Big or small, round or rectangular – there’s really no one-size fits all when it comes to hotel pools. But get the views and setting right and they instantly become blissed out spots to relax and contemplate. Here are 10 stunners to dip your toes into.
Hotel Seesteg was at one time an 18th century warehouse used for storage during stormy weather. It remains a safe haven, albeit for guests looking for rest and relaxation in its 16 Scandi-chic rooms, each offering an unobstructed view of the North Sea. The panorama is even better from the rooftop, where the 20-meter/65-foot pool with an infinity edge gives the illusion that the water runs straight into the sea.
Hotel Seesteg, Norderney, Germany
Jutting out into the Mediterranean, Monte-Carlo Beach is surrounded on three sides by the dazzling azur sea lapping at its private beach. For a pool to steal the show then, it needs to be extraordinary. Here, an Olympic-sized number, studded on all sides with sun loungers and parasols, certainly ticks the box, whether you want to swim or frolick. All that’s left to do is clear the agenda and enjoy.
Monte-Carlo Beach, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France
The Swiss village of Lenk im Simmental has been home to a spa hotel for over 350 years and the tradition continues today at Lenkerhof. While it has an indoor pool for swimming laps, the outdoor pool with stunning mountain views is the star attraction. The water comes from the naturel Lenker spring, and the temperature is topped up to 34°C/93°F, while the fountains gently massage all the tension from your muscles.
Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort, Lenk im Simmental, Switzerland
Dominica is one of the least developed Caribbean islands, shunning big resorts for lush green vegetation. At Secret Bay, this leafy canopy ensures all sixteen of its spacious villas are shrouded in privacy. So when you step into the plunge pool of the Zabuco Honeymoon Villa, with nothing but the sea and the peaks of Cabrits National Park in the distance, it can feel like time has stopped for this moment.
Secret Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica
Marrakech’s medina might be noisy and chaotic, but step into Villa des Orangers, a property filled with gardens and fountains, and tranquillity reigns supreme. The epitome of this can be found by the private pool of its Riad Millésime, where tiled alcoves create intimate spaces, and banana palms and olive trees offer dappled shade. You hardly have to lift a finger and a cold drink will appear.
Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco
From its perch located on the southern bank of the Douro River, The Yeatman offers an unobstructed view of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto, just on the other side of the water. Surrounding the hotel are historical houses of Porto, where the most traditional fortified wines age in enormous oak casks. The outdoor pool, shaped like a carafe, seamlessly blends into this wine-themed hotel. It is a true haven of peace that invites relaxation and well-being, with a fascinating view of the city and the river, even underwater. What better place to quench your thirst?
The Yeatman, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Beyrouth is a buzzy city that lives for its rooftops and Albergo Hotel has made the most of theirs with a photogenic emerald-tiled pool, furnished with padded waterbeds and sheltered daybeds. At just seven storeys, it may be considered a low-rise anywhere else, but this pool commands impressive views of the neighbourhood. And with a hanging garden adjacent, summer days here are positively transportative.
Hotel Albergo, Beyrouth, Lebanon
Perched at the precipice of an extinct volcano, Pikaia Lodge has a uniquely elevated position overlooking the Galapagos National Park, beyond which the ocean stretches yet further into the horizon. From the vantage point of the infinity pool, this view feels even more expansive – the perfect spot to reflect on the myriad of experiences you’ll have enjoyed on the islands, or to simply contemplate life.
Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Il San Corrado di Noto has really gone the extra mile – their aptly named One Hundred Blue pool is an epic 100 meters/328 feet long, ensuring any fitness enthusiast will have their fill of lengths to swim. The inspiration comes from the classic designs of Greeks and Romans, who created enormous pools for the training of athletes. After a few lengths, the deckchairs invite you to a gentle moment of relaxation.
Hotel Il San Corrado di Noto, Noto, Italy
With an enviable hilltop location overlooking Biscay Bay, Akelarre is perhaps best known for its Michelin three star restaurant. But it’s safe to say the same level of service and attention to detail has been transferred to its 22 rooms and suites. The most exclusive of these is the Ocean Suite – this is where you’ll find your personal indoor/outdoor plunge pool with the best views in the house.
Akelarre - Restaurant & Hotel, San Sebastián, Spain