“What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed at?” As professional travel writers, we get asked that question a lot.
It’s a tough one to answer – because we’ve been fortunate to stay at places where the “wow” factor jumps off the charts.
How do you compare some of the most romantic hotels in Europe with dreamy overwater bungalows in Bora Bora?
We can tell you, however, that resorts and hotels with private pools in-room tend to be some of the most luxurious.
And, good news. You don’t have to venture half way around the globe to treat yourself to a fabulous private pool suite.
There are some stunning hotels with pools in the room right in the USA!
Now, most of the time, the pools are not actually in the room, but outside on the deck or terrace.
When we say “in-room,” it’s a short-hand way of saying your room or villa comes with a private pool.
27+ Ultra-gorgeous hotels with private pools in-room
We’ve splashed out in most of the following villa resorts and hotels with private pool suites. (Who said “work” is no fun?)
Here they are – in Mexico, Africa, Greece, Fiji, Bora Bora, Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and the USA.
Contents: Luxury private pool hotels and resorts
Mexico | Hotels in Mexico with private pools
Africa | Romantic getaways with private pools in Africa
Greece | Greece resorts with private pool suites
South Pacific | Bora Bora and Fiji hotels with private pools
Thailand | Thailand hotels with private pools
Bali | Bali resorts and villas with private pools
Sri Lanka | Sri Lanka hotels with private pools
Costa Rica | Costa Rica hotels with private pools in-room
Caribbean | Caribbean hotels with pool suites
Mexico hotels with private pools
Mexico is bursting with amazing hotels and all-inclusive resorts with private pools – you won’t lack for choice here!
Indeed, we’ve written a whole post on the 21 most beautiful Mexico resorts with private pools.
We’ve even done a deep dive into the best hotels in Tulum with private pools!
Below are a few of them to get you dreaming about Mexico…
1) Thompson – Zihuatanejo
A cool suite with your own private plunge pool? And you’re mere steps away from one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Mexico?
Say hello to the Thompson Zihuatanejo!
It hugs Playa La Ropa, one of the best beaches in Zihuatanejo. (“Zihua” is a laid-back beach town near Ixtapa).
The renovated private pool hotel (formerly a Viceroy) features oh-so-sophisticated rooms plus one- and two-bedroom suites.
Decorated in muted tones of coffee, they’re kitted out with exposed wood ceiling beams, Oaxacan clay lights, contemporary Mexican artworks and pebble stone floors.
All suites in the 56-room property have private pools. In the best suites, rather than a plunge pool, you have your own private infinity pool.
Confession: We actually didn’t spend any time in our own private pool because the public spaces were so nice! The resort has a trio of outdoor pools (two for adults).
Plus, La Ropa beach is just so darn alluring!
What’s especially appealing is that there’s so much space at the resort’s beach area. No lounge chairs cheek-to-jowl here.
Instead, super-comfy teak beach beds are spread out under palm trees and umbrellas – and it never feels crowded.
And when you’re hungry?
Hao, the resort’s alfresco beachside restaurant, serves up both your morning eggs as well as cocktails and appies when the sun sets.
Thompson Zihuatanejo, Mexico: See more reviews + check rates
2) La Casa Que Canta – Zihuatanejo
Like the Thompson resort with private pools (in #1 above), La Casa Que Canta is also in Zihuatanejo, with easy access to Playa La Ropa.
La Casa Que Canta means “the house that sings.” And this boutique hotel is as beautiful as its name. (See our review of La Casa Que Canta.)
Of the 25 oceanfront suites, 11 have private plunge pools.
As well, the hotel has two fabulous four-bedroom private villas. Each comes with its own infinity pool and a private chef.
When you tire of lolling about by your private pool, staff can organize whale watching tours (in winter), golfing excursions, fishing expeditions and more.
La Casa Que Canta, Mexico: See more reviews + check rates
3) Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen
Sip a margarita as you lounge in your own private plunge pool, soaking in splendid sea views.
All of the 90 spacious suites in the Grand Class section of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya have oceanfront balconies with private plunge pools.
You can expect a king bed, free Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service too.
The resort is also one of the best places if you’re a foodie. We guarantee you’ll be as impressed with the food (which is amazing!) at this top-notch all-inclusive resort as we were!
