We know you are doing it. How do we know? Because we are doing it too. It’s normal to scour the Internet in cold weather, warming up mentally by staring at pictures of warm-weather resorts from Santorini to Santiago. Just the sight of a palm tree in sunlight or the razor’s edge of an infinity pool is enough to make us whip out our credit cards in the name of an escape from late winter’s freezing clutches.
If you need to get away, these hotels around the globe offer pools that certainly made us drool.
There’s an incredible, bird’s-eye view over the treetops at the Baba Nest at Sri Panwa in Phuket, Thailand. The Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver has an indoor pool that doubles as a glowing, Art Deco piece of art. New York City was not to be outdone by more tropical locations and opened a brand new, year-round pool at the Park Hyatt. The hotel pipes in music via underwater speakers, giving a whole new meaning to the term “swimmer’s ear.”
Several on this list are budgetary bucket-list experiences (we definitely drooled over the Iniala Beach House), but we’ve also found many that are as affordable as they are beautiful. Check out the hippie enclave Hicksville in Joshua Tree, Calif.! And, don’t forget your little ones, because we didn’t. Disney has a pool that kids from 9 to 92 will want to visit in 2015.
1. Sri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand
This family-owned resort is set atop a cliff overlooking Cape Panwa, surrounded by lush foliage, thick groves of trees, and an absurd number of infinity pools. There are 85 on the property! The Baba Nest is the crowning glory, where you can literally swim with the birds and enjoy 360-degree views of the Andaman Sea. Large, fluffy beanbags are set out around 5 p.m. for those who want to enjoy the vista without getting wet, and even if you aren’t staying at Sri Panwa, you can make a reservation for a spot on this roof deck by calling the hotel.
2. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
Set at the highest point above the town of Ravello, this pool is an architectural masterpiece, seemingly suspended in the clouds. Swimming here provides an unparalleled view and breathtaking photo opportunities of the coastline below. Prices from $500 per night.
Fun Fact: The concierge can bring you an iPod pre-loaded with your choice of music and a fresh fruit appetizer. There’s also something called “an Evian vaporizer” for guests. Because when you’re in a pool, you definitely need to mist your face with European bottled water, right?
3. The Singular, Patagonia, Chile
Gazing out at the Last Hope Fjord in Puerto Bories, Chile, there’s no way one can help but feel tiny in the face of such awesome, staggering beauty. There is only wild, untouched coast and the snowcapped Patagonian mountains in front of you as you soak in this heated indoor/outdoor pool. It’s definitely an “edge of the Earth” moment.
4. The Park Hyatt
Debuted in August 2014, the new hotel’s breathtaking, three-story aerie on the 25th floor features an indoor swimming pool, modern lines, bright blue water, and incredible poolside service. Those aren’t the only amenities you’ll find here. There are underwater speakers built in the pool walls and floor, and the exclusive soundtrack is specially curated by Carnegie Hall for the Hyatt’s pool. How classy is that?
Fun Fact: As part of the pool experience, guests can indulge in the hydrotherapy hot tub, decadent steam room, and private changing rooms. The starting price for a night’s stay at the hotel starts at $795, but this is one on the list you can enjoy even in winter.
5. The Iniala Beach House
This resort (open since fall 2013) was previously a private home. It was converted to a boutique hotel, offering only three villas and one penthouse. For the rooms and layout, Owner Mark Weingard contacted his favorite designers from around the globe. No two rooms are alike. Each villa sleeps six and features a private, unique, infinity pool. Every pool on property faces a pristine stretch of the white sands of Natai Beach and the ocean beyond.
Fun Fact: It’s not cheap to carve out an escape here (villas start around $3,500 per day), but the included amenities are insane. You get daily spa treatments, free activities — like kayaking past herds of water buffalo in Phuket’s estuaries, Muay Thai kickboxing training, and guided mountain bike tours — and dinner at the property’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Aziamendi.
6. The Hicksville Trailer Palace, Joshua Tree, Calif.
Who wouldn’t want to pull off the highway for Hicksville? This trailer-park motel is a retreat for artists, from filmmakers to musicians, who come for the peace and fun peculiarity of spending a few days in a restored Airstream ($125) that’s powered by solar energy and has fast Wi-Fi for surfing. The pool is a welcoming attraction in the center of the trailers. Tiny, filled with saltwater, peanut-shaped and heated, it’s a one-of-a-kind place to collaborate on your documentary or have an impromptu jam session with total strangers.
Fun Fact: The Trailer Palace also offers a BB gun range, table tennis, a fire pit for s’mores, and archery. It’s like summer camp for adults, y’all.
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