Our hats (and most of the rest of our clothes) come off to these watery wizards, these acrobats of the aquatic. No small skill and vision goes into making one’s pool the scene of your hotel, whether it’s the views, the swim-up bar, the size, or the surprise factor.
Canyon Point, Utah
We love Aman’s uncompromising take with their main pool: by fitting it around a rough spur of rock, they trigger all sorts of visual metaphors about time, erosion, and persistence. You’re free to just float meditatively, of course, but it’s such design choices that sets this hotel group apart. There’s something mystical about beholding a desert while immersed in water.
Belle Mont Farm
St Kitts and Nevis
Every pool here is a work of art, infinitely so; tousled by an ever-present, perfumed Caribbean breeze, their infinity edges toy with perspective in a dizzying-but-inviting way. Be it the private plunge experience or the lengthy and daybed-equipped frontage of the main pool, the man-made aquatic aspect gives the sea a run for its money.
St Barthelemy, French West Indies
The private jacuzzis here tempt mightily, but trust us when we say that the infinity-pooled lounge scene holds Christopher’s soul. And while we’re at it, there’s hardly a scene to speak of; they keep things carefree and well watered around here, a welcome antidote on an island that can skew rather catty if it isn’t careful.
Soufriere, St. Lucia
Caution: once you’ve taken in the primordial Pitons from a wraparound infinity pool, you’ll likely be hooked for life. We all have crosses to bear, though, and you might as well drag yourself to the inevitable and get it over with. After, you can sulk in your private pool or jacuzzi, bemoaning the incredible sacrifice you had no choice but to make. Our sincerest sympathies.
Fitting that a former water processing plant would make waves (sorry) with its pool, in this case an impressive 30 meters in length and glass-walled for maximum expressive potential. This is the sort of gesture we point to when asked what “fun design” means for us: daring, expansive, and capable of bringing strangers together in mutual enjoyment.
The Resort at Pedregal
Los Cabos, Baja, Mexico
The resort, indeed. Fear not, Cabo-phobes: the pool approach here steers far clear of anything remotely Spring Break. Relegate all worries to your own personal assistant — every guest gets one, might as well take full advantage — and reacquaint yourself with the eternal balms of life at the southern tip of Baja California.
The Standard Miami
There’s another Standard altogether in Miami, of course — bolder, sultrier, and less crowded, though not one whit less appealing. A glowing, pastel ambience prevails, drawing the eye (if just for a moment) from the captivating seascape. But it’s more about body language down here, anyway, and that’s best understood when immersed.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills, CA
The Beverly Hills Hotel’s pool, with its green-and-white striped loungers, is a famous one, and given the hotel’s star-studded clientele, it’s been the site of many a salacious nugget of Hollywood gossip — and, given the legendary luxury of the place, it’s also an ideal venue for starring in your own personal story.
Thompson Playa del Carmen
Riviera Maya, Mexico
This pool would be extraordinary enough on its own, with its infinity edges and its far-ranging rooftop views. But here it’s not just a place for a dip, but the social nexus for a hotel that’s full of activity, from daytime lounging through sunset cocktails to DJ nights and beyond.