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya restaurants undid any thoughts we had of dieting.
Mind you, try to venture out from the resort, at least for a tiny bit.
There are many fun things to do in the Riviera Maya – from taking a refreshing dip in cool cenotes to exploring the ruins of Tulum.
And it would be a shame to miss out on these adventures.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya: See more reviews + check rates
4) Banyan Tree Cabo Marques – Acapulco
Tucked away in a lush gated community, the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques is an elegant hideaway in Mexico.
It has beautiful Asian-style private pool villas, built on stilts on a hill overlooking Acapulco Bay.
The jaw-dropping views from our plunge pool kept us spellbound. As did the orange and magenta sunsets.
It was fun to see parrots, vultures and seabirds flying above our heads too.
Indeed, this is one of those villa hotels with pools on the balcony or terrace, where we happily spent a lot of time in our own private pool.
Mind you, we tore ourselves away to eat at the resort’s Thai-themed Saffron restaurant.
Banyan Tree Cabo Marques: See more reviews + check rates
Romantic getaways with private pools in Africa
Africa may be a world away. But in terms of luxury, its safari and beach resorts can leave you gobsmacked.
The following are just some of the best hotels with private pools in Africa.
5) Baraza Resort & Spa – Zanzibar
As soon as you see the Swahili arches, gauzy gold curtains and beautiful antiques, you get an inkling your stay at Baraza Resort & Spa is going to be pretty special.
Then when you’re sipping the resort’s signature Dawa cocktails (made from vodka, lime and honey) on their pure white beach, you know you’ve checked into one of the best resorts in Zanzibar.
By the way, the beach – Bwejuu Beach – has been ranked among the world’s top 30 beaches by Conde Nast Traveler.
We also think it’s one of the prettiest beaches in the world.
Baraza, which has 30 one- and two-bedroom villas (all villas with private pools, of course), was judged #12 on the list of “Top 25 Hotels in Africa” in the 2022 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards.
You might also like to read our review of Baraza.
The resort gets particularly high marks for its ever-changing 5-course dinners.
Memorable moment: Bathing with clove-scented soap in our egg-shaped stone tub…
Baraza Resort & Spa: See more reviews + check rates
Another lovely Zanzibar hotel with private pools
6) The Palms
See our post on romancing The Palms for what it’s like to stay at this incredibly romantic adults-only boutique hotel (with just seven villas).
7) Simbambili Game Lodge – South Africa
You can’t beat the leopard and lion sightings at Simbambili Game Lodge.
It’s located in the wildlife-rich Sabi Sand Game Reserve, part of the world-famous Kruger National Park.
In fact, you’re pretty certain to see all the “Big Five” animals during a three-night stay here – we did.
Bonus: We also witnessed an impressive lion kill on our “Big 5” safari.
Now, villa resorts with private pools aren’t all that common in safari game reserves.
Simbambili, however, has nine honeymoon-deluxe, thatched-roof bungalows with private plunge pools on huge rustic wooden decks.
Your deck faces a water hole in the distance, where you may see a parade of elephants, buffalo, antelope, kudu and other animals coming to drink.
Simbambili Game Lodge also organizes private bush lunches.
Simbambili Game Lodge: See more reviews + check rates
8) Chinzombo – Zambia
Wildly luxurious. Overlooking the Luangwa River. Just six bush-chic tented villas with their own pools. That’s Chinzombo, one of Zambia’s best safari camps.
You don’t even have to go on game drives to see wildlife.
While floating in your pool, you see elephants and other animals.
Yep, Chinzombo wows with luxury.
You can read all about it in our Chinzombo review – and find out about the killer leopards too!
Chinzombo, Time+Tide Africa: See more reviews + check rates
Greece hotels with private pools in-room
When you’re looking for down time in Greece, plenty of hotels are waiting to make your bed-to-private-pool dream a reality!
9) St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas – Crete
The cure for overdosing on ancient Greek temples and ruins?
An escape to St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas on the island of Crete.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it boasts some of the finest hotel suites with private pools. As in… Stone-clad suites and villas with organic Coco-Mat mattresses and huge infinity pools.
