As temperatures begin to climb in the US, booking a hotel just to lounge poolside all day doesn't seem like such a bad way to spend a vacation. With that in mind, an incredible pool can really up the ante on an already great hotel experience, especially when you consider heading to a warm-weather destination. “If I'm heading somewhere warm, I always prioritize booking a hotel with an outdoor pool,” explains Brandon Berkson, founder of Hotels Above Par (an expert-curated guide for boutique hotels and travel lovers). “Personally, I go crazy for infinity pools. In fact, I can't stress enough how outdoor pools are such a deciding factor when I'm planning a getaway to a sunny destination.”
While few things conjure up a summer getaway quite like shimmering blue swimming pools, according to our team of experts, what sets an amazing one apart from the rest can be broken down into three categories: outstanding architecture, grand views, and (often) that stunning infinity effect. So, whether you’re aiming for a shady respite from the sun, a tranquil place to lounge, or a pool with a thriving social scene, here’s where to make a splash on your next vacation. Ahead, 20 of the most epic hotel and resort pools ... ever.
COMO Laucala Island: Fiji
On this private island in Fiji, the glass-walled lap pool situated within the 4,000-square-foot lagoon-style pool is taking the concept of “lap of luxury” to a whole new level. “Complete with 25 residences, a private runway, 18-hole championship golf course, horseback riding, endless water sports, and breathtaking natural beauty, Laucala Island is truly as good as it gets when it comes to 5-star hospitality,” explains Kristen Korey Pike, CEO and founder of KK Travels Worldwide.
Four Seasons Serengeti: Tanzania
Deep in one of the world’s most well-celebrated wildlife preserves lies a breathtaking infinity pool overlooking a nearby watering hole, which is known to be a gathering hotspot for local wildlife. “The pool,” at the FS Serengeti, “overlooks the plains on eye level with passing elephant herds,” explains Nancy J. Dries, of Nancy J. Dries Vacations, who are no doubt stopping by for their morning sip — while you enjoy your morning dip. As they roam freely among the endless, untamed landscapes, relaxing by the pool and seeing the various wildlife, “Well, it’s an unbelievable life experience,” describes Dries.
Paradero Todos Santos: Todos Santos, Mexico
This brutalist-architecture-styled hotel is an “Unassuming oasis situated in the untrammeled desert that surrounds Todos Santos (Cabo’s cooler alternative that’s just over an hour north),” explains Brandon Berkson. “The pool exudes the word “Instagrammable" with its half-moon-shaped concrete wall opening up to a lounging area, then a vanishing pool that disappears into an endless desert landscape,” says Berkson. An arguably great way to spend the day for a little rest and relajación.
The Silo Hotel: Cape Town, South Africa
Combining chic industrial architecture with opulent glamour, Cape Town’s newest luxury hotel soars above Africa’s first contemporary art museum (MOCAA) on the ever-so-popular V&A Waterfront. Gracing the 11th-floor rooftop, the hotel’s heated infinity pool, “overlooks Table Mountain from above and is just as breathtaking as the Hotel itself,” describes Dries. Be sure to grab a drink from the rooftop bar and settle in for sunset, as the view’s from this hotel are as mesmerizing as they are memorable.
Moskito Island: British Virgin Islands
“Moskito Island is Richard Branson’s newest private retreat in the British Virgin Islands,” explains Berkson. With three incredible estates available to buy out, the pool choices are endless. “The huge infinity-edge pool at The Point Estate offers unparalleled views of the surrounding turquoise waters and neighboring islands. I’ve been to a lot of pools and let me tell you: the swim-up pool bar, fire pit in the pool, and surround-sound music system make this one of my favorites in the Caribbean.”
Belmond Hotel Caruso: Amalfi Coast, Italy
As one of Italy’s top luxury spa hotels, this converted palace at the Belmond Hotel Caruso overlooks the highest point above the town of Ravello, Italy on the Amalfi Coast. Between the impossibly blue sea and sky, the endless horizon views at the infinity pool will make you feel as if you were suspended in the clouds. “It feels like being in heaven! I tell my clients to make a wish and blow a kiss into the sky,” exclaims Dries.
Andronis Concept Wellness Resort: Santorini, Greece
In a town situated precariously on a cliff, it’s hard not to find a hotel in Santorini that doesn’t have jaw-dropping views of the Aegean Sea. “At the Andirons Concept Wellness Resort, no bad room exists as each one features a private plunge pool. I have a sweet spot for private plunge pools, especially ones with a backdrop featuring Santorini’s white-clad houses, caldera landscapes, and piercingly blue sea,” says Berkson.
La Mamounia: Marrakech, Morocco
Awaken your serenity at this Moroccan gem, which features three individual Riad accommodations that include a pool and patio terrace, equipped with Moorish-style architecture, marble textures, and zellige tiles designed by internationally acclaimed designer Jacques Garcia. Behind each traditional door, lies a history that dates as far back as the 18th century in this former palace. In addition to the luxe accommodations, this hotel offers a full-service spa with authentic cultural treatments that will leave you feeling not only refreshed — but like Moroccan royalty.
Marina Bay Sands: Singapore
Soaring above the Singapore skyline, this massive 500-foot-long outdoor infinity pool is perhaps one of the most famous rooftop pools worldwide, thanks to its unique triple-tower architecture topped by a “surfboard-like” SkyPark. While being on the 57th floor can be a bit intimidating, the pool, observatory deck, blooming gardens, and restaurants will reward you with the best breathtaking views of the city for one unforgettable sky-high experience — especially at sunset.
