By Krisanne Fordham, 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. At the Conrad Maldives, they’re the centerpiece of select overwater bungalows, jutting dramatically over the Indian Ocean.
They’re not exclusive to breezy island resorts, either: at India’s Lodhi boutique hotel, compact suites are outfitted with in-room pools overlooking the twinkling New Delhi skyline. 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 diving into.
Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, UT
Though this stylish Canyon Point resort is built around a spectacular negative-edge pool, six of its 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.
Casa San Agustin, Colombia
Located in the heart of bustling Cartagena, this stylish 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.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
Set on a hidden bay in the East Vietnam Sea and accessible only by boat, this ultra-luxe resort 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.
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