Upscale Living magazine brings you the most spectacular pools with a view. From Botswana to the Caribbean, they all have one common denominator – you will want to stay poolside for as long as you possibly can.
1. Hotel Arts Barcelona, Spain
Hotel Arts Barcelona features an infinity pool providing one of the best views in the seaside city, all from a hotel pool. The infinity pool and lounge at Hotel Arts Barcelona looks out onto the sparkling Mediterranean Sea while also offering a view of Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture over its vanishing edges. Located on the terraces of the hotel’s second floor, the infinity pool was constructed by Duran Arquitectes. It was built to complement the existing pool in a distinctive area of the hotel. The unique design and space where the pool is located on Hotel Arts Barcelona’s coastal urban property truly blur the line between city and sea. The space surrounding the pool is a versatile area that acts as a relaxing, urban oasis during the day where guests can soak up the Mediterranean sun. At night, the lounge area transforms into a vibrant hotspot designed for both guests and locals alike to mingle while enjoying refreshing cocktails and tasting small bites underneath the stars.
2. Islas Secas, Pacific Coast, Panama
Combining exceptional marine wildlife, fauna and flora and a little-touched, Jurassic Park-style setting, the Pacific Coast of Panama is one of Central America’s best-kept treasures. Far lesser known than the Caribbean side of the country, Islas Secas – an ultra-exclusive ocean wilderness – is a privately-owned archipelago of 14 beautiful islands. An inspired eco-destination befitting the most intrepid traveler seeking privacy and exclusivity, the resort combines the wonders of Panama’s incredible natural land and seascape with genuinely sustainable hospitality. Set totally off the grid, 33 nautical miles from the nearest town, Islas Secas is home to seven individually designed Casita and Tented Casita sites. The main pool offers uninterrupted views of nature in its purest form across the expanse of the Gulf of Chiriquí and is the most idyllic spot to while away the hours with full waiter service from day tonight. Some Casitas are also lucky enough to have their own private plunge pools on their terraces, each with spectacular ocean views.
3. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia, Caribbean
St. Lucia’s most stunning hideaway, Jade Mountain, is a cliffside paradise best known for its signature open-air ‘sanctuaries’ that are missing the fourth wall and designed to immerse guests in the area’s natural beauty. Expect grand sweeping spaces where the bedroom, living area, and the extravagant private infinity pool glide into one another to form extraordinary platforms floating out into nature. Each sanctuary features an en-suite infinity pool that overlooks the majestic twin Pitons — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and the Caribbean Sea. The pools range in size from 400 to 900 square feet, with unique glass tile color schemes that are carried throughout the rest of the sanctuary. With a variety of private en-suite dining and mixology options, guests can enjoy whatever their heart desires without ever having to leave the comfort of their private pool. Luxe touches like 15ft high ceilings, giant four-poster canopy beds, 24/7 butler service, and en-suite spa services round out the offerings for the ultimate poolside experience that will make you feel like a VIP.
4. Airelles Gordes, La Bastide, Luberon Valley, France
Airelles Gordes, La Bastide is carved into the hills above the picture-perfect town of Gordes in France’s Luberon valley, providing the ideal escape in the heart of Provence. Housed in a restored eighteenth-century white stone citadel, the property comprises 40 individually-designed suites and rooms, a 5-bedroom private villa, five restaurants, a Sisley Spa, exclusive experiences, and a Children’s Kingdom. The hotel’s dreamy infinity pool is framed by century-old olive trees and majestic cypress trees where guests can breathe in the panoramic views of Gordes and the surrounding Provencal countryside, glass of local Rosè in hand. Over the years, these incredible views have inspired the works of Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarely, André Lhote, and Pol Mara all of who lived in Gordes at one time. Visitors to Airelles Gordes, La Bastide will embark on a journey where the senses meet to become one with the magic of the Luberon, enjoying refined authenticity and spectacular views at this true Provencal gem.
5. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
This is a barefoot luxury in a setting that’s just about as exclusive as it gets. Necker Island is located in the Caribbean in the beautiful and unspoiled British Virgin Islands. Guests can expect white sandy beaches, luxurious accommodation, watersports, top-class food, and the holiday of a lifetime. After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. Those visiting in 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand-new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms, and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.
The Pool Pavilion at Necker Island has one of the most stunning pools around. It has a swim-up bar off the freeform infinity pool, complete with rocks in the pool where guests can sit and enjoy a drink.