We’re talking true swimming pool suites!
Throw in a private beach cove, a spa with a private seawater cave for couples, an authentic Greek taverna and oh-so-soothing views of the Aegean Sea – and you’ll be set right in no time.
This treatment worked for us.
Though we needed a few days there to make sure we were really better before flying home.
And then we wrote a whole review about St. Nicolas Bay Resort.
St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas: See more reviews + check rates
10) Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort – Santorini
Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie have bedded down here?
Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, is one of the best Santorini hotels.
But it doesn’t have those gawk-worthy sea views like Ikies, another Santorini hotel we’ve stay at.
Isn’t that what everyone wants when bedding down on the volcanic crater island of Santorini (which is such a unique Greek island)?
Oh, but you say we’ll be away from the tourist crowds, relaxing in a peaceful setting within an authentic Greek village?
And we can have our own private pool overlooking vineyards? And there are complimentary transfers to a private beach club?
Okay, sign us up!
At Vedema, we stayed in a Dorian Suite – which was lovely even without a private pool. (See our Vedema Resort review.)
But the one-bedroom Olympian Villas have private pools, as does the Presidential Villa, naturally!
Each villa also has an outdoor jacuzzi plus a 49-inch flat-screen TV with satellite channels (because you never know when you might want to snuggle up and watch a movie).
Vedema Resort, Santorini: See more reviews + check rates
Fiji and Bora Bora hotels with private pools
You’d think that with beautiful South Pacific waters to swim in, there’d be no need for beach resorts with private pools. Not true.
Sometimes you don’t want to get salty. And sometimes you just want a quick dip without walking those 20 steps from your deck to the beach. You can never be too spoiled, right?
The following Fiji and Bora Bora resorts with private plunge pools are two of the best.
11) Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Fiji
Sure, it’s nice to snorkel right from your deck of the overwater bungalows at Likuliku Lagoon Resort.
It’s the first resort with overwater bungalows in Fiji – and and dare we say, it has the best over-the-water Fijian bures?
But a string of 18 other ultra-luxe beachfront suites at this 5-star Fiji resort have private plunge pools, outdoor stone showers and huge shaded day beds. Also very nice!
Plus, there’s the huge main pool you can use too.
That’s not all…
Likuliku’s breezy restaurant serves up light gourmet fare with locally-grown organic produce. Steamed coral trout with cucumber and coconut cream? Mmmm…
Sailing and kayaking are complimentary. And its spa offers blissful warm stone massage treatments too.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji: See more reviews + check rates
12) Four Seasons Bora Bora – French Polynesia
Now, an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora is dreamy enough, right?
But to really crank up the wow factor, you can book an overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora that has a plunge pool on your deck too.
Perfect for rinsing off after snorkeling in Bora Bora’s popsicle blue lagoon!
Luxurious amenities include pillow menus, organic Panpuri bath products, perfectly-operating air conditioning and lots of bottled water.
The glass panel in the living room floor is pretty cool too – is that a cute baby shark in the water below?
Four Seasons Bora Bora: See more reviews + check rates
Thailand hotel rooms with private pools
Luxury travelers often look to Southeast Asia for its top-notch resorts, where service reigns supreme.
Thailand is one such spot.
The following two Thai hotels with a private pool showcase the best of the country through their secluded natural surroundings and unique architecture.
13) Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Krabi
There are Ritz-Carltons.
And then there are Ritz-Carlton Reserves – which are even more luxurious.
We were captivated by Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand. It’s one of our all-time favorite resorts for staying in a private villa with private pool. (Yep, it’s pretty private!)
Each of the 54 opulent villas at this villa resort has butler service.
Our butler appeared like a genie whenever we needed him.
Upon check-in, he even bathed our trip-weary feet in a bowl of warm oil-scented water, sprinkled with rose petals.
Sinful confession: Overlooking a karst-studded bay, the main outdoor swimming pool with its curtained daybeds and complimentary coconut juice service was so alluring that we hardly used our own private pool.
Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve: See more reviews + check rates
14) Six Senses Yao Noi – Phang Nga Bay
A 45-minute speedboat ride from Phuket – but a world away – is the Six Senses Yao Noi.
