Great Escapes: Spring Travel

10 of the world's coolest hotel plunge pools

Krisanne Fordham, Travel + LeisurePublished 4th March 2015
(Travel + Leisure) — The modern traveler is increasingly difficult to impress; classic luxury perks like high-thread-count linens, plush bathrobes and even beautiful views have become a given. But there's one hotel amenity that never fails to delight even the most seasoned traveler: the in-room plunge pool.
There's something about having your own private pool that can't help but feel indulgent. Perhaps it's the convenience of not having to fight for a lounge chair, or the ease of having cool turquoise waters mere steps from your bedroom. Maybe it's the sheer pleasure of soaking in absolute privacy, uninterrupted, at any hour you please. Whatever it is, the in-room private plunge pool remains the ultimate luxury.
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.
They're not exclusive to breezy island resorts, either. 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 hopping into. Check out Travel + Leisure for more inviting plunges.

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 Mykonos' romantic Cavo Tagoo 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.

Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah

Though this stylish Canyon Point resort is built around a spectacular negative-edge pool, six of Amangiri Resort's 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.

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.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

Set on a hidden bay in the East Vietnam Sea and accessible only by boat, the ultra-luxe Six Senses Ninh Van Bay 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.

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.

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.

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.

Casa San Agustin, Colombia

Located in the heart of bustling Cartagena, the stylish Casa San Agustin 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.

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 saltwater pool, from which you can take in views of the Pacific Ocean and 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, the plush inner-city InterContinental Hong Kong 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.