We all love a good horizon pool or a private plunge pool to take a dip in after a long day of travelling, especially if the view along with it is to die for. We have all seen the photos of the grand pools such as the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Hanging Gardens of Ubud in Bali, but what about those top notch pools at the smaller more boutique properties? Below are the picks our team at Crooked Compass have come up with from our travels across the globe.
1. La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa
Overlooking lush vineyards, dramatic mountains and vivid purple lavender, the pool at La Residence has views to die for. Home to the likes of Elton John when he travels through South Africa, this pools’ views expand to infinity and beyond, soaking up the stunning winelands scenery that South Africa is so well known for.
2. The Terraces Boutique Apartments, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Perched on the hillside and peering down on the lagoon and casino, The Terraces Boutique Apartments not only offers private plunge pools allowing you to drink in the views, but also houses a larger horizon pool for all guests, with spectacular panorama vistas. The main pool also offers a food and drink service, so you wont need to leave your day bed or take your eyes off the view… apart from reading the drinks menu! **Please note this photo was taken POST Cyclone Pam. Vanuatu is open for business and is looking as beautiful as ever as you can see.
3. Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
Huge floor to ceiling windows frame what looks like the insides of a glossy National Geographic magazine. The views captured from the Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa are simply spectacular, and there is no better way to relax and enjoy the view than floating in the heated pool.
4. Memmo Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal
Boasting one of the best views of the old town of Lisbon, the stunning pool at the Memmo Alfama sure knows how to show you the best of the city from above! Although not heated, this pool is a refreshing relief after the heat of the day. What’s even better is that you can enjoy a full bar service while you absorb all that lies before you.
5. Velassaru, Maldives
Your private pool at Velassaru overhangs the waters edge as the turquoise lagoon below laps gently beneath you. Soothing vistas tempt you to discover the underwater world. Bubbling jets from the pool walls massage you as you watch the fish flitting below. Pure paradise.
6. Koonyum Range Retreat, Byron Bay, Australia
Located in the hinterland overlooking Byron Bay, Koonyum Range Retreat is home to this breathtaking 12m vanishing horizon pool. It is the perfect place for a champagne breakfast, as a spectacular sunrise paints the sky before you.
7. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
This architectural masterpiece at Belmond Hotel Caruso is set at the highest point above the town of Ravello. Seemingly suspended in the clouds it offers an unparalleled vista and breathtaking views of the Amalfi coastline below. As you float the rest of the world away, the concierge can bring you a pre-loaded Ipod with your favourite tunes, a fruit appetiser or even an Evian vaporiser!<
8. Earth Lodge, Sabi Sabi, South Africa
In a property where everything is made from the earth, Earth Lodge has a special place within many eco travellers hearts. For that little bit of extra luxury, all rooms house a private plunge pool that overlook an expansive waterhole, attracting hippos, birdlife and anything thirsty that may be wandering by. There is no fence between you and the waterhole, and elephants have been known to come and drink from the plunge pools.
9. Hotel Belvedere, Lake Como, Italy
Located just outside the bustling lakeside town of Bellagio, the Hotel Belvedere is home to a heated outdoor pool and spa, showcasing unbeatable views of Lake Como and the picturesque villages below.
10. The Cambrian, Swiss Alps
Whether you are here in the summer, or winter months when the peaks are snow capped, the heated pool at The Cambrian is sure to draw you in. Gaze over the spectacular valley below and absorb the view as you float off into another world. This is truly paradise on earth.
Looking for more Swimming Spots to include in your travels? Download and search the Crooked Compass Travel App for inspiration.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.