We yearned for a romantic getaway. And we found it here at this intimate hideaway on the ultra-peaceful island of Koh Yao Noi.
Rooms are thatched-roof villas (that feel like treehouses), with breezy indoor/outdoor bathrooms and huge terraces with private pools.
Inside, the eco-chic décor is equally seductive, with mosquito netting suspended above huge king beds.
We’d spend days bicycling quiet country roads, lazing about by the beach and napping on a daybed by our pool.
Then at night, we’d dine on fresh organic salads picked from the garden and delicious Italian and Thai specialties.
No doubt about it – the Six Senses Yao Noi is one of the best private pool resorts in Thailand (indeed, all of Asia).
If you need more proof, it made The Telegraph’s list of “11 Brilliant US and Caribbean Hotels to Book for 2022.”
Six Senses Yao Noi: See more reviews + check rates
Bali resorts with private pools
Bali is blessed with a wealth of luxury villa resorts with private pools – we’ve bedded down in many of them. (See our guide to the best luxury hotels in Bali.)
Here are a few of our faves.
15) Alila Villas Uluwatu – Bukit Peninsula
When it comes to luxury clout, Alila Villas Uluwatu tops our list of the most luxurious Bali hotels with private pools.
For one thing, its one-bedroom villas are ginormous – larger than 3,000 square feet in size – with window walls that open up completely.
We loved that we could almost roll from our living room daybed into our pool.
The ocean views from the resort’s cliffside perch are also stupendous.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali: See more reviews + check rates
More Bali villas with private swimming pools
See our post on luxury pool villas in Seminyak for reviews of the following Bali villa resorts with private pools:
16) Kunja Villas
17) The One Villas
Sri Lanka hotels with in-room pool suites
When it comes to accommodation, Sri Lanka can compete with the best in the world.
And this island nation is no stranger to private pools in hotels and resorts.
18) Ulagalla – Anuradhapura
Any good Sri Lanka itinerary will have you visiting what’s known as the Cultural Triangle.
To visit Sri Lanka’s incredible UNESCO sites within the Cultural Triangle, base yourself at Ulagalla. With romantic pool suites, it’s one of the loveliest hotels we’ve stayed at!
And trust us.
After bicycling around ancient temples and climbing up rock monuments in the heat, you’ll relish the luxury of cooling off in your own outdoor pool afterward!
Keep an eye out for monkeys! They can often be seen swinging about in the treetops.
Then when the sun sets, dine by candlelight on delicious local curries and organic salads in the eco-resort’s historic mansion restaurant.
Ulagalla, Sri Lanka: See more reviews + check rates
Other Sri Lanka resorts with private pools in-room
See our post on 15 insanely gorgeous places to stay in Sri Lanka for our reviews of the following:
19) Water Garden Sigiriya
20) The Fortress Resort & Spa
21) Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Costa Rica hotels with private pools
Yes, you want to see monkeys, sloths and colorful macaws, toucans and other birds in Costa Rica.
But when it comes time for relaxation, it’s a pleasure to kick back by your own private pool.
22) Papagayo Luxury Villas – Guanacaste
Spread out in your own luxury vacation condo or private villa on Costa Rica’s exclusive Papagayo Peninsula.
Now, we’re Four Seasons fans, and the Papagayo Peninsula is home to the Four Seasons Costa Rica, which has private pool suites.
But there are more accommodation options in the Papagayo Luxury Villas collection.
It consists of more than a dozen gorgeous properties with pools, all expertly managed by Jane Moore. (We stayed in Vista Hermosa.)
You have a concierge too, who arranges private chef services and child care.
Papagayo Luxury Villas: For more information, see their website
23) Makanda by the Sea – Quepos
Celebrating a honeymoon or special occasion?
Made for romance, this 27-room, adults-only boutique hotel near wildlife-rich Manuel Antonio National Park is the perfect place for such an escape.
Upgrade to a villa at Makanda by the Sea for your own private pool in the rainforest.
Makanda by the Sea: See more reviews + check rates
Caribbean resorts with private pools
The Caribbean is especially easy to get to if you live on the east coast of Canada or the U.S.
Luckily, you can find many delightful private plunge pool resorts in the Caribbean.
