If you follow me on Instagram, you will know by now that I have a bit of a penchant for pools with a view. Over the years, Mr Sunshine and I have sought out hotels with some of the best swimming pools in the world on our travels, from sensational infinity pools looking out over the sea and stunning natural pools carved into cliffs, to some quite ordinary pools which just happen to have incredibly epic views.
There is something rather dreamy about an awesome hotel pool which can elevate your stay from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and add a little spice of romance for good measure.
On that note, I’ve pooled together my top ten list of the world’s best pools with a view, tried and tested by me, and certified for their extra sexy levels of romance.
Number 10: The Palace, Downtown Dubai, UAE
Mr Sunshine and I stumbled upon this palatial five star hotel quite by accident on our first visit to Dubai, while searching for a place for a drink and some shisha which had a view of the Dubai Fountains. We were led to the pretty pool area, which was decked out in twinkling fairy lights, and spent several hours enjoying the lilting music and spectacular fountain display before us. We returned several times on subsequent trips to recreate the romance of that evening, but it was only a couple of years later when we decided to book a stay at the hotel that we got to see the view from the pool in all of its daylight glory.
In one direction, sits the beautiful traditionally Arabic hotel, and in the other, you have a fabulous view of the towering Burj Khalifa, the tallest (and some might say, most impressive) building in the world.
Number 9: Four Seasons at Sayan, Bali
Our five day stay in our private villa at the Four Seasons, Sayan, was just about as perfect as you could possibly imagine, and it was made even more so by the fact that we were able to have a dip in our own private infinity pool every morning before breakfast. I loved this spot, which looked out of the dense forest that the resort sits within. With the trees so close, and the sound of birds and frogs creating a melodious morning chorus, you really feel as though you are swimming amongst nature.
Number 8: Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, Lake Garda, Italy
As pools with a view go, this one is a little understated, but I fell instantly in love the moment I clapped eyes on it. The pool sits within the beautiful Italian gardens of the 17th Century Villa hotel, amidst the undulating hills close to Lake Garda. The lawns are fringed by the villa’s own vineyards from which the hotel’s ‘villabella’ is created, and the view back to the red and yellow facade of the hotel is just gorgeous. I felt utterly at peace here.
Number 7: Four Seasons, Doha, Qatar
Of course, I had to include a pool from my home country in the list, and there aren’t many hotel grounds that are as magnificent as the Four Seasons Doha, or pools with a view quite as immense. Hotel guests can enjoy a touch of paradise from different levels and perspectives in any one of the hotel’s five pools, which look out over the pretty beach and turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. What’s more, the chic cabanas, excellent poolside food and exquisite service serve to ramp up the romance levels.
Number 6: Al Baleed Resort by Anantara, Salalah, Oman
If romance is your thing, then the infinity pool at Al Baleed Resort by Anantara in Salalah will really hit the spot. A sophisticated and serene beachfront pool, it’s fringed by pretty palm trees and chic cabanas; the perfect spot to while away the hours with a cocktail in hand. The clever pool adjoins water-features which cleverly give the appearance of a never-ending stretch of glassy water which reaches as far as the sea.
Number 5: Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
The first of several Amalfi Coast hotel pools to grace the list, this astounding pool at the Belmond Hotel Caruso took our breath away when we stayed here on our Italian honeymoon. It helped that the town of Ravello, with its stunning hillside vistas over the Bay of Salerno which inspired enough romance in D. H. Lawrence to pen ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’ had already won me over, but when I first laid eyes on the view from the pool, which is set at the highest point of Ravello, I was completely bowled over.
If you’re looking to tick off some of the world’s best pools with a view, then this celebrated infinity pool which is often listed among the top hotels in the world, absolutely has to be on your list.
Number 4: Monastero Santa Rosa, Concei di Marini, Italy
At the edge of the pretty terraced gardens of this fabulous 17th Century monastery-come-hotel, sits a sublime infinity pool which seems as though it is suspended in the air above the water. Dramatic cliffs drop down to the sea below, and seabirds swoop low above your heads, occasionally braving a cooling dip in the water beside you. The romance of this pool lies entirely in the drama of its situation: from the historic building, through the breathtaking grounds, to the precipitous cliff edge.
Number 3: Four Seasons, Jimbaran Bay, Bali
The 57 metre beach-front pool at Sundara Beach Club at the Four Seasons, Jimbaran Bay is like no other I’ve ever visited. Lying perpendicular to the beach, swimming from one end to the other is a real workout, but an enjoyable one as you feel as though you are swimming along the horizon. There are excellent pool snacks and incredible service courtesy of Sundara, but the very best thing about this pool is the view of the sunset over Jimbaran Beach, which is one of the most dazzling I’ve ever seen.
Number 2: Bürgenstock Resort, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
At 500m above Lake Lucerne, overlooking the dramatic landscape of the lake and its surrounding mountains, this incredible infinity pool at the luxury Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland is a spectacle to behold. Set in the historic Alpine Spa on the rooftop of the main hotel, this pool is rather exclusive, as it’s reserved for only the highest paying guests, based in the main building. However, if you’re lucky (like we were!) you might be able to find a room deal for one of the other three hotels based within the resort which includes spa access, and you can purchase day passes if you’re not staying in the hotel.
Whichever way you do it, a visit to this incredible rooftop pool is a must. Swimming out of a hidden trap door at the edge of the indoor pool, you suddenly feel as though you are swimming amongst the Gods, high in the sky, surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery in the world.
Number 1: Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy
A hotel and pool terrace which graces many a traveller’s bucket list, this awe-inspiring pool is more than worthy of its spot at the top of my list of the world’s most romantic pools with a view. OK, it’s not the biggest, nor is it the most dramatic pool in the world. However, the iconic view over the pretty pastel houses of Positano is one which will be forever etched on my memory for its sheer romance. We spent one of the most idyllic days of our honeymoon here, floating in the water, looking out at the view as the sky turned from blue to pink and the colours of the town changed with the light, only getting out and drying off for the odd bite to eat, Aperol Spritz or Limoncello. The absolute epitomy of la dolce vita!
If there’s one pool (and one hotel, for that matter) that you must visit in your lifetime, then this is it.
What are your favourite pools with a view?