6. Palazzo Avino, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Palazzo Avino is one of the most stylish hotels on the Amalfi coastline sitting high on the hilltop in Ravello. Situated in the hotel’s garden full of pink hyacinths, the breathtaking swimming pool has panoramic views of the sea and clifftop below. Palazzo Avino has its own ‘Beach Club,’ a seafront location in the quaint village of Marmorata, with a casual restaurant serving wood-fired pizza and local delicious dishes within a private villa setting. The beach club has its own stunning swimming pool overlooking the sea with sun loungers, which are scattered along the cliff edge. It’s one of the only hotels of its kind in the area to have such an offering for its guests. Known as Ravello’s Pink Palace, the 12th-century palazzo is famous for its pink exterior and light-filled interiors, which blend together a traditional Baroque style with modern luxury. An eclectic mix, each room differs from the other, looking out onto the alluring sea below and are reminiscent of a bygone era and dreamlike escape.
7. Schloss Elmau, Bavarian Alps, Germany
Situated in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, Schloss Elmau is one of the most luxurious spa resorts in Germany. The resort offers 162 rooms and suites, five restaurants, the largest bookstore in any hotel in Germany, and a concert hall. There are six separate and lavish spas: wellness offerings include cutting-edge spa treatments; several pools including an Oriental Hamam, a Japanese Onsen, and outdoor pools heated 24 hours a day; and extensive outdoor adventures (including skiing) in the picture-perfect Alpine landscapes. One of the resort’s most gorgeous assets is the pool at the Badehaus Spa. Located on the rooftop, the massive, 25-meter infinity pool overlooks the majestic Bavarian Alps. Thanks to its dramatic infinity edge, the pool blends beautifully with the natural landscape, be it a winter wonderland, bright fall leaves, or gorgeous summer greenery. The pool abuts an intimate relaxation room with floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing guests to embrace indoor-outdoor living even during the winter.
8. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Hawaii
The iconic Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, a five-star secluded luxury resort situated on Maui’s pristine northwest shore, boasts 54 sprawling acres of land. It is home to a stunning 10,000 square foot trilevel central pool, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Form meets function with in-pool seating and sun shelf to create refreshing respite while enjoying the warm Kapalua sunshine. Impressive lava rock formations adjoin the pool’s cascading waterfalls evoking the natural feel of the sacred Makaluapuna Point fronting the resort. Guests are invited to lounge in luxury on the expansive sun deck, under umbrella-shaded daybeds and impressive poolside cabanas. Each cabana includes luxury amenities and delicious menu items to choose from. The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a stunning destination resort offering 466 reimagined guestrooms, including 107 residential suites, with well-appointed kitchens and the comforts of home set against captivating natural surroundings. The property is renowned for two championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and a Hawaiian-inspired spa.
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand
Nestled within a private bay on the Gulf of Thailand on the site of a former coconut plantation, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui boasts breathtaking tropical charms and pristine natural beauty. During their stay, guests are invited to relax and take in their tranquil surroundings while embracing the Samui way of life, with access to secluded beaches, delicious Thai cuisine, a world-class Spa Village, and private pools with panoramic views of the ocean. With 37 Exclusive Pool Villas and 23 Ultimate Pool Villas, the property offers guests the opportunity to rest beneath the shade of swaying coconut trees from the comfort of their very own pool. The expansive verandas of each guest villa feature a 193 sq. ft. private pool, an outdoor dining area, sun loungers, an outdoor shower, and a majestic view of the immaculate landscaped gardens and waters of the Gulf of Thailand. After days spent out and about on the beach or exploring the local culture, guests can unwind in total privacy in their own exclusive pool.
10. Zarafa Dhow Suite, Selinda Reserve, Botswana
Sip on a cool refreshing G&T in your private plunge pool at the Zarafa Dhow Suite. Your shady 6mx3m pool overlooks a 130,000-hectare private area of tranquil and remote Selinda Reserve where elephants gently amble by, and palm trees dot the horizon. The raised decking gives magnificent views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, a popular drinking spot for animals ranging from lion to wild dog. The Dhow suite pool has a neutral blue color softly reflecting the sky above. And with the in-built lights and the short distance of a mere few meters from your room, it makes for a popular spot, even after dark. Your private chef and dedicated safari guide are always on call to help with some pool-side snacks or identifying a species of bird. There is no better place to relax, reset and cool off in the African continent. The Great Plains Zarafa Dhow Suite is located adjacent to Zarafa Camp on the private Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana.