While an infinity-edge pool that glints under the sun is fabulous, nothing beats a private pool you need not share with other hotel guests. At several resorts and hotels around the world, from Botswana to the United Arab Emirates, a plunge pool to call your very own is set just a few feet from the bed.
1. Casa Palopo
Near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Formerly a private home, boutique hotel Casa Palopo's most exclusive accommodations are in its two-story Villa Palopo. When you book the entire two-bedroom villa, the outdoor infinity-edge pool perched on the hillside—complete with a Jacuzzi and outdoor palapa (a thatched-roof, open-air dwelling) with a wood-burning fireplace—is all yours. Also yours: brightly colored stucco walls and original Guatemalan paintings, plus butler service (hello, cocktails!) and a personal chef (poolside nibbles, anyone?).
2. Nam Hai Hoi An
Central VietnamThe Nam Hai, open since 2006, is an all-villa resort where the top-of-the-line accommodations (two- to five-bedroom villas) each boast a private infinity pool. Borrowing tips and tricks from feng shui experts—to get that chi circulating in the name of good energy—the pool is shouldered by lush plants and, back indoors, you can relax among Vietnamese lacquer and luxurious hand-spun silks. Canapés and drinks are served at your villa around 6pm daily, and a private butler is on hand, to boot.
3. Jade Mountain
Celebrating its six-year anniversary this fall, the glam Jade Mountain puts guests up in rooms that look out onto their own private pools, measuring between 400 and 900 square feet. From the pool—each of which has a unique glass-tile color scheme, along with fiber-optic lighting for nighttime swims—is a stunning, unobstructed view of not only the Grand Pitons (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), but also the lush landscaping at the 600-acre private estate of Anse Chastanet.
4. Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Booking a one-, two-, or three-bedroom villa—the most posh accommodations at Qasr Al Sarab—gets you a private pool overlooking the orange-red sand of the Liwa Desert, along with plenty of cabanas, an outdoor shower, and a full dining area to properly unwind and entertain. Plus, a personalized butler ensures the fridge is continually stocked with choice beverages.
5. Capella Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas
At the tony Capella Pedregal, the overall style of the place doesn't stop at your room. All accommodations flaunt a private plunge pool, with either beachfront or ocean views. There's no excuse not to take in a sunset when there's a private pool with five-star views just outside your door.
6. Ubud Hanging Gardens by Orient Express
Every villa at Ubud Hanging Gardens by Orient Express has its own private terrace where the focal point is a private pool. Paired with contemporary Balinese architecture for the interior, the exterior continues the native theme with lush plants and valley views that will cause you to gawk, again and again.
7. Kings Pool Camp
Deep in the bush, experience even more of the great outdoors thanks to a private plunge pool connected to each of the nine luxurious, tented suites at Kings Pool Camp. Also just a few steps from your suite: an outdoor daybed gazebo and the view of a lagoon packed with happy hippos.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living, and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Casa Palopo, Nam Hai Hoi An, Jade Mountain, Capella Padregal Resort, Kings Pool Camp-Dana Allen