The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #220

by Chas Danner & Chris Bodenner


A reader sees the Far East:

Aberdeen Fishing Village, Southern edge of Hong Kong Island, China.

A much more detailed entry:

My guess is that this a view of the Mediterranean coast of Peniscola, Spain. Several factors lead me to draw this conclusion. The piece of land appears to be a peninsula because part of it juts out farther than the rest, creating two inlets of water. The water is almost certainly the salt-water ocean, as indicated by the crashing waves and decreasing water level on the shoreline. The leaves of the trees in the center and top left corner of the image suggest there are palm trees, which do, in fact, grow in Peniscola.

Peniscola has a peninsula and the Serra D’Irta mountain range behind it. The intense blue of the water and golden color of the sand in the image very closely resemble the colors of the coast of where the Mediterranean Sea borders Spain. The architecture of the buildings along the coast – the salmon colored rooftops and white stone – are also extremely similar in appearance to images of buildings on the coast of Peniscola. In comparing an image of the Peniscola peninsula to this view, the architectural style of buildings, mountain range, and vegetation including palm trees in the two photographs appear to be very similar. One difference, however, is that the view from the window has more vegetation such as heavy tree growth and fewer houses. I believe the photographs were taken from different angles and in different points along the coast. The view from the window is more distant from the main hub of houses, possibly closer to the mountains and more isolated.​

Another finds a loophole:

You’ve ruined every one of my Saturdays for over a year now with your obscure locales, wild goose chases and Google Street View shenanigans.  But finally, I can say with absolute certainty where this photo is located – my balcony:

View from your window

Yee-haw, gimme my book.

Another reader is thinking the south of France:

I took one look at that picture and the words from a song in the early-1960s British Musical Stop The World – I Want To Get Off popped from my lips:

Give me half a chance
In the South of France
To make my pitch
And I’ll be dirty, rotten, stinkin’ filthy rich.

Of course I’m probably whole continents off from where this actually is, but now I should get out the vinyl and listen to the original cast recording for the first time in decades since it’s going to be going through my head all afternoon anyway.

A whole continent off, sadly. An eagle-eyed player notes an essential clue for amateur hotel reviewers:

Wherever it is, they are automatically going to lose a star on Trip Advisor.  Why can’t building staff take care of all those annoying dead bugs in webs on the outside of the windows?

Another finds the view within:

Green mountains, white beaches, palm trees … I’ve never been there but this is how I imagine the Caribbean Sea.

Wrong coast. Another try:

Catalina Island, California.

Wrong country, but the following reader nails the right one:

santa cruz huatulco

In April our cruise ship docked at the port of the Pacific beach resort village of Santa Cruz Huatulco, Oaxaca State, Mexico.  The coast line there has several small bays, each with a cluster of resort hotels and condos.  Every thing looks new and fresh and clean, all perfect for the comfort of the turista.  I couldn’t make an exact match from the Google satelite images, but my educated guess is the Huatulco coast.

A few other readers guessed Acapulco, but the following reader remembers the view, even after four decades and the march of Mexico’s progress:

There are some immediate dead giveaways that this view is of the Pacific coast of Mexico: the vaguely Moorish, white-stucco hotel turrets, the white-painted trunks of the palm trees, the golden sand, the nearby mountain range, the banana trees, the little turista-jaunt boats anchored just off shore, and the multiple bays. We are looking at the Tesoro Manzanillo resort in Manzanillo. I have no idea from what window.

But allow me a Dishian digression. In 1970, while on Christmas break from college, I drove with two other girlfriends from San Antonio down the Gulf Coast, stopping in Veracruz and then on through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to Oaxaca. We foolishly scored grass everywhere we went, bought embroidered blouses, got very tan, drank fresa con leche, dallied with cute boys, and endured the rudimentary toilets of Pemex stations all to the soundtrack of the recently released Plastic Ono Band:

Ah, youth. In Oaxaca we asked the locals where we should go on the West Coast that was beautiful but not touristy. “Manzanillo,” they said. Four years later Las Hadas opened, the prototype for all other Moorish-turreted Manzanillan resorts and put the little fishing village on the map. Asi es la vida.

