If you like the idea of floating in serene waters with spectacular views of mountains, lakes and oceans in front of you, you’ll want to check out our bucket list of incredible hotel pools from around the world.
Usually when you book a hotel room, it’s because you want to visit the place around the hotel. But these 15 hotels have pools that are so incredible they almost become a destination in themselves. Almost.
Thankfully there’s no need to choose between pool or destination: these pools and their respective hotels are also in places you’ll really want to see as well.
From the alpine peaks of Switzerland to the wild jungles of Borneo, we’ve brought you some of the most magical places for a footprint and pools for tired feet – or at least to add them to your travel dreams hit list. They’re certainly on ours!
We’ve been lucky enough to have experienced some of these hotel pools for ourselves, so we’ve added a bit more detail into those we’ve been to. But the others are in our sights, that’s for sure.
15 bucket list hotel pools
Perched on cliffs high above the Aegean Sea and built on the restored remains of 300-year-old cave dwellings, the Perivolas is already a special part of Santorini.
Then you add in this sublime pool nestled within the curved whitewashed walls of the 20 suites and the Perivolas takes things to the next level.
Sitting at over 1,300 metres amidst the mountain peaks of the Bern Canton’s Swiss Alps, the Cambrian offers incredible views of snow-covered ranges from every window.
But even better are the views from the pool.
Part of the Cambrian’s spa facilities, this pool is well-heated and even flows through to an indoor section if the snowy weather gets too cold.
Though not the biggest pool you’ll find, this one is all yours. And relaxing in your own private pool in the middle of the magical Borneo jungle is quite something.
The sounds of gibbons hooting in the trees and the Danum River swirling its way through one of the last natural habitats of orang utans and pigmy elephants, this is a special place indeed.
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is an incredible place that somehow couples the wild romance of adventure and exploration with indulgence of luxury.
Staring at the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean from the edge of your own private pool is something everyone needs to do at least once in their lives!
Going straight from your villa into the water is amazing – and it’s only a quick stroll down to the shoreline if you feel the need for some surf.
Most of the villas in the Aleenta Phuket have their own pool, but if you don’t – or if you want a bit of variety, the shared pool is pretty spectacular too.
Looking out over the deep blue waters of New Zealand’s Owhanake Bay in the Hauraki Gulf, Delamore Lodge’s exquisite semicircular heated infinity pool is perfect.
It’s only a short ferry ride (or even shorter helicopter flight!) from Auckland to Waiheke Island and this award-winning hotel.
Crowning the lofty height of the Crans-Montana ski resort in the Swiss Alps’ Valais region, LeCrans Hotel and Spa offers mind-blowing views out across one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges.
It’s pool: a tranquil retreat set amongst the pine tops and mountain peaks, and snugly embedded in white drifts of winter snow.
If it’s privacy you’re after, the Sala in Phuket, Thailand is the way to go. Within your walls to your villa complex, you have sole access to this beautiful pool and outdoor lounge.
If the pool’s too much for you or you feel like a good soak, there’s also a magnificent bathtub by the pool too.
People feeling like a change of scenery or socialising can explore the hotel’s shared pool, which is also a bit closer to the beach – and more importantly the bar!
The high-octane heart of Shanghai is all yours to see from the huge windows of the Four Seasons Shanghai at Pudong.
This rather sexy pool is part of a hotel focused on bringing exclusivity, luxury and the romance of the city to its guests. As you’d expect with a Four Seasons hotel, the brief has been met a few times over here.
Set overlooking the high point of Perugia, Italy, the Brufani is a beautiful old hotel with hidden secrets at its feet.
This underground grotto of a pool has to be the most atmospheric of all the pools – not only on this list but that we’ve ever been to.
Apart from the old archways and golden light of the current building, the Brufani’s pool is built over ancient Etruscan ruins. The Etruscans were the original occupants of this part of Italy before the Romans, who all but destroyed their civilisation.
These ruins, carefully hidden beneath thick glass under the quiet waters of the hotel pool, stand as a reminder of an ancient forgotten people.
Set just 4 miles from the peak of the Arenal Volcano, The Springs Resort and Spa in Costa Rica takes advantage of not only the incredible views of the mountain but also the hot springs from around it.
And though every room here has views out over the Arenal Volcano National Park, it’s the pool that’s the real showstopper. Free-form lagoon pools that range in temperature flow down the resort showing the best the Arenal Volcano has to offer.
Venerated as one of the favourite residences of the Thai royal family, Hua Hin and its coastline hold a special meaning in Thailand.
It somehow makes it even more special when you can bob around in your own private pool and lose yourself in the sunset or watching the lights of distant ships as night falls here in the Aleenta Hua Hin.
Cleverly combining luxury with its stance as an eco hotel, the Aleenta Hua Hin sets itself apart from most resorts. There is only one separate villa with its own pool, but as you can see, the exclusivity pays dividends.
Standing stately on the shores of Lake Iseo – just east of Lake Como, Italy – the Hotel Rivalago has the classic look of an Italian lakeside hotel.
It’s pool, close to the lake’s edge, is the perfect place to relax by day. By night, it’s often transformed for special events and dinners with all the glamour and beauty you’d expect from a venue and location like this.
We’re particularly excited to be able to include this beautiful pool and its hotel in this list, as this is the venue of our friends’ wedding.
This beachfront hotel looks out over the beautiful Andaman Sea and the Similan Islands, but it’s the pool that’s caught our eye.
This 25m2 infinity pool with its daybeds that look like they’re floating is stunning. Secluded, luxurious and within the sounds of the Andaman’s rolling waves, this is what you want in a hotel pool.
Right across the lake from famed Bellagio, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Tremezzina is about as ‘on the lake’ as you can get.
This iconic hotel punctuates the shoreline of one of the world’s most famous lakes. It has three pools, but the one to talk about is actually in Lake Como.
Click here to see how to get to this part of Lake Como by train from Milan and the wonders you’ll find when you get there.
Peering down on the busy esplanade of Kota Kinabalu – Malaysian Borneo’s capital city – the rooftop pool of the LeMeridien KK is perfectly positioned for sunset over the South China Sea.
On the shoreline the nightly food markets try to tempt you down from the warm water and friendly service of the hotel pool and its bar.
Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to the rest of Sabah and its wealth of natural beauty, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in a hurry to leave – especially when the views here are this good!
Which hotel pool is your favourite from our list? Have you been to any of these places? Tell us in the comments below!