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15 of our favorite hotel pools on the planet

Dec. 28, 2021
13 min read
The Cape Los Cabos
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TPG staffers are nothing if not frequent travelers and we travel to review hotels, we’re of course working, which involves testing out everything a property has to offer, including the pool. A hotel's pool is often the most standout aspect of many properties we come across.

While we’ve already written about the all-time most beautiful hotel pools, we wanted to give TPG editors and writers the chance to weigh in on their personal favorites from travels. Because what's a vacation without some luxurious pool time?

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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

The original Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, found his entire stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi to be spectacular, but the infinity pool at the overwater Stella Maris Villa was the pièce de résistance. There are few things we can think of that are more picturesque — or have a more influencer-approved floating breakfast — than an L-shaped infinity pool overlooking the turquoise waters of the Maldives. Did we mention it's a private pool? If that's not enough for you, try their Exclusive Private Island. Yes, you can rent your own island, featuring nine bedrooms, five pools, a private entertainment clubhouse, tennis court and private playground for adults and children alike. Read more in our full review of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

(Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

The Bodrum Edition in Turkey

As if the Turkish Riviera doesn’t sound exotic enough, the Bodrum Edition makes for a truly extraordinary escape. The property’s sleek, simple rectangular infinity pool, surrounded by lush green and floral landscaping overlooking the Aegean Sea, is stunning. Of the 108 guest rooms, suites and villas, most come with views of the aforementioned Aegean Sea and some with their own pools, too, if "just" a sea view simply will not do. Former TPG reviews editor Nick Ellis is a fan of the Edition’s infinity-edged pool and signature white-cushioned loungers that he found to be both comfortable and picture-perfect, which let's face it, is not always the case. Read about this and more in our full review of Turkey's Bodrum Edition.

(Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.)

Four Seasons Oahu in Hawaii

Obviously, we could not write a story about hotel pools without mentioning Hawaii at least once. Although the Four Seasons Resort Oahu boasts three pools, TPG senior writer Zach Griff found that the one you’ll really want to dive into is the 123-foot-long adults-only infinity pool (there’s also an accompanying Jacuzzi). Alternatively, spend the afternoon lounging in one of the many chairs and admire the reflection of the palm trees in the cool blue water with the expansive sea beyond. For extra privacy, you can rent one of the resort's private daybeds or cabanas set in a private garden overlooking the adult infinity pool and Pacific ocean. Read Zach's full review of the Four Seasons in Oahu here.

(Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.)

The Jaffa, A Luxury Collection Hotel in Israel

Although The Jaffa doesn’t have the sea views that many other Tel Aviv hotels perched along the beach offer, TPG contributor Isabelle Raphael loved the pool’s serene urban vibes. Besides having the perfect ratio of shade and sun, the white-cushioned, wicker loungers were perfect for a relaxing afternoon sipping pomegranate juice and snacking on dates in the Israeli sunshine. Read her lively review of The Jaffa, which she says is a "must-go for visitors to Israel, even if only to gawk at The Chapel bar."

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(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.)

The Cape, a Thompson Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Travelers looking to party in style should hang at this Hyatt property‘s infinity pool. Flanked by boulders and sand, the pool is gorgeous, with panoramic ocean views and loungers that sit directly in the water. Poolside service is excellent, so plan to order a margarita (or three). And if you don’t feel up to swimming in the pool, at least take a dip in your room’s copper-clad, free-standing bathtub, which is one of the best TPG senior travel editor Melanie Lieberman has ever seen. In her review, she aptly referred to it as a "Bathroom Named Desire." When it comes to bathtubs, say less.

(Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy.)

Singita Lebombo in South Africa

One of South Africa’s most beautiful options for a safari stay is Singita Lebombo, according to Mr. TPG himself, Brian Kelly, who said the design-forward lodge blends in seamlessly with the surrounding bush while also offering guests the ultimate luxury safari accommodations. The pool overlooks 33,000 acres of nature on the grounds of Kruger National Park, so be on the lookout for the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, black rhinoceroses and African buffalo), all of which you may spot directly from the pool, in addition to other wildlife like monkeys and zebras. Discover why Mr. Kelly considers Singita Lebombo Lodge to be his "all-time favorite safari" in his full review here.

(Photo courtesy of Singita)

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico

With indulgent extras like outdoor showers and fresh coconut carts, a stay at Dorado Beach is positively one-of-a-kind. Although the resort has a few pools, former reviews editor Nick Ellis referred to the Positivo infinity pool as the place to be. The enormous pool overlooks the resort's private beach and has many different barriers and private sections with comfortable daybeds and lounge chairs for the ultimate day of relaxation. And don’t forget to ask for a fresh coconut from the cart. See why he thinks Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach is a "once-in-a-lifetime resort" in his full review.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

Although Fiji Marriott Resort in Momi Bay has three pools and a bay for swimming, the highlight is the sunset pool — best for (you guessed it) a sunset dip. It's also restricted to those guests age 18 and older (younger swimmers can enjoy the kids' pool). Although the infinity pool that overlooks the ocean is mesmerizing during the daytime, sunset is when it really shines. A whirlpool is next to the sunset pool, which also offers excellent views. The open-air poolside sunset bar has a contemporary feel, playing chill beats, with enthusiastic bartenders ready to mix the perfect cocktail for you after your swim. Read why JT Genter counts this resort his favorite among the three he tried in Fiji in his review of the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay here.

(Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

W Dubai Palm Jumeirah

W Hotels aptly names its pools “Wet," meaning sexier, stylish, man-made bodies of water with an exceptionally stylish ambience. The W Jumeirah is no different, located on the edge of Dubai’s famous The Palm. With a series of interconnecting infinity pools, peppered with egg-shaped, cushioned wicker pods for sunbathing directly in the water, it doesn’t get much cooler than this. You won't want to miss the view from the hotel's WET® Deck and of course, the pool is decked out with "billowing cabanas and latticed lounge pods near the Arabian Sea." And, with W’s see-and-be-seen vibe, you can be sure there will be plenty of people-watching to keep you entertained all day long. TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg says "The W Dubai Palm Jumeirah sets the gold standard for every other hotel in the W brand" in his full review here.

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

Amankila Bali in Indonesia

The three-tiered pool at Amankila Bali has extensive ocean views from the hillside — and you can expect sublime poolside service, too. The moment you sit down in one of the Balinese gazebos or lounge chairs, a pool staff attendant will almost immediately assist you with towels and offer you a glass of chilled water with lime. And if three tiers aren’t enough for you, there’s also another small pool down below at the hotel’s private beach club. Don't forget the property's private black-sand beach. To read more about one of Bali's most iconic properties, TPG contributor Ravi Ghelani's full review of the Amankila Bali.

(Photo by Ravi Ghelani / The Points Guy).
(Photo by Ravi Ghelani/The Points Guy)

Las Alcobas in Napa Valley, California

Calling any wine lovers looking to combine a refreshing dip with fantastic vineyard views -- we've got the spot for you: Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection property in Napa Valley. Although the pool is small, it’s heated to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can dip in even during chillier weather. There’s even free sunscreen available, which is oh so important, free or not. Beyond the pool (which of course has plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas) are two fire pits where you can warm up after an evening swim, and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding vineyards. Read more about the Las Alcobas, which TPG senior writer Zach Griff says is a "luxurious option for those looking to stay in Napa Valley overlooking some of the country's most famous vineyards" in his full review.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort in Vietnam

The rounded swirls of the giant infinity pools Oasis and Ombra at the InterContinental Phu Quoc evoke feelings of ultimate relaxation. The pools have a very Zen vibe, with lounge chairs and egg-shaped daybed pods surrounded by palm trees and even a wooden bridge crossing the spacious pool. With deck chairs and umbrellas set directly in the pool, you can’t help but soak in the tranquility here. Plus the property only opened in 2018, which TPG senior writer Katie Genter details in her review of the InterContinental Phu Quo here.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Four Seasons Koh Samui in Thailand

The second Four Seasons property on this list also happens to be located in southeast Asia. Although many of the villas at the Four Seasons Koh Samui have private plunge pools, the main infinity pool takes the cake. Being beachside and framed by towering palm trees and bold jungle foliage makes it especially stunning. The plush and comfortable daybeds overlook the beach and glittering waves of Thailand’s gulf. And pool service includes small luxuries such as cool, scented towels and complimentary fruit juice shots. See why TPG senior writer Zach Griff thinks the Four Season Resort Koh Samui, nestled on its own hill, "provides an uber-luxe retreat from daily life" in his full review here.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Calala Island in Nicaragua

How’s a private island with a maximum capacity of eight — yes eight — people sound to you? Yeah, we think it’s pretty great, too. In her full review of Calala Island, TPG contributor Carissa Rawson was blown away by this property’s deep connection to nature, its all-inclusive experience and the wonderful team of staff. But the pool stood out; the infinity pool overlooks the NiCaribbean — that’s what Nicaragua is billing its slice of the Caribbean Sea — beyond and is quite possibly the perfect spot to enjoy a tropical cocktail and while away a sun-filled afternoon. An entire private island across four beachfront suites just for you and your guests, complete with a team of more than 25 people, which the property says "look after your every wish." Yes, please!

(Photo by Carissa Rawson/The Points Guy)

The West Hollywood Edition in California

The second Edition property to make this list impressed former TPG reviews editor Nick Ellis by offering all the ingredients for a quintessential Los Angeles getaway — views as far as the eye can see, a sexy-but-casual pool deck and top-notch food and drinks. Make sure you check out this pool during magic hour (just before the sun sets) to catch spectacular views of the sunset and, if you’re lucky, the Downtown LA skyline. Learn why Ellis deemed the rooftop pool at the WeHo Edition as its "standout amenity without a doubt, with its low-to-the-ground white loungers and a clean, rectangular pool with a surface that barely rose above the pool deck" in his full review of the West Hollywood Edition.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Additional reporting by Caroline Tanner

Featured image by The Cape Los Cabos (Photo by Melanie Lieberman)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

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  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
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1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.