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc: French Riviera
Nestled between Nice and Cannes, this South of France staple is, “undoubtedly la crème de la crème on the Côte d'Azur,” gushes Pike. With a ravishing reputation and roster of glam guests, the cliffside pool at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has long been an icon of the French Riviera since it was built in 1914. Carved into basalt rock, the saltwater pool and pool bar seamlessly merge art deco design with old-school glamour for, as the hotel describes it, “legendary relaxation.”
Amangiri: Utah, USA
This celebrity-loved oasis sits among a sprawling 900 acres of sunburnt mesas and slot canyons of the majestic Colorado Plateau. Providing panoramic views of the canyon, this hotel’s swimming hole is arguably the main star of the property, as it was designed around the 165-million-year-old rock formation which highlights the desert’s striking sculpted sandstone landscapes combined with the sleek modernist design of the hotel. Once you find this hidden gem situated on the border of Utah and Arizona, you’ll find yourself ultimately at ease as a stay here operates as both an agent of relaxation and most importantly — adventure.
Hotel Xcaret México: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Overlooking the property’s cenotes, beach, and lagoons, Hotel Xcaret’s adult-only Casa Fuego rooftop pool brings the fire with a clear-glass suspended (and swimmable) hanging bridge that connects two opposite sections of the pool for jaw-dropping views that’ll make you say, “Wow.” While you’ll need to stay at one of the Casa Fuego suites to access the pool, the property has several equally beautiful pools, lagoons, and beaches you can access at this all-inclusive playground.
Oberoi Udaivilas: Udaipur, India
Set amongst the beautiful backdrop of Lake Pichola, the Oberoi Udavillas boasts an incredible wrap-a-round pool that accents this Mewari palace’s beautiful sand-colored arches and intricate domes in a perfect marriage of nature and outstanding architecture. Although it’s hard not to feel like royalty in this palace, for the ultimate private pool experience, book the Kohinnor Suite for a private plunge pool all to yourself that’s, shall we say, fit for a king!
Grand Hotel Tremezzo: Lake Como, Italy
At the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, you’ll find the iconic water-on-the-water (WOW) swimming pool that floats within Lake Como. While the lake is perfectly swimmable, nothing beats the azure blue pool water that looks as refreshing as it feels. While Instagram pics are a hot commodity here, the flower pool tucked away in the nook of the Palace park offers a tranquil escape with equally stunning views of the Gringe mountains.
Jade Mountain Resort: St. Lucia
If you prefer privacy, the exclusive suites at the Jade Mountain Resort are notorious for being some of the most sought-after rooms in the world. With only three walls, guests can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Piton Mountains from their vanishing edge private plunge pool. Besides the views, what makes these purified pools so special is the unique hand-crafted recycled glass tiles which keep in the hotel’s overall theme of sustainability. For a budget-friendly option, the Ladera Resort, located just up the hill, also offers a sweeping view of the mountains with a three-walled room and private pool, at a fraction of the price. Swoon!
Hotel Villa Honegg: Switzerland
What this 23-room hotel lacks in size, it makes up for in larger-than-life views of Lake Lucerne. Located in the heart of Switzerland, on Mount Bürgenstock, Hotel Villa Honegg sits 914 meters (or 3,000 feet) above sea level overlooking Ennetbürgen with an equally impressive infinity pool and spa at the top. Ideal for summer, winter, fall, or spring, this former mansion-turned villa is an all-season idyllic getaway. So, no matter what day you book your stay, this alpine hotel will surely take your breath away!
Hanging Gardens: Bali
As a country, Bali is well known for its stunning architecture, luxury resorts, and over-the-top swimming pools and spas. What makes the Hanging Gardens of Ubud special is its multi-leveled infinity pools, designed to mimic the pattern of rice fields, whose sprawling views of the jungle go unmatched in grandeur. In addition to the exceptional views of the tropical vegetation from the main pool, each villa also comes with a private pool so you can soak in silence while enjoying the serene sounds of nature. Namaste!
Habitas AlUla: Saudi Arabia
Inspired by the endless dunes, surreal flora and fauna, and other-worldly rock formations, this 96-villa eco-hotel scatters across a vast swath of sand in the Arabian Desert of AlUla and draws in travelers looking to get as close to nature, adventure, and an authentic cultural experience as possible. Sprinkled among the various art installations around the property, the serene piscine (or pool) is a piece of art itself as it emulates a mirage and well-deserved refuge from the hot desert sun — deep in the canyon.
Four Seasons: Maui, USA
Ease into island life at any one of the three salt-water pools at the FS Maui. While the Waterfall and the Fountain Pool are both worth dipping your toes into, the adults-only Serenity Pool boasts a drop-edge infinity pool with arguably the best views of the West Maui Mountains and Lanai Island in Wailea. If you can manage to pry your eyes from the picturesque scenery, the swim-up bar is fully stocked with your island favorites while the music system is always playing a pleasant tune both above and below the water. Aloha relaxation!
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi: Maldives
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has 119 reef, beach, and overwater villas span across three private islands with plenty of dining venues, a world-class spa, and 5-star service. Each private villa is tucked away in a private enclave for maximum privacy with a plunge pool that overlooks the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean for an unforgettable experience that is made even more memorable thanks to the sublime sunsets.