World’s Coolest Plunge Pools
At many top properties, private pools have graduated from a luxury perk to a suite’s pièce de résistance. At the Ladera Resort in St. Lucia, they’re the focal point of every villa—perched on cliff’s edge, like waterfalls cascading into the Caribbean Sea a thousand feet below. At the Conrad Maldives, they’re the centerpiece of select overwater bungalows, jutting dramatically over the Indian Ocean.
They’re not exclusive to breezy island resorts, either: at India’s Lodhi boutique hotel, compact suites are outfitted with in-room pools overlooking the twinkling New Delhi skyline. In the heart of Cartagena, Colombia, courtyard splash pools at the Casa San Agustin offer leafy respite from the bustling urban surrounds, and at Hong Kong’s InterContinental Hotel, rooftop dips come with sunset vistas over busy Kowloon.
Budget-conscious travelers can get in on the action, too: at the Blue Lime Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, modest rooms with their own private saltwater pools start at only $85. And at Indonesia’s Novotel Bali, freestanding thatched-roof villas with courtyard pools go for as low as $290 during off-season. Whatever your taste and budget, there’s a private plunge pool out there to suit you.
Here are a few we suggest diving into.
La Reunión Golf Resort & Residences, Guatemala
With an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye, two infinity pools, and just 26 suites, La Reunión is a true luxury escape. Almost every suite boasts its own pool, from which you can take in views of the Agua, Pacaya, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes. Bonus: suites include hammocks to chill out in, too.
InterContinental Hong Kong
Located on the bustling Kowloon waterfront, this plush inner-city hotel proves that amazing private plunge pools aren’t exclusive to breezy island resorts. Though its three signature suites all boast outdoor Jacuzzis and twinkling skyline vistas, it’s the 7,000-square-foot Presidential Suite that steals the show. The $13,000-a-night suite comes with two 24-hour butlers, a gymnasium, and, best of all, an infinity pool with views over Victoria Harbour.
Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, UT
Though this stylish Canyon Point resort is built around a spectacular negative-edge pool, six of its suites come with their own desert-facing infinity pools for added luxury. Mesa Suite pools come with private sky terraces and sweeping mesa views, and Desert Suites get larger pools overlooking the valley’s endless dunes and plateaus. In the signature Amangiri Suite, a 60-foot rectangular swimming area is built into a spacious outdoor terrace with daybeds and an alfresco dining area—so you can sleep and eat poolside, too.
Casa San Agustin, Colombia
Located in the heart of bustling Cartagena, this stylish boutique hotel feels like the Colombian pied-à-terre you wish you had: grand colonial architecture, lime-washed walls, terracotta tiles, and hip, earthy décor. A handful of its suites come with narrow plunge pools lined with jade tile—fashioned after the hotel’s larger communal pool—and sheltered by tall palms. The pool suites are worth the price: it’s like having your own secret oasis.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
Set on a hidden bay in the East Vietnam Sea and accessible only by boat, this ultra-luxe resort takes privacy to a whole other level—which is necessary, considering you’ll be spending all of your time outdoors, alternating between lazy dips in your private plunge pool and sunbathing on the dramatic rock formation into which it’s been carved. Splurge on one of the five split-level Water Pool Villas, outfitted with large, sunset-facing pools that offer ocean access; just climb out of the pool and down a wooden ladder, right into the sea below.
Cavo Tagoo, Mykonos, Greece
The only thing more luxurious than an infinity pool overlooking the Aegean Sea is your very own private infinity pool overlooking the Aegean Sea. Naturally, each villa at this romantic Mykonos hotel has one, in addition to whitewashed walls, minimalist décor, four-poster beds, and spacious verandas outfitted with Jacuzzi tubs. Book the Diamond Villa, where your oversize ocean-view pool is built into a sumptuous outdoor living room.
Royal Isabela Resort, Puerto Rico
The rustic Royal Isabela Resort, set in the rugged cliffs of Puerto Rico’s northwest coast, opened in 2012 and remains something of a hidden gem, though likely not for long. Each of its 20 elegant, freestanding casitas is outfitted with an expansive wooden deck, an outdoor dining area, and a marble plunge pool that turns into a steaming Jacuzzi with the flick of a switch. The view: over 400 acres of wind-sculpted trees and pristine native flora, with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
Gaia Retreat and Spa, Australia
New South Wales’ lush, unspoiled, subtropical hinterland is renowned for its restorative tranquility, and the Gaia Retreat—owned by Olivia Newton-John—taps right into that appeal. The hotel’s secluded Komala Villas boast picturesque views over the valley’s leafy, verdant landscape, best admired from the up-lit, saltwater infinity pool built into every terrace. To sweeten the deal, there are daybed cabanas and complimentary room service, so guests can enjoy Gaia’s organic, homegrown cuisine poolside.
