7 All-Inclusives with Out-of-This-World Pools
You can punch out of work and fly halfway across the world, but it’s not vacation until someone hops into the pool. Of course, not all swimming pools are created equal. Before you find yourself face to face with a less-than-stellar tiled chlorine trap, consider these over-the-top all-inclusives, where the lazy rivers and swim-up bars promise to keep you waterlogged—in the best possible way.
Excellence Playa Mujeres
This adults-only playground has something for everyone—a powdery white shoreline for sun worshippers, proximity to a Greg Norman–designed course for golf enthusiasts, a world-class spa for luxury seekers—but the resort’s seven pools, totaling more than 55,500 square feet of swimmable expanse, take the cake. Surrounded by a sea of thatched palapas, the main pool snakes around the property’s beachfront, offering a series of overwater hammocks, in-pool chaises, and shallow lounging platforms that keep you cool while providing optimum sun.
Ikos Oceania Greece
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful backdrop for a swimming pool than the azure waters of the Mediterranean—no wonder Greece’s Ikos Oceania spotlighted it with a stunning infinity edge pool that looks as though it laps right up to the sea. Chaises hidden beneath bright white umbrellas provide a picturesque perch around its perimeter, but for the ultimate in all-out luxury, park yourself (ouzo in hand) in the shade of a lone olive tree, which dominates a discreet peninsula at the center of the pool.
Floor-to-ceiling windows frame a surreal setting of snow-capped mountains and crystalline Lake Sarmiento at Tierra Patagonia’s spa pool, an earth-hued refuge that feels like your own undiscovered grotto in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. Massage jets within the infinity-edge natatorium soothe tired limbs—the result of glacier hikes and alpine treks—but don’t completely space out: look close enough and you’ll see wild guanacos in the distance. Want a closer look? The outdoor whirlpool hot tub gives you the perfect vantage point.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
Cheery mosaic flowers sit like treasure at the bottom of the leisure pool at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp, but you’ll want to train your gaze ahead: the infinity-edge pool sits on a verdant jungle ridge in Thailand’s Chiang Rai region, overlooking plentiful palm and banana trees. Majestic pachyderm statuary grace the pool’s perimeter, a nod to the resort’s on-site elephant camp, but the most prominent point remains a Khmer-style pagoda at its center, a shady spot to beat the heat when the sun reaches its peak.
Secrets Cap Cana
Blink and you might miss the white-sand shore just beyond the freeform swimming pool at Secrets Cap Cana. That’s because the pool is lined with potted palms as far as the eye can see—on the beachfront section, the palms occupy tiny islands within the pool itself—and has a gentle grade that lets you wade in gradually. But perhaps the biggest reason for your myopia is a thatched palapa swim-up bar that keeps the pina coladas flowing.
The award for swimming pools with the best views has to go to Jade Mountain—perhaps even more so because the glass-tiled beauties are completely private. Like the hotel’s accommodations, the ensuite infinity-edge pools occupy cliff-side perches overlooking St. Lucia’s twin Piton mountains and the Caribbean Sea, giving them the appearance of a treetop refuge suspended above the clouds. Bonus: they’re wired with fiber optics to keep them colorfully illuminated at night.
Colony Club Barbados
Though admittedly more of a partially inclusive hotel, the Colony Club makes up for its lack of complimentary amenities with one very big one: a series of meandering lagoon-style swimming pools with waterfall features and lush jungle greenery at every turn. Don’t miss the swim-up bar, where you can sip your rum punch from a submerged barstool overlooking the beach.
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