Hotels rooms and suites with private pools
By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer
What’s better than a hotel with a swimming pool? Yep, it’s a hotel room or suite with its own private pool. To be honest, most of these pools are too small for swimming laps, but to step outside your room onto a private secluded terrace where you can cool off in your own pool is to many people the ultimate luxury.
There are private pools for couples, but also larger suites that will accommodate a whole family. It’s not the same as renting a stand-alone villa because you get to use all the restaurants, bars and other facilities of the hotel.
You can find hotels with private pools in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and in Indian Ocean destinations such as the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Greece is where you’ll find a lot of the best hotels with private pools in the Mediterranean. On the island of Crete, St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas near Agios Nikolaos has its own private beach and a choice of suites and bungalows with a private pool, ideal for couples. For families, there’s a three-bedroom villa with a private pool, all with full access to the hotel’s five-star facilities.
Ikos Resorts has four luxury all-inclusive hotels in Greece – in Halkidiki, Corfu and Kos – plus a fifth in Andalucia. Each resort has a selection of suites with a private pool, from one-bedroom suites to three bedrooms.
The Greek island of Santorini is known for its sleek contemporary boutique hotels. The adults-only Carpe Diem Santorini is one of the best, with ten suites, each of which has a large private terrace, plunge pool and jaw dropping views. Pyrgos is a short (steep) climb away.
On Corfu, the adults-only MarBella Nido hotel offers a range of junior suites and larger suites, each with a private pool.
The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is one of Turkey’s most exclusive luxury hotels. It ha two private beaches and a range of private pool options including Junior Suites and two-bedroom suites. In the charming resort of Kalkan on the Turquoise Coast, the Kalkan Regency Hotel has eight private pool suites. It is for adults only outside of the school holidays.
In Cyprus, the Anassa is a very high-end luxury resort with a range of one- and two-bedroom suites with a private pool. Some can be connected to accommodate larger families.
On the Italian island of Sardinia, the Villa del Golfo Lifestyle Resort has one-bedroom suites with a very large private pool measuring 7m x 3m.
On the island of Mauritius, Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa has beachfront suites, each with a private pool, and a selection of villas that come with their own pool. Or you could stay at the Club Med Albion Villas in Mauritius where you’ll have your own private pool but also be able to enjoy the full Club Med all-inclusive experience at the adjacent Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. You can also breakfast prepared by a butler in your villa.
The Maldives has plenty of options. At the very top end, Niyama Private Islands has beach villas with private pools and water villas with plunge pools and steps down into the lagoon. For the “wow factor”, Ozen Reserve Bolifushi has Ocean Pool Suites that have a slide from your private pool that plops you into the ocean – a huge hit on Instagram. It’s home to the first ice skating rink in the Maldives and has a royal suite with its own beach, spa and teppanyaki bar.
If you’re looking for a budget hotel with a private pool, the Siyam World Maldives may be your best best. Each room has a private pool and a week’s all-inclusive starts at under £2,000 per person including flights.
All the villas and suites at the Raffles Seychelles have a private plunge pool and some of the pools are quite large. It’s known to be one of the best resorts in the Seychelles.
St Lucia has some of the most spectacular hotels in the Caribbean. Jade Mountain has rooms with one open wall, a private pool or plunge pool and incredible views of the Pitons. It’s a favourite with couples on honeymoon. On the same island, Ladera Resort is an intimate, low-key hotel set amid the forested mountains with private plunge pools. You can find more honeymoon suites with private pools at our sister site, 101 Honeymoons.
There’s nothing low-key about Cancun, but it’s large resort hotels are great value. At Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa you can book a private pool suite and still take advantage of the huge range of restaurants, bars, water sports and spa.
Jamaica Inn is a legendary hotel where many celebrities have stayed since the 1950s. Suite 21 is the most desirable room – it boasts a beautiful private pool, private decking directly over the ocean and a romantic four-poster bed. Winston Churchill holidayed there.
Sandals has luxury all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Bahamas and Curacao, with some rooms offering a private pool or plunge pool. Most sought-after are Over-the-Water Villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean with their own private infinity pool.
Middle East and Africa
On the coast of Oman, Six Senses Zighy Bay has a world-class spa, gourmet cuisine and the option to arrive by paraglider! All the suites and villas have a private pool, some on the beachfront. Some of the Berber Tents at Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco have a large private plunge pool with views of the Atlas Mountains. There’s a Master Suite which has a larger pool and can sleep up to six.
Ngala Lodge is a luxury adults-only hotel in The Gambia. Some suites have a large Jacuzzi on the terrace while the ground-floor Macondo Suites each have a private plunge pool. For the ultimate indulgence, book the new Femmy Suite which has its own 7.5m pool.
In Thailand, the ultra luxury Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood has suites with private pools, an indulgent way to finish off a tour of the country perhaps. Neighbouring Cambodia is also catching up with luxury resorts of its own. Song Saa on the Koh Rong Archipelago has villa-style suites, each with a private pool.
In India you can stay on the waterfront of Lake Pichola in Rajasthan where the Oberoi Udaivilas offers spacious luxury suites, each with a private infinity-edge pool and a tented private dining pavilion. In Sri Lanka you can go in search of leopards in Yala National Park and stay at Chena Huts where each of the 14 luxury cabins has a small private pool.
Around the world
In Iceland, at the five-star Torfhus Retreat, each room comes with a private balcony and a geothermally-heated basalt stone pool.
On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Qualia is a luxury island resort where The Windward Pavilions are spacious suites with an infinity edge pool overlooking the ocean with total privacy. For romance it’s hard to beat the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji where the LikuLiku Lagoon Resort has beachfront Bures with private plunge pool and overwater Bures with direct ladder access into the lagoon.
In California, the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel has been welcoming A-list movie stars since 1912. Elizabeth Taylor Bungalow 5 has an opulent private pool. In Arizona, the Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale has one bedroom suites with a generous-sized outdoor plunge pool and even an outdoor fireplace.
Costa Rica has several luxury rainforest lodges including Arenal Nayara Springs where your private plunge pool is fed by natural mineral hot springs. Some of the suites at Pacuare Lodge also have a private pool.
Last updated: 9 June 2022