• sarah.bb@eatsdrinksandsleeps.com

Eating and drinking my way through life and learning all the while

Sod a pillow menu, the real luxury for hotel rooms is private outdoor space

Hotel search engines are missing a trick.

I don’t know why you can’t search for hotel rooms that come with their own private outdoor space. 

Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia.com you are all missing a trick. Right now when communal space at hotels is limited or restricted, having private outdoor space as part of your own room is a real plus, so why is it so hard to search for it?

When travelling via NYC mid-pandemic I wasn’t sure how open the city was, how many of the communal facilities would be accessible and quite frankly how safe the streets were. I didn’t want to spend my 48 hour stopover staring at four walls, so I was really keen to have some private outdoor space, a terrace or balcony to call my own.

What I discovered though, is there is no search filter for this on all the major hotel booking sites. Instead, I had to manually look through available room types to find a room with, not just a view, but some actual outdoor space. I’ve become somewhat claustrophobic after living in Spain for over a year, where you spend so much of your time outside.

I’m currently staring at four walls of a London hotel, having not had the luxury of time when booking this stay. A crisis phone call late on Friday meant I wanted to come home and help and not one to hang around (as my brother in law says, I ‘get shit done’), I had flights & hotels booked pronto, which ended up being a wise decision indeed. But that’s another post…

So back to NYC, I left it too late to book the only room I could find with a balcony in my usual stomping ground of Soho and I ended up at The William Vale, Brooklyn.

At The William Vale, my room had a beaut little terrace with great views of the city. And this private bit of outdoor paradise was not wasted on me, I spent a good amount of time out there, working outside with a breeze, drying out after my shower and morning coffee, sipping some take out cocktails and watching the fireworks explode over the city. Whenever time and budget allows I’ll always opt for a private terrace or balcony, I just wish it was that much easier to find a room with these criteria as search options.

Your hotel wish list really depends on your reason for travel and how much time you’ll spend at the hotel. When I know I’ll barely be there, arriving late and leaving early, somewhere clean to lay my head is all I need. Quite often though I’m travelling for work for a few days at a time, or at least working on the move while travelling for leisure, so strong wifi is a must. If I’ll be spending a good amount of time in front of a computer working, I’d much rather be able to work outside than stuck inside a hotel room. Admittedly, that wouldn’t help me out too much right now in grey, rainy London but thankfully I usually travel to sunnier climes.

So the real luxury now for me, is not the room size, the pillow menu or room service options, it is to travel with my own bit of outside, private, secure and just for me. I hope the hotel search engines catch up to this and make these gems easier to find.

Here are five hotels with private outdoor space, I’ve happened upon on my travels and would happily stay again and recommend to others.

Paris Hotel, Armenia

Admittedly I stayed here pre-COVID and so the big nice private balcony was an unexpected pleasure, I was more drawn to the location (proximity to my event) and the big rooftop bar/terrace, but still that balcony got a lot of use. Especially when I spent the day stuck in the hotel working while having phone issues – O2 I still hate you for this.

Private terrace at Paris Hotel, Armenia

Hôtel Noir, Paris

A cute boutique hotel which is made for night time fun. Although I stayed here solo for work and was enchanted by the beautiful private terrace, if I was going to be stuck working in Paris, always nicer to be outside. Choose the duplex suite – it’s pretty reasonable for Paris.

Hotel Noir, Paris duplex suite with private terrace

Hotel Paseo del Arte, Madrid

This is a great hotel near Atocha station which is close to lots of galleries, including the Reina Sofia modern art gallery, and walking distance from the Retiro Park where I love to run. Choose the Superior Room, Terrace upgrade which includes this fabulously large private terrace and enjoy your morning coffee with a healthy dose of sunshine.

Private terrace at Hotel Paseo del Arte Madrid

The William Vale, New York

A luxury hotel in Brooklyn, New York, with great views of the city from the rooms complete with private terraces. There is also a great pool, gym etc which were open by appointment during COVID.

View of Brooklyn from my terrace at the William Vale

Al Areen Palace & Spa, Bahrain

And if you think a private terrace is luxurious, how about your own private pool! This property in Bahrain comes with its own swimming pool in the centre and not one, but two private jacuzzis.

Al Areen Palace hotel and spa Bahrain

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