by Bryan Darrow | April 01, 2007

Ambience matters -- just ask any contestant who has experienced the shadowy, wood-paneled opulence of Donald Trump’s mid-Manhattan firing spot on TV’s The Apprentice. Coupling cutting-edge amenities with spectacular views, the following are among the world’s most beautiful -- and beautifully equipped -- boardrooms.

Four Seasons Hotel San FranciscoFour Seasons Hotel San Francisco. The private dining room known appropriately as Windows, at the 268-room Four Seasons San Francisco, often doubles as a boardroom thanks to its ideal size (capacity: 18) and panoramic views of bustling Market Street. The hotel, just a short walk from the Moscone Convention Center, offers more than 15,000 square feet of total meeting space. (415) 633-3000;

Rasa Ria ResortShangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The boardroom meets the boardwalk in any of the three gazebos at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria, set along the South China Sea. (The larger seats 10, the two smaller seat eight each.) The 330-room resort offers 17,000 square feet of total meeting space, which includes two ballrooms. (011) 6088-792-888; www.shangri-

Hotel LungarnoHotel Lungarno, Florence, Italy.The Sala Guarnieri room at the Hotel Lungarno offers a view of the rustic Old Bridge over Florence’s gracefully winding Arno River. It’s wise to book this 20-seat boardroom well in advance, as it is the property’s sole meeting space. The 73-room boutique hotel is just steps away from the famous Uffizi Gallery. (011) 39-055-2726-4000;

Sheraton Centre Toronto HotelSheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The 43rd-floor Club Boardroom at the Sheraton Toronto seats 14 and offers a bird’s-eye view of the city, with one of the world’s tallest buildings -- the CN Tower -- up close and personal. The 1,377-room hotel offers approximately 116,000 square feet of total space divided among nearly 60 meeting rooms, including the 20,213-square-foot Grand Ballroom. (416) 361-1000;