accommodation, there are 24 suites with private infinity pools, and the fourth wall of each room is missing so that guests can fully embrace the views of St Lucia’s distinctive peaks and the Caribbean Sea. There are also five Sky Jacuzzi Suites, which have open-air hot tubs instead of pools; these are located lower down the hillside. The restaurant curves around the resort’s main infinity pool and there is a spa on-site, with an Einstein head massage among the treatments on the menu.

Cliff House Hotel, Ireland

The sun sets on The Cliff House Hotel which sits right by the water's edge
Courtesy of Cliff House Hotel, Ireland / Booking.com

One of the finest small luxury hotels in Ireland, Cliff House Hotel, close to Cork and Waterford, seems to defy gravity, with the building clinging to a cliff. There are 39 sunny rooms and suites, which overlook Ardmore Bay and its fishing village. For extra seclusion, a cottage and beach house are available to rent. The privately-owned hotel also features an intimate spa as well as a Michelin-lauded restaurant. As for activities, hiking, archery, sea kayaking, snorkelling and cold-water surfing are all on the menu.

Belmond Hotel Caruso, Italy

Vast infinity pool at Belmond Hotel Caruso, Italy, with views of green mountains
Courtesy of Belmond Hotel Caruso, Italy / Booking.com

Set into a cliff edge over tiered lemon and olive groves, Belmond Hotel Caruso seems to float above the ocean. The elegant 11th-century hotel was built by a wealthy family and its lofty location is now considered one of the best spots on the Amalfi Coast. The simple yet stylish room and suites, complete with antique furniture and metal four-poster beds, make the most of the views, with balconies overlooking the coastline below. Other highlights include a dramatic infinity pool and a private Krug Table terrace where diners can eat al fresco on decadent Emilio Pucci chairs with grass underfoot and a chilled magnum of champagne to hand.

Post Ranch Inn, California

Post Ranch Inn made up of wooden containers on top of the hillside with ocean views, Big Sur California
© Richard Broadwell / Alamy Stock Photo

On California’s Big Sur coastline, Post Range Inn offers 39 guest rooms, with either an ocean or mountain view. The Cliff House is particularly impressive, with an outside deck suspended over a vertical cut of rock. The secluded glass-walled bedroom features a wood-burning fireplace and heated floors for the cooler winter months. An outdoor stainless steel hot tub allows you to truly soak up the watery views. Two heated infinity pools with expansive views add to the drama. On the activity front, there are guided nature walks, stargazing sessions, falconry lessons and yoga classes.

San Antonio, Santorini

Infinity pool set into a cliff with stunning ocean views at San Antonio, Santorini
Courtesy of San Antonio, Santorini / Booking.com

San Antonio, in the picturesque village of Imerovigli on Santorini, is the sole occupant of a cliff face with the luxury hotel built into a sheer wall of volcanic rock. There are 25 rooms and suites with breezy interiors and prime views of the shimmering Aegean Sea. The superior and honeymoon suites have private Jacuzzis and there is a shared infinity pool at the resort, which seems to merge with the waters beyond. The Cliffside Dinner Restaurant is another highlight, with dishes inspired by Santorini’s heritage and local wines served.

Yunak Evleri Hotel, Turkey

Exterior shot of Yunak Evleri Hotel - hotel is built into the rock face with plenty of outside dining
Courtesy of Yunak Evleri Hotel, Turkey / Expedia

Amid Cappadocia’s magical landscape of fairy chimneys, in the ancient village of Urgup, is a unique cave hotel carved into a cliff. The Yunak Evleri has 10 cave houses and 120 guest rooms in surroundings dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries, and the hotel’s lobby is contained within a 19th-century Greek mansion. All of the traditionally decorated chambers are connected via a labyrinth of narrow passageways and a curved stone stairway. Two outdoor pools, a spa and a hilltop restaurant overlooking the surrounding valleys.

Bvlgari Resort Bali, Indonesia

Sun loungers on the ocean's edge built into the cliff edge at Bvlgari Resort Bali, Indonesia
Courtesy of Bvlgari Resort Bali, Indonesia / Booking.com

When it comes to luxury, the Bvlgari Resort Bali cuts no corners. The hotel, which merges traditional Balinese design with a splash of Italian flare, boasts a spectacular position high on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean and private access via funicular to a pristine stretch of beach. There are 58 villas, five mansions offering up to five bedrooms and a sprawling villa. All rooms have private plunge pools and secluded tropical gardens. Final flourishes are added by an Italian and Indonesian restaurant, a lounge bar, spa and cliff-edge pool.

These recommendations were updated on August 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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