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A Room With a View: Learning to Take It All In.
By Janelle Dumalaon ~ Weekly Exclusive - Global Views On Recent Trends
Monday, 2nd June 2014
Exclusive Feature: There's a time and place for Instagram – but then there are times and places where filters would not do justice, perhaps even spoil, the visual buffet of colors and movement that nature put together.

In those times, in those places, the best thing to do, instead of capturing the moment, is to simply be in the moment. Swap instant photo messaging services for your mind's eye, and you will be surprised just how indelible an imprint beautiful places can make on your imagination.

Some hotels know this very well, and exist to provide precisely the vantage point for this sort of visual stimulation. Starting with the Grand Fjord Hotel in Norway, where the view of Geirangerfjord lets one appreciate just how beautiful an accident fjords really are.

The long, narrow deep-hued inlets framed with cliffs are a product of years of glacial erosion. On the hotel's balconies, one can silently contemplate the natural forces that worked to allow this view to exist. One can opt for more interactive contemplation, by taking a boat into the fjord. Passive viewer or intrepid explorer will have the same wonder in their eyes. Why wouldn’t they?

On the other side of the world, the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, located near the Tanzanian border, boasts a view of the Kilimanjaro Mountain, in all its 5,000-meter majesty.  Located within one of the world's biggest national parks, the lodge is the perfect place from which to gaze upon the mountain and the kilometers of savannah at its foot.

If you're lucky – which, let's face it, if you're here, then you're lucky – you might even see any number of elephants, buffaloes, or lions that call this wonderful stretch of earth home.

Sometimes though, satisfaction doesn’t only come from seeing what has always been there but from seeing how far human work and talent can shape a place. The Peninsula Shanghai, located right on the historic waterfront Bund, offers some of the most breathtaking view of Shanghai’s glittering skyline from their rooms.

Or, if one prefers to marvel at the panorama in the company of others, one can head up to the rooftop bar, and take in the shimmering steel, lights, and water, drink(s) in hand.

But not all man-made wonders are towering testaments to modernity; some have been around thousands of years as well. The Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel & Spa in Cairo allows one to immerse in the ancient beauty of the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx, which are a kilometer away. Swim in the hotel pool in 2014, but take your head out of the water to breathe in 2584 BC. Rest and relaxation has never been this fascinating.

So, book that flight and clear you’re mind. You are going to be filling it with beautiful things.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from is not permitted.

Janelle Dumalaon is a correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. She has a Masters in Cultural Journalism from the University of Arts in Berlin and now works with journalists across the globe as part of international journalism organization, Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA). Janelle believes in traveling light, deviating from itineraries, and trying the street food.

Janelle writes a regular exclusive column for
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