A previous winner notes:

Manzanillo hosts the fleet of Mexico’s Navy Region 6 and the city is home to the only statue of Snoopy outside the United States. Both of which, sadly, are in the opposite direction from this view out of Villa Las Cumbres.

Another reader:

This is the first contest where I recognized the subject of the photo. Years ago my wife and I traveled to the state of Colima, in which Manzanillo is located, to visit her sister. She arranged a two-night stay for us at Las Hadas Resort, also on the Peninsula de Santiago, where we enjoyed very inexpensive accommodations in exchange for sitting through a hard-sell time share “opportunity”! Las Hadas, being the location for the Blake Edwards film “10” which popularized white-girl cornrows, showed that film nightly in the guest rooms.

Meanwhile, Chini figures that many were frustrated by this week’s view:

Between the holiday and US Open tickets I was hoping for a quick hunt this weekend and we got just that. Unfortunately, it probably made some view-hunters miserable. Finding this view is all about using small clues to locate an otherwise generic resort. If you did it right (as I’m guessing a ton of folks did) this one was a near insta-find. But if you misinterpreted them you could spend hours searching Hawaii, Indonesia or the like.

This week’s view comes from the shores of Manzanillo, Mexico:

VFYW Manzanillo Bird's Eye Marked - Copy

The pic was taken next to a potted plant at the top of a staircase in the main hallway of the Villa Las Cambres bed and breakfast and looks north by northwest along a heading of 332.75 degrees over Ascencia harbor.

Another has a pic of that potted plant:

I spent a good amount of time Saturday afternoon scanning the coast of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Eventually I gave up on the Caribbean because most of the large resorts didn’t really have fishing boats close in, and there weren’t that many places with mountains that large close to the sea.

I switched my focus to smaller peninsulas along the Pacific coast of Mexico, and a few minutes later found the Santiago Peninsula in Manzanillo, Mexico. We are looking down at the Tesoro Manzanillo resort from a rental house called Villa Las Cumbres. Helpfully, they have a Facebook page with quite a few photos.

Along the top floor (just inside the front door?), there are two large windows:


A view from the street level provides a view through the right window, which is close but too far right.


So that leaves us with the left window. I tried to find a decent exterior view, but the best I could get is a crop of a wide angle Panoramio photo from way, way down on the beach:


This week’s picture was taken by someone standing on the landing, through the window highlighted below. Quick and dirty Photoshop reenactment created with help from Shutterstock:


Good contest – not so hard to find the location, but getting the window was a bit tricky because the geography made street view useless.

This week’s winner was last week’s runner up and another veteran player from our list of long-suffering Correct Guessers:

This week’s picture was taken in Manzanillo, Mexico, from the northwest side of Villa Las Cumbres B&B (43 Avenida de los Riscos). Here is the window, on the 2nd floor:


A tough one, at least for me. It was fairly easy to tell that this was probably some tropical
American country; the obvious clue to follow afterwards was the hotel in Moorish-Mediterranean style in the bottom right corner of the picture, but for some reason it took me nowhere at first. A Tesoro – “treasure”– so is named the resort – a little hard to unearth.

From the view’s submitter, a contest veteran himself:

I was pleasantly surprised to see my window submission show up as this week’s contest. I don’t get to travel much, and when I saw this view I knew it would make a good contest.

Here’s some more detail about the location: The shot was taken from the entry hall of a rental vacation home at Avenida de los Riscos 43, Manzanillo, Mexico. The property is also called Villa Las Cumbres (House of the Summits). Every year, we take a trip with my kids and my brother’s kids to a beach somewhere, usually Oregon, Washington or Texas. We call it the “Cousins’ Trip” and this year we splurged and went out of the country to Manzanillo. I’d never been to the Pacific coast of Mexico before and it was breathtaking. We managed to luck out and find this house that sleeps 10 on AirBnB the day before and the views were spectacular.


Above is a shot of the house from the beach, with the window highlighted. My only regret is that I have to wait until next week to solve a contest.

(Archive: Text|Gallery)