Experiential Travel

7 Gorgeous Open-Air Hotel Rooms You Have to See to Believe

Lounging in your king-size bed, the cool breeze floating in around you, nothing between you and the amazing scenery outside . . . yet you still have enough privacy that you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing. Three-walled hotel rooms are simply better than four-walled ones. See for yourself at these seven resorts featuring open-air hotel rooms.

Ladera, St. Lucia

Ladera paradise suite st. lucia.

If I could only stay at one hotel for the rest of my life, it would be Ladera. This idyllic luxury hotel on St. Lucia truly makes for the vacation of a lifetime. Perched in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ladera sits on a high volcano ridgeline overlooking St. Lucia’s famous Piton Mountains and the ocean. Book one of the Hotel Spotlight: Ladera and you’ll feel like you could reach out and touch Gros Piton as you gently swing in the breeze on your own personal over-water swing above your private heated pool.

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Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica

Pacuare lodge costa rica.

Pacuare Lodge is truly off-the-beaten path. Don’t expect to drive or take a bus here, as you’ll need to take a thrilling rafting trip or be chauffeured in via 4×4. Once you do arrive, though, you’ll be surrounded by the jungle in your own private suite or villa. All of the accommodations have sliding glass doors as the fourth wall, so you can open them up and feel like you’re camping in the rainforest.

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Petit St. Vincent, Private Island

Petit st. vincent private island.

In case being on your own private island wasn’t secluded enough, each of Petit St. Vincent’s cottages and villas are spread out throughout the property so that you have complete solitude. The rooms all have floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that you can leave open and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean.

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Esperanza Resort, Mexico

Esperanza resort terrace spa suite.

Not sure if you’ll be able to sleep in an open-air hotel room? Try out the Esperanza Resort’s Terrace Spa Suite, a room with an attached rooftop patio—and a king bed that can be easily rolled from indoors to out. Sleep under the open sky or retreat back inside at the first sign of rain.

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L’Albereta, Italy

L'albereta cabriolet suite italy.

L’Albereta’s Cabriolet suite may have all four walls, but its roof is optional, earning it a spot on this list. This elegant room overlooks Lake Iseo, and has a retractable ceiling that can be opened with the push of a button for impromptu stargazing.

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Verana, Mexico

Verana hotel mexico.

The only way to reach the small village of Yelapa is to take a boat along the coast of Mexico. Once there, the only way to reach Verana hotel is via an uphill hike. As soon as you see the boutique hotel, you’ll be glad you made the journey. Choose from one of the property’s open-air suites that overlook the jungle, and soak in the serenity from your private pool.

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Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia

Jade mountain resort st. lucia.

Each of the 29 rooms at Jade Mountain overlooks the mountains and the Caribbean Sea, and are designed to be completely private—so there’s no need for a fourth wall. Book a star, moon, sun, or galaxy suite to get your own infinity pool from which to admire the views.

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What to Wear in Your Open-Air Hotel Room

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Caroline Morse Teel wants to stay in all of these open air hotel rooms. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from her adventures around the world.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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