Sand Rivers Selous, Tanzania
This classic safari lodge occupies a rocky outcrop overlooking the Rufiji River in the largest game reserve in Africa. There are just five open-fronted stone and thatch cottages with loos-with-views — all bathrooms face the river. Instead of joining wallowing hippo and crocodile, cool off in the pool shaded by an ancient baobab tree. From £403pppn all inclusive. Aardvark Safaris offers a 25 per cent discount*. aardvarksafaris.co.uk
Plaza on the River, London
Staff stories about a guest casting off from a third-floor balcony are probably apocryphal, but you couldn't get any closer to the river unless you were staying on a houseboat. This 65-suite hotel offers a Thames-side location minutes from the South Bank. Ask for — what else? — a river-view suite. Doubles from £169. plazaontheriver.co.uk
Gresham Palace, Budapest
This restored Art Nouveau gem sits at the foot
of the famous Chain Bridge overlooking the Danube. It has floor-to-ceiling wrought-iron staircases, stained-glass windows, and crystal chandeliers sprinkled with the work of prominent 20th-century Hungarian artists. Doubles from £356. fourseasons.com/budapest
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
Radisson Blu's first North American hotel is located in a rippled skyscraper in the up-and-coming Lakeshore East neighbourhood. The hotel is a couple of blocks west of Lake Michigan and there are two pools. The lobby has a shimmering copper disc screen and a metres-long real fire.
BA offers three nights from £799pp with flights**. Visit ba.com/chicago or call +44(0)844 493 0758.
Located on the banks of the River Main, this former flour mill dates back to 1520 and combines ancient and new to dizzying effect. Exposed beams and stone walls are the backdrop to a curvaceous white leather check-in desk. Thirteen rooms and five suites are simply decorated, and there's a 500-seat riverside garden. Doubles from £246. designhotels.com/gerbermuehle
*On stays of four nights or more. **Based on departures in September, room only including return flights from London Heathrow.
Read more: the best dog-friendly UK hotels and great hotels for walkers.