TPG staff’s 15 favourite hotel pools
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TPG staffers are, as you may have guessed, pretty frequent travellers.
When we travel to review properties, we’re working, but part of that work is testing out everything a property has to offer — including the pool, which is often the most standout aspect of many of these stays are the pools at these properties. While we’ve already written about the all-time most beautiful hotel pools, we wanted to give TPG editors and writers the chance to weigh in on their personal favourites from recent travels.
The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, found his entire stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi to be spectacular, but the infinity pool at the overwater Stella Maris Villa was the pièce de résistance. There are few things we can think of that are more picturesque — or to have an influencer-approved floating breakfast — than an L-shaped infinity pool overlooking the turquoise waters of the Maldives.
As if the Turkish Riviera doesn’t sound exotic enough, the Bodrum Edition makes for a truly extraordinary escape. While the all-day breakfast (served until 4 p.m.) is certainly something to remember, the property’s sleek, simple rectangular infinity pool, surrounded by lush green and floral landscaping overlooking the Aegean Sea, is stunning. TPG reviews editor Nick Ellis found the Edition’s signature white-cushioned loungers to be at once comfortable and picture-perfect.
Although this Hawaiian property boasts three pools, TPG travel analyst Zach Griff found that the one you’ll really want to dive into is the 123-foot-long adults-only infinity pool (there’s also an accompanying Jacuzzi). Alternatively, spend the afternoon lounging in one of the many chairs and admire the reflection of the palm trees in the cool blue water with the expansive sea beyond. For a real splurge, rent one of the daybeds or cabanas, but be ready to fork over at least $150 (about £120) per day.
Although the Jaffa doesn’t have the sea views that many other Tel Aviv hotels along the beach offer, TPG contributor Isabelle Raphael loved the Jaffa pool’s serene urban vibes. Besides having the perfect ratio of shade and sun, the white-cushioned, wicker loungers were perfect for a relaxing afternoon sipping pomegranate juice and snacking on dates in the Israeli sunshine.
Travellers looking to party in style should hang at this Hyatt property‘s infinity pool. Flanked by boulders and sand, the pool is gorgeous, with panoramic ocean views and loungers that sit directly in the water. Poolside service is excellent, so plan to order a margarita (or six). And if you don’t feel up to swimming in the pool, at least take a dip in your room’s copper-clad, free-standing bathtub, which is one of the most exquisite tubs TPG senior travel editor Melanie Lieberman has ever seen.
One of South Africa’s most beautiful options for a safari stay — just ask The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, himself — Singita Lebombo’s design-forward lodge blends in seamlessly with the surrounding bush while also offering guests the ultimate luxury safari accommodations. The pool overlooks 33,000 acres of nature on the grounds of Kruger National Park, so be on the lookout for the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, black rhinoceroses and African buffalo), all of which you may spot directly from the pool, in addition to other wildlife like monkeys and zebras.
With indulgent extras like outdoor showers and fresh coconut carts, a stay at Dorado Beach is positively one-of-a-kind. Although the resort has a few pools, reviews editor Nick Ellis firmly believes that the Positivo infinity pool is the place to be. The enormous pool overlooks the resorts private beach and has many different barriers and private sections with comfortable daybeds and lounge chairs for the ultimate day of relaxation. And don’t forget to ask for a fresh coconut from the cart.
Although the hotel has three pools and a bay for swimming, the highlight is the sunset pool — best for (you guessed it) a sunset dip. Although the infinity pool that overlooks the ocean is mesmerizing during the daytime, sunset is when it really shines — in hues of pink, purple, yellow and orange. A whirlpool is next to the sunset pool, which also offers excellent views. The open-air poolside sunset bar has a contemporary feel, playing chill beats, with enthusiastic bartenders ready to mix the perfect cocktail for you after your swim.
W Hotels aptly names its pools “Wet” — sexier, stylish, man-made bodies of water with an exceptionally stylish ambience. The W Jumeirah is no different, located on the edge of Dubai’s famous Palm. With a series of interconnecting infinity pools, peppered with egg-shaped, cushioned wicker pods for sunbathing directly in the water, it doesn’t get much cooler than this. And, with W’s see-and-be-seen vibe, you can be sure there will be plenty of people-watching to keep you entertained all day long.
The three-tiered pool at Amankila Bali has extensive ocean views from the hillside — and you can expect sublime poolside service, too. The moment you sit down in one of the Balinese gazebos or lounge chairs, a pool staff attendant will almost immediately assist you with towels and offer you a glass of chilled water with lime. And if three tiers aren’t enough for you, there’s also another small pool down below at the hotel’s private beach club.
Wine lovers can combine a refreshing dip with fantastic vineyard views at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection property in the Napa Valley. Although the pool is small, it’s heated to nearly 29 degrees Celsius, so you can dip in even during chillier weather. There’s even free sunscreen available. Beyond the pool (which of course has plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas) are two fire pits where you can warm up after an evening swim, and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding vineyards.
The rounded swirls of the giant infinity pools Oasis and Ombra at the InterContinental Phu Quoc evoke feelings of relaxation. The pools have a very Zen vibe, with lounge chairs and egg-shaped daybed pods surrounded by palm trees and even a wooden bridge crossing the spacious pool. With deck chairs and umbrellas set directly in the pool, you can’t help but soak in the tranquillity here.
Although many of the villas at the Four Seasons Koh Samui have private plunge pools, the main infinity pool, which is beachside and framed by towering palm trees and bold jungle foliage, is especially stunning. The plush and comfortable daybeds overlook the beach and glittering waves of Thailand’s gulf. And pool service includes small luxuries such as cool, scented towels and complimentary fruit juice shots.
How’s a private island with a maximum capacity of eight — yes eight — people sound to you? Yeah, we think it’s pretty great, too. TPG’s Carissa Rawson was blown away by this property’s deep connection to nature, its all-inclusive experience, the wonderful staff and, of course, the ability to pay for it all with World of Hyatt points. But the pool stood out, with just a few chairs, the infinity pool overlooks the NiCaribbean — that’s what Nicaragua is billing its slice of the Caribbean Sea — beyond and is quite possibly the perfect spot to enjoy a tropical cocktail and while away a sun-filled afternoon.
The second Edition property to make this list, this property impressed reviews editor Nick Ellis by offering all the ingredients for a quintessential Los Angeles getaway — views as far as the eye can see, a sexy-but-casual pool deck and top-notch food and drinks. Make sure you check out this pool during magic hour (just before the sun sets) to catch spectacular views of the sunset and, if you’re lucky, the Downtown LA skyline.
Featured image of The Cape, a Thompson Hotel by Melanie Lieberman / The Points Guy.