The Seven Best Seats In The World
Time for a breather?
This feature is brought to you by the new Qantas A330 Business Suite - the best seats in the sky
When travelling, you tend to burn up your energy pretty quickly. There’s something about constantly rushing around trying to cram as many sights as possible into your eyes that just really takes it out of you. After a full day of climbing stairs, darting around streets and running for the metro of which ever amazing locale you find yourself in, there truly is no better feeling than taking a little time out, planting your behind and relaxing in a comfortable seat. Chosen for their stunning views, next level comfort or their badge of iconography, we’ve compiled a list of seven seats in the world we’d rather be relaxing in right now.
#1 The wooden benches at Uluru
Although Uluru looks pretty rounded from a distance and in photos, up close it’s much more interestingly textured. There are several hiking trails you can follow around the rock for a closer view, including the ten kilometre Uluru Base Walk during which you’re taken on frequent diversions toward Uluru as it curves and folds into interesting nooks and fissures. At the end of that trek you can sit down on one of several wooden benches, each unique and carved from a single tree, and enjoy a final look at the monolith you’ve learnt to appreciate.
#2 The Marina Bay Sands Resort infinity pool
Imagine somebody plunked the top deck of a cruise ship onto a 57-storey skyscraper in Singapore. That’s what the top level of the Marina Bay Sands Resort is like, one of the city’s “integrated resorts” (essentially casinos) that reportedly cost $5.4 billion to build. And on the top of that resort building is an infinity pool, the kind where the water stretches right to the edge of the rooftop. The view – if the idea of lying on a floating deck chair on an edgeless pool in the sky doesn’t terrify you too much to enjoy it – is absolutely spectacular.
#3 Park Guell’s continuous bench
Barcelona’s Park Guell, designed by Antoni Gaudí, was intended to be a private residential garden city, but was later transformed into a public park. Its fairytale gingerbread buildings and natural colonnades are surrounded by a twisting bench that snakes around the entire park, encrusted with a mosaic of multi-coloured ceramic shards. A stone bench covered in shards may not sound like a comfortable resting spot but Gaudi was ahead of his time when it came to ergonomics. When he was designing the bench in the early 1900s he convinced a workman to drop pants and sit in soft plaster so that he could model the perfect anatomical curve for the seat.
#4 Central Park’s Whisper Bench
Near the Delacorte Theater in Central Park there’s a Shakespeare Garden planted with flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. It was one of many civic improvements Park Commissioner Charles B. Stover was responsible for, and his accomplishments were recognised with a bench in that park. A bench may seem like a pretty ordinary memorial, but the Charles B. Stover Bench is 20-feet of Deer Island granite, and it’s carved into a block that’s curved at such an angle you can whisper into one curling end and be heard at the other. It’s popularly known as Whisper Bench today.
#5 The bench in front of the Taj Mahal
The construction of the Taj Mahal by emperor Shah Jahan was inspired by the death of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. His third wife, she died bearing their 14th child. The elaborate mausoleum that is the Taj Majal’s centrepiece took 16 years to build. In front of the building there’s a simple, unprepossessing bench that became famous after a lonely photo of Princess Diana sitting there by herself was taken there two months before her separation from Prince Charles. It’s now become a romantic spot to have your photo taken. A bench associated with a divorce outside a palace inspired by death – a literal tomb – and it’s considered romantic. *shrug emoji* It’s a very nice view.
#6 The Stone of Scone
The original Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, was used in the coronation of monarchs of Scotland and later England, where the sandstone rock was built into the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey. Although there’s a Stone of Scone currently held among the crown jewels of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, after being stolen and returned and allegedly copied several times over the centuries, no one can say for certain if it’s the real thing. So the replica version, outside historic Scone Palace near the Scottish city of Perth, is just as good and you’re much more likely to be able to sit on it and declare yourself once and future lord of the realm.
#7 The Nokia Ultra Screen lounges in Bangkok
Going to see a movie in Thailand is normally pretty cheap, but if you want to pay VIP prices – closer to what we already pay in Australia – you can enjoy the luxury experience of the Nokia Ultra Screen in Bangkok. Before the movie you get to relax in a waiting lounge with free snacks and drinks, and the cost of your ticket includes a foot massage. In the theatre itself the chairs are plush loungers with blankets and pillows, and can be reclined back into a bed if the movie’s really boring. You will have stand for the King before the movie starts of course, because that’s the way it goes in Thailand.
This feature was brought to you by the new Qantas A330 Business Suite – the best seats in the sky. Enjoy fully flat beds with direct aisle access that can stay in recline and fitted with the mattress from take-off right through to landing so you can have more time to sleep and relax before you arrive.
(Lead image: Vitor Monteiro / Unsplash)