Six of the best: High-rise hotels



Sao Paulo's traffic snarl has become so bad, the city's elite have traded their Mercedes for helicopters to avoid spending hours stuck in a jam. Thoughtfully, the Emiliano has provided its guests with a rooftop helipad. Even if you are not travelling by private chopper, the hotel's high-in-the-sky spa offers unforgettable views of the city's endless sea of skyscrapers, as well as wooden ofuro baths, a Turkish bath, a pool and a gym. The Emiliano is a hotel for movers and shakers. Hence its location on the uber-posh, tree-lined Rua Oscar Freire, its all-white interiors, Carrara marble bathrooms and 500-thread-count sheets. Rooms from $US850 ($935).




Beach resort or city break? Hotel Arts Barcelona lets you enjoy both at the same time. Many travellers spend so much time exploring Barcelona's atmospheric neighbourhoods, from the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter to the elegant Eixample, they forget this is a Mediterranean city. Jog your memory at this seaside tower, built as part of the 1992 Olympic Village. As well as its location by the beach, we love the Michelin-starred restaurant and the spa with the drop-dead views. The fact it is within strolling distance of Gaudi's Park Guell and the Joan Miro Foundation is a bonus. Rooms from €225 ($345).





Shanghai is a 21st-century boom town, a city where the frenetic buzz never stops. Those who can afford it, however, can float above the affray at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, located between the 79th and 93rd floors of the Shanghai World Financial Centre. Up here, it is all about tranquillity, from the neutral-toned interiors to the delicate custom-composed soundtrack. Start your day with tai chi classes at the Water's Edge Courtyard on the 85th floor, and finish with drinks in the Living Room bar, with the city's iconic skyline spread out in front of you. And when you are in the mood, you can venture down and find out what the rest of the city is up to. Rooms from Yuan 5500 ($990).




The building that houses the Radisson Royal is a piece of history. After World War II, Stalin commissioned the construction of seven buildings, known as the Seven Sisters, to dominate the Moscow skyline. Largely built by prisoners of the gulag or German POWs, they were the first European skyscrapers. Each had an extraordinary budget of 2.6 billion rubles - more than the budget for rebuilding the devastated city of Stalingrad. With its striking exterior and lavish interiors - including an impressive collection of 20th-century Russian art - this particular Sister is still knocking the socks off visitors. Rates start at 11,000 rubles ($330).




Marina Bay Sands is a textbook illustration of the notion bigger is better. Not so much a hotel as a destination that just happens to have 2500 guest rooms, the complex includes three 55-storey towers topped with a 12,400-square-metre "boat". Its most photogenic feature is the 150-metre cantilevered infinity pool jutting out into the sky; however, there are also more than 300 high-end retail outlets, including a floating Louis Vuitton store, and an Art Science Museum shaped like a lotus leaf. There is even an "ice" rink made of a polymer designed to resemble frozen water. Rooms from $SG369 ($320).




There is a lot to love about the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, from its rooms - starting at 52 square metres, they are some of the largest in town - to the fact the subway station downstairs makes getting around town hassle-free. Shoppers will be thrilled to learn it is part of Roppongi's Tokyo Midtown Tower, one of the city's most popular retail destinations. What really sets the hotel apart from the competition, however, is its views. Tokyo Midtown is one of Tokyo's tallest buildings and the hotel, located on the top nine floors, has unbeatable views of the Imperial Palace and Mount Fuji - which means you can take superb selfies without ever leaving the hotel. Rooms start at $US480.