Traveling far and beyond, regardless of season, there’s always something seductive and healing about soaking under the sun near tranquil waters or poolside surrounded by breathtaking views. From waterfalls to wilderness, from sceney to secluded, AMPR dips into seven pools and pinpoints the splash it takes to get on our Seven Pool Wonders of the World list.
Cycladic Cliffhanger: Mystique, Santorini, Greece - a Mr & Mrs Smith selection
This Mr & Mrs Smith-approved, boutique hotel clings to the cliffs soaring over the rocky heights of the southernmost tip of Oia, Santorini. The stylishly curvaceous infinity-edged pool at Mystique offers swimmers and calico sun loungers jaw-dropping vistas of the caldera and the tranquil Aegean Sea, while pumping a rush of adrenaline injected with a mixture of tranquility and sense of place. Poised as one of the world’s most invigorating backdrops, it’s no wonder Mr & Mrs Smith gives this a wink.
Dramatic Scenes: Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
The privileged few once lounged and sauntered here but the recently transformed Hilltop Reserve is now open to all guests to wine, dine, dip and soak in the scenery. Set high on the hillside of sinuous Koh Yao Noi, a picturesque island in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay, Hilltop Reserve defies belief with epic views and exceptional ambiance. The 2648-square-foot (246-square-meter) infinity pool – complete with a two-story water slide – extends seamlessly into the deep blue sea beyond towards a group of precipitous limestone islands – the same dramatic landscape that starred in the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun. Speaking of theatrical views and dramatic backdrops, there are plans to host open-air cinema evenings under the stars!
Gems of the Edge: Sugar Ridge, Antigua
Set on an elevated hillside in Antigua, Sugar Ridge’s negative-edge pool captures the most stunning and panoramic views of palm-lined beaches, the turquoise Caribbean Sea, rolling green hills and neighboring islands of Redonda, Nevis and St. Kitts which sit like gems upon the horizon. However, the most sought-after one often appears during poolside trysts at Sugar Ridge. As romantic backdrops set the stage for sweet memories, diamonds pop up during engagement proposals, weddings and anniversaries.
Healing Waters: Evasion Ma’In Hot Springs, Jordan
Lying 866 feet (264 meters) below sea level, Ma’In Hot Springs is the inspired site for the well-appointed Evason Ma’In Hot Springs. The Six Senses Spa at Evasion Ma’In sits directly under natural hot spring waterfalls that elegantly cascade down desert rocks into the spa pool. The main pool has dramatic views of this but the new hot springs pool offers mineral-rich water possessing therapeutic and healing properties found in the nearby Dead Sea. Thank you, Mother Nature!
Pool Princess: Pan Dei Palais, Saint-Tropez, France
Romantics are swept away and take a leap of faith in this 12-room historic mansion turned luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Saint-Tropez. Originally built in 1835 by French General Allard for his wife Princess Bannu Pan Deï, this intimate and enchanting retreat leads out to a private garden area and an emerald sparkling pool tiled with antique mosaics. Bikini-clad serenity seekers kick off their K. Jacques, swim for a bit then linger on luxurious outdoor beds and chaise lounges, far away from the maddening crowds. Sunsets call for sexy apéro followed by cuisine inspired from the Land of the Rising Sun. For complete royal treatment, rehydrate and repair sun-kissed skin at the hotel’s Valmont Spa.
Refreshingly Fashionable: Pink Sands, Harbour Island, The Bahamas
Designed by Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki, Pink Sands Resort is renowned for the legendary stretch of pink sand beach and gorgeous, private setting for fashion shoots and A-list retreats. Sunbathers rub elbows with swimsuit models as they step off from front covers of glossy magazines and cool off in the freshwater pool tucked in lush tropical landscapes. After hot shoots, sipping on a Saki Martini, a signature drink concocted by the Garden Terrace, seems like a perfect bonus.
Wild Plunges: Tintswalo Safari Lodge, South Africa
Every suite at the exclusive Tintswalo Safari Lodge has a plunge pool that overlooks the Manyeleti Reserve, a pristine wilderness reserve known for its natural beauty and high density of big five game. Situated along a beautiful river bed among an ancient sycamore tree grove and with the Greater Kruger National Park on its fenceless eastern boundary, Tintswalo Safari Lodgeoverlooks a nearby waterhole frequented by large herd of elephants and other big game, offering guests a live show as they soak up the sun and sip on South Africa’s finest wines handpicked from the cellar, all in the privacy of their own suite. Well, somewhat private.