Elounda, Crete, Greece
“Imagine a pool so perfect, that the world stands still for a moment,” says luxury travel blogger Ana Silva O’Reilly, founder of Mrs. O Around the World. Indeed, Blue Palace’s pool is surrounded by the resort’s exquisite grounds, is grounded by a bleached arch, and then thrusts elegantly toward open air and unparalleled views of the bay of Elounda and stunning Spinalonga Island. “It got my husband so inspired,” says O’Reilly, “that he proposed right there and then.”
This cascading, three-tiered pool straddles the hillside between Mount Agung on one side and then seemingly drops off the cliffside, says travel writer/photographer Paul Rubio. This “impossibly blue” centerpiece of this multi-level beach resort in Eastern Bali is “reason alone to include a few days here on the island’s rural side,” says Stacy Small, founder of Elite Travel International.
This infinity pool that appears to drop into the Mediterranean Sea is extraordinary on its own, but it also pairs with being adjacent to an 11th-century palace and next to Caruso’s low-key restaurant that serves up freshly baked pizzas. Further, the views from the pool are “among the best on the entire Amalfi Coast – no mean feat,” says nominator Tom Barber, co-founder of Original Travel. The staff makes your Italian perch perfect, constantly on hand with a cocktail, Evian sprays and even an iPod loaded with your choice of music.
Miami Beach, Florida
This hotel reminded us how glamorous retro could be, and its iconic pool remains a tastemaker’s dream among many competitors. “With its iconic shape, the Raleigh pool channels an Old-Hollywood vibe, but the lively scene is completely current and cool,” says Sara Bliss, founder of Hotel Chic. “Under the shade of massive palm trees, with a mojito in hand, it’s one of the best places in South Beach to spend the afternoon.”
Porto Ercole, Italy
Sexy and perfectly shaped with its gentle angles, this heated sea water pool is surrounded by Il Pellicano’sflowering gardens and overlooks the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea. A longtime hideaway for glitterati from the worlds of design, fashion, culture and art, the setting poolside channels that sense of being a happy, bronzing insider yourself. Being adjacent to a one-star Michelin restaurant on the property only sweetens the deal.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Sleek, urbane, and sophisticated define this New York-meets-Caribbean-chic hotel in Turks & Caicos, and the 7,000-square foot infinity pool speaks volumes. Individual teak platforms make for private little islands, says travel writer Diane Bair. “There’s an old Hollywood glamour,” she says. “You’d almost expect to see an old-school star like Hedy Lamarr holding court at poolside.” Stacy Smallnames Gansevoort’s pool “one of the sexiest in the Caribbean.”
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
What may be the Caribbean’s most serene pools set the tone at the renowned resort (also named one of Coastal Living’s Best Beach Hotels 2015) on the white-sands of Providenciales. Shimmering plateaus of reflection, the pools of Amanyara transcend the definition of a hotel pool utterly, as well as compete with the crystal-clear waters of Turks & Caicos for your ardor. The central pool, surrounded by broad timber decks, runs nearly 170 feet in length and has uninterrupted views of the ocean.
As though plucked from every iconic Seychelles postcard with its rich and deep blues, notes Paul Rubio, this elevated infinity pool spills onto a picturesque cove with an incredibly long and wide swath of beach, in the shadow of massive granite slabs. Nestled in Intendance Bay amidst native Takamaka trees, Banyan Tree’s pool in one of noted travel correspondent Peter Greenberg’s top five in the world.
Set at the foot of Mount Salaro in elegant and unspoiled Anacapri, overlooking the breathtaking Gulf of Naples, this exquisite resort tucks its pool away discretely within a private garden in a style reminiscent of Roman villas. The true hallmark of Capri Palace, however, is the inclusion of real works of art into its pools: a mosaic in the main pool and bright and pop-art paintings in room pools, including homages to Magritte and Warhol.
Ko Olina, Hawaii
Families (and playful people of all ages), take note: Aulani’s sheer variety of pools makes for delights at every turn. “No matter how you like your pool – with an infinity edge, Zero entry, waterfalls or slow meandering currents,” says Travel Channel correspondent Samantha Brown, “Aulani has something for every age and mood.” Travel writer and founder of Pit Stops for Kids, Amy Whitley, notes that Aulani’s uber-family-friendly pool scene has grownups-only infinity hot tubs that overlook the ocean.
“Hualalai casts a hypnotic spell,” says Ann Wycoff, freelance travel writer and co-founder of the global adventure site wandermelon.com, describing the infinity pool as “a calm oasis amidst a grove of palms.” The “understated and elegant hotel pool … doesn’t try to outdo the beauty of its natural surroundings,” saysSamantha Brown. Nearby, says Wycoff, the King’s Pond aquarium pool, carved out of lava rock and home to 3,000 friendly fish, turtles and rays, “is an idyllic spot for snorkeling and experiencing marine life nose to nose.”
Santa Barbara, California
“The pool was so long and lovely it made me want to swim for hours,” says writer/editor Rachel Levin. Indeed, this classy classic at the resort on what has been appropriately dubbed the American Riviera, maintains a glamour that reminds us what pools do—make us linger, perhaps pose a bit, and see who else has joined the party. This pool is a “beauty from the Golden Ages that’s still got it,” says Samantha Brown. “Put on your biggest pair of sunglasses and practice your best Marilyn Monroe walk.”
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had at a hotel pool,” says Samantha Brownof Grand Wailea’s Wailea Canyon Activity Pool, who notes that this 770,000-gallon paradise comes with “rope swings, vertiginous water slides, even a water elevator!” Equally majestic is the resort’s elegant (and adults-only) Hibiscus Pool, named for the 630,000-glass tiles on the bottom that create a beautiful (and giant) Hibiscus flower.
Italy and Hawaii top the list as the coolest pools for a destination “Get-A-Away”. If you have been somewhere and want to share do so by posting on our Facebook page here