Ladera Resort, St. Lucia
A cliff-side location, dramatic Piton vistas, and luxe, tree-house-style suites make for a winning trifecta at this St. Lucia institution. Throw in private infinity plunge pools with pool swings and views over the Caribbean Sea—a thousand feet below—and you have the most romantic resort in St. Lucia.
Novotel Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
When it comes to swimming, guests at the Novotel Benoa are spoiled for choice: there are three pools on site, and the warm aquamarine waters of Tanjung Benoa Beach are mere steps away. But if you’re not in the mood for sharing, you can book one of eight thatched-roof Balinese villas, which come with open-air living rooms, alfresco dining areas, and private saltwater plunge pools. And at only $320 a night ($290 during shoulder season), they’re practically a steal.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Private pool or not, the views from this resort are worth the visit alone: it’s at the foot of majestic Mount Otemanu and sits on top of Bora Bora lagoon. Of its 100 dreamy overwater bungalows, 15 are outfitted with their own private saltwater plunge pool, in case the impossibly blue water beneath is too far a trek. Splurge on the 1,576-square-foot Otemanu bungalow for the largest pool of the lot—it even comes with a ladder for easy lagoon access.
The Lodhi, New Delhi
New Delhi’s Lodhi hotel is a study in understated modern luxury, from its sleek, boxy exterior to its beautifully curated collection of Indian art and sculpture. Its 40 suites follow suit with clean, minimalist décor and shallow, in-room plunge pools inlaid with golden-jade tile. With views over the city’s expansive, glittering skyline, these waters are best enjoyed after sundown, cocktail in hand.
Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, Maldives
Whether you opt for an overwater bungalow or beach villa, you can’t go wrong with the Conrad Maldives’s beautiful assortment of digs divided over two separate islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It doesn’t matter anyway; either choice gets you a sprawling wooden sundeck and an infinity plunge pool the exact same shade of jade-blue as the glittering ocean beyond. Should you manage to drag yourself from your room, make sure to check out the hotel’s world-famous Ithaa Restaurant, located 16 feet beneath the ocean.
Leopard Hills Lodge, South Africa
Who says you need to rough it on safari? Sabi Sand Game Reserve’s five-star luxury lodge has eight newly renovated, air-conditioned suites, each with its own luxurious rock plunge pool—the best place for watching the plentiful game in their natural habitat. But be warned: the native animals aren’t the slightest bit shy. Guests have reported waking up to find elephants drinking from their pool, tired of fighting for space at the active water hole nearby.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Nestled serenely at the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, the walled retreat that is Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot couldn’t feel farther from the noisy souks of Marrakesh. Its tranquil grounds are peppered with small, peaceful courtyards and elegant rose gardens, and all 27 rooms and suites offer killer mountain vistas. Though five suites offer private pools, the largest and most beautiful is in the Master Suite. Built into a stone terrace, it’s flanked by lush foliage and boasts the best views in the Kasbah.
Blue Lime, Cambodia
This 23-room hideaway, tucked in an alley behind Phnom Penh’s National Museum, is proof that having your own private plunge pool doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Even budget-conscious travelers can get in on the action when rooms cost only $85! Sure, they’re compact, the walls are solid concrete, and furniture is minimalist at best—but with your own saltwater pool steps from your bedroom, you’ll barely even notice.
Areias do Seixo, Portugal
Less than an hour’s drive from Lisbon, the futuristic concrete-and-glass Areias do Seixo is an architect’s dream. Its rooms and villas pair sleek, ultramodern design with raw, earthy materials, a nod to its rugged natural surroundings. Each of the five villas features a roomy private pool, should the surf at nearby Praia do Seixo be too wild for your liking. And if you’re traveling with little ones, Blue Villa pools are thoughtfully equipped with a hydraulic, automatic pool cover to ensure child safety.