We are not saying you should plan a trip to Bali or Tokyo just to take a dip in one of these pools, but we wouldn’t blame you if you did…
The Amangiri, Canyon Point
It’s easy to see why the pool at this hotel is the first one on our list. Built around an enormous 165-million-year-old rock, it’s a triumph of concrete and architectural lines, and a game-changer when it comes to hotel pools. Being out here feels like being on another planet, albeit one with spartan rooms, the best bison steak, and ridiculously gorgeous terraces and outdoor fireplaces.
The Belmond Hotel Caruso, Italy
The vertiginous infinity pool of the Belmond Hotel Caruso makes it to our list for two reasons. For one, perched 1,000 feet above the Amalfi Coast, it has the most gorgeous views of the rugged coastline. Then, of course, the pathway down to it, flanked by roses, hints at the splendor of the frescoed palazzo it calls home, once the go-to hideaway of the likes of Virginia Woolf, Jackie Kennedy and Humphrey Bogart.
The Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
At the Alila Villas Uluwatu, those Indian Ocean panoramas from the cliff-top pool are reasons enough to check-in, but throw in the award-winning architecture of its latticework rectangles and villas and you’ve got a Balinese holiday that’s less about the beaches and more about contemporary luxury and Asian wellness.
The Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Karl Lagerfeld did quite a number with this hotel, giving it a heated saltwater pool with an haute couture spin and a sexy, summer-in-the-city charm. Think private cabanas, terraced gardens, and an 18-panel black-and-white wall mural, inspired by The Iliad and The Odyssey. He also designed a constellation of lights for the pool floor and it might just be his best work yet with an outdoor space.
The Aman Tokyo, Japan
Even in Aman’s stunning portfolio of hotels and resorts, the Aman Tokyo is something special. For a start, it’s the group’s first urban address, 33 floors above Tokyo’s busy streets. Then, of course, there is that perfect combination of Japanese zen sensibilities and western comforts everywhere you look. In the lobby, hotel designer Kerry Hill mixed walls of rough-hewn stone with washi paper ceilings, and in the rooms, tables crafted from light camphor wood meet low-slung seats upholstered in stark black. But if we had to pick, the hotel’s 100-foot indoor pool high up the tower, and overlooking the financial district, has got to be its absolute highlight…
La Réserve Geneva, Switzerland
The highlight of this hotel is its superb spa, and the whole floor unfolds around a large heated indoor pool imagined by designer Jacques Garcia. Come here for a secret territory of quietness and a world beyond time, reminiscent of a lost paradise. The pool is also adjacent to a bar lounge with a sexy decor of red and brown leather and exquisite candles so you’re in for quite treat.
The Capella Ubud, Bali
Clearly, Bali has a thing for architecturally stunning hotel pools, and architect Bill Bensley has a knack for conjuring hotels with out-of-the-box looks. For the Capella Ubud, he channeled the essence of an ancient rainwater reservoir found on the site during the construction of the hotel, and the result was a pool made from steel plates assembled by hand to create a zigzag pattern and surrounded by the lushest palms and greenery.
The Amanyara, Turks & Caicos
At the Amanyara in Turks and Caicos, timber loungers surround the most magazine-worthy onyx infinity pool. Throw in the private beach just out front, and the surrounding garden brimming with native island vegetation, and you’ve got one of the best places on earth to watch a sunset.
The Grace Hotel Santorini, Greece
If we didn’t know better, we’d think this pool was master-planned with drone photography in mind. Rising almost 1,000 feet above the Caldera, it hangs over the Aegean with the most stunning views of the Venetian ruins and the endless horizon. Heighten the experience with a signature Grace cocktail by resident mixologist Salvatore Calabrese and you’ll find it hard to ever leave this made-to-order retreat to declutter the mind and body.
The One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
At the One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives, the bar is set high for water pleasures, be it for its over-water pavilions, sunbathing decks set on stilts above the turquoise sea, the Watsu pool of the spa or the adults-only Serenity one, overlooking the lagoon and almost 100 feet long. It’s a pool-within-a-pool-within-the-sea, and there is nothing quite like it.
The Amankila, Bali
A list that starts with an Aman should end with an Aman… In this case, we are choosing the Amankila in Bali, a hotel that does pools better than any other. There is the three-tiered infinity pool, of course, inspired by the nearby water palace of Ujung, but the true showstopper might just be the spirit-lifting sea-view pool of the Kilasari Suite. Its dramatic watery horizon is the one travelers dream of, and the luxury feeling that comes from having your own villa with a private terrace is unmistakably Balinese.
For more traveling inspiration, stay tuned to this space… There is more where this came from!