In partnership with Scott Dunn
Being next to the water evokes a sense of calm, and taking a swim is often the only way to escape the endless heat of far-flung, tropical getaways.
To abolish any sense of guilt for kicking back and relaxing (as opposed to exploring), luxury tour operator Scott Dunn shares a hand-picked list of breathtaking pools that will make you feel as though you're sightseeing while dipping your toes in the refreshing water.
From infinity pools that blur the boundary between bright blues of water and air, to peaceful sanctuaries set in lush rainforests, each of these pools have postcard-worthy backdrops made for picture perfect holiday snaps.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
This Nordic bolt hole in the depths of the Troll Peninsula is a fantastic spot from which to explore the isolated realms of Northern Iceland. The luxurious retreat, whose 13 en-suite rooms can be hired altogether or on an individual basis, offers isolated luxury and is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring the surrounding wilderness.
A dedicated experience manager is on hand to tailor make each itinerary, which can be as adrenaline-fueled or relaxed as you desire, with activities that range from whale watching to snowshoeing or even surfing, depending on the season.
The highlight of any stay at Deplar farm, though, is the saltwater, geothermal heated infinity pool; stretching from the indoors out, the pool is complete with a swim-up bar, making it a magical place to enjoy the breathtaking views in the light of the midnight sun's glow.
If you're lucky, you may even be treated to a light show courtesy of Mother Nature – the Northern Lights have been known to dance in the sky above Deplar Farm.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Combine adventure with relaxation at Kasbah Tamadot, a boutique retreat in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Eclectic artefacts from around the world furnish the property, alongside traditional Moroccan furniture and rich fabrics. For those in need of a calming Moroccan retreat, the Asounfou spa is the best in the Atlas Mountains, offering traditional hammam treatments.
Not content with just one pool? Kasbah Tamadot has both an indoor and iconic outdoor horizon pool, which overlooks the steep river valley below, with a backdrop of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa.
For a more private moment of relaxation, several of the stunning Berber Tents situated in the gardens boast their own Jacuzzis, and for those feeling bit more adventurous, the beautiful cascading waterfall Cascades d'Ouzoud is within easy reach.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy
To label the setting of the majestic Grand Hotel Tremezzo 'photograph-worthy' would be a gross understatement.
A gem atop the crown of the Italian Lakes, the recently refurbished hotel blends antique Italian luxury with modern touches – the blissful spa features an indoor pool, 5 Jacuzzis, and a range of ESPA treatments.
In addition to the indoor spa pool, the hotel has two outdoor options: the first is sunk into Lake Como, well regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, and the second, Piscine dei Fiori, is situated in the landscaped gardens behind the hotel.
It's unlikely you’ll ever want to leave Grand Hotel Tremezzo, but if you do find yourself wanting to explore further, a great way to do so is on the hotel's Venetian motorboat, available for stylish tours around picturesque neighbouring towns.
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Perched atop the Hajar Mountains and only accessible by Four-Wheel Drive vehicles, Alila Jabal Akhdar emulates a sense of rugged luxury – its contemporary design a nod to the rich culture and history of Oman.
This eco-friendly hotel is nestled amidst the rocky wilderness, and is well-placed as a position from which to explore the breathtaking landscape. With temperatures often soaring high, the hotel's stunning infinity pool is a central feature which, being 200m above sea level, guarantees dramatic views.
A luxe eco-lodge nestled within the hills of Northern Bali, the tranquil Munduk Moding is set amidst lush jungle, coffee trees and rice fields. There's no better place to relax than the infinity pool, which has incredible views of the surrounding forests against the distant shimmering blue of the coastline.
Each villa is hidden away by the abundant vegetation, ensuring total privacy with incredible hillside views. Said views continue throughout the evening with the famed Balinese sunsets, and into the night, when twinkling stars dot the sky.
Make sure to save time for the complimentary afternoon tea that is served poolside to sample coffee from the hotel’s on-site coffee plantation.
Delamore Lodge, NZ
Delamore Lodge is perched precariously on a cliff edge on the northwestern tip of Waiheke Island, which boasts sensational beaches, excellent restaurants and globally recognised vineyards. The hotel pool is perfectly positioned to provide panoramic views over the Hauraki Gulf and out across the Pacific Ocean.
Each of the four guest suites also boast sweeping views of the surroundings – even from the bath!
Within the hotel, there is a tropical rockpool, waterfall and cave-like Jacuzzi, but if these don’t quell your desire to explore, try Sea Kayaking to Cathedral Cove – named one of the best sea kayaking trips in the country, this trip allows you to paddle through sea caves, interact with local marine life and explore the volcanic coastline.
Scott Dunn is an award-winning luxury tour operator that specialises in creating tailor-made holidays to amazing destinations all over the world. With a brand-new office in Singapore, as well as offices in the UK and USA, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding service 24 hours a day. For more information visit scottdunn.com or call 3158 6530