Local minibars, Bluetooth speakers and bespoke toiletries. More and more, hotels are stocking their guest rooms with upscale and state-of-the-art amenities as a way to draw bookings. But for many travelers, there’s one feature that trumps pillow menus, LCD TVs and all the rest: a balcony. After all, does anything beat watching the sun rise or set? Or simply getting some fresh air? In-room extras are nice to have, but they just can’t compete. Of course, not all balconies are cut from the same cloth. Here are some of the best hotel balconies we’ve seen, from Big Sur to Bangkok.

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

There’s every hotel room in the world, then there are the rooms at Jade Mountain. Called “sanctuaries,” Jade Mountain’s rooms feature an innovative three-wall design (something many hotels have since tried to mimic) that opens up the space to the elements. Those elements, by the way, are views of the Pitons, the lush rainforest and the Caribbean Sea. Where the fourth walls should be, there are stone platforms with cushioned lounge chairs and minimal railing to maximize the view. All 29 sanctuaries have hot tubs or infinity pools stretching toward the outside world. The pools are surfaced with luminous glass tiles and fiber optic lights, for nighttime swims under the stars.

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