24) Blue Waters Resort – Antigua
Blue Waters is a lovely British colonial-style resort on Antigua, a Caribbean island boasting 365 beautiful beaches (one for every day of the year, they say).
It has three super luxurious villas: Pelican House, Turtle Cottage and Rock Cottage. They feature private swimming pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
No doubt Prince Harry bunked down in one of these spacious villas. (He’s a past guest of the hotel.)
What’s cool is that the hotel also has Cove Suites and Penthouses in separate buildings offering exclusive access to several infinity pools reserved just for guests in these suites.
True, you can’t go skinny dipping.
But these secluded pools are quiet – and they feel almost private (but without the price tag of the villas).
Find out how you too can holiday like royalty at Blue Waters, Antigua.
Blue Waters Resort & Spa: See more reviews + check rates
25) Jade Mountain Resort – St. Lucia
On St. Lucia, we stayed at one of the most romantic Caribbean resorts, Ladera Resort.
All of its 37 eco-friendly suites have their own plunge pools.
They also all feature an “open wall” (meaning no wall!), affording gob-smacking views of the incredible Piton Mountains and surrounding natural beauty.
And then there’s Jade Mountain Resort.
You get those same beautiful views of the Pitons, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But their private pool suites are, well, simply over-the-top.
This 5-star luxury hotel with private pools in-room really does have pools in the rooms – bridges through lush gardens lead to your infinity pool sanctuary.
Like Ladera, one wall is completely open to the views, bringing the outdoors in.
For an ultra-special splurge, book a Galaxy pool suite – enjoy 2,000 square feet of grand space with a 900 sq. ft. infinity pool.
The slightly smaller Sun, Moon and Star pool suites are just as gorgeous, however.
For pools in hotel rooms in St. Lucia, we promise you’ll swoon over both Ladera and Jade Mountain Resort.
Jade Mountain: See more reviews + check rates
More Caribbean villas with private pools
See our post: Vacation Like a Multi-Millionaire at These Posh Caribbean Villas!
Hotels with private plunge pools in USA
You don’t always have to travel far afield for a deluxe escape!
We bet you’ll agree when you check out the Amangiri and Four Seasons Scottsdale hotels with private pool rooms (below), right in the U.S.
26) Amangiri Utah
Explore Utah’s remote canyons from this ultra-deluxe (and wallet-breaking) Aman resort.
Just tied the knot?
For honeymoon suites with private pools, Amangiri is about as special as you can get.
Several rooms and canvas-roofed pavilions have spacious plunge pools plus star-gazing terraces.
A Navajo-inspired spa, yoga classes, fire pits, a gorgeous main swimming pool and epic outdoor experiences (like a via ferrata) round out a stay at Amangiri.
Traveling as a family or two couples?
The Grand View Pavilion is a spacious two-bedroom suite with two large ensuite bedrooms, each with a king-size bed (or twin beds) and outdoor shower.
Best of all, the Grand View Pavilion suite offers dramatic 270-degree views of the surrounding rose-gold mesa from its private terrace.
Amangiri Utah: See more reviews + check rates
27) Four Seasons Scottsdale
Nestled in the Sonoran Desert in the far reaches of North Scottsdale is the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
Guest rooms are housed in separate casita buildings; book a main floor casita room for an outdoor fireplace on your private patio.
You may feel no need for your own pool because the main pool is so gorgeous.
The 6,000 sq. ft. pool is spread out over two levels.
The pampering by the pool includes Four Seasons’ signature complimentary sunglass cleaning, chilled towels and frozen treats.
There are also private cabanas you can rent during your stay.
But book one of the resort’s deluxe luxury suites (say a one-bedroom Oasis Suite) and you’ll get a spacious outdoor living space.
Enjoy the alfresco garden shower, your own plunge pool with chaise lounges and even an outside TV.
And if that’s not enough for your desert getaway, the resort also tempts you with a world-class spa, fitness center, four on-site restaurants (one an award-winning steakhouse), popular hiking trails and two of the best golf courses in the U.S.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale: See more reviews + check rates
Luxury hotels with private pools
So there you have it – our curated collection of some of the world’s best villa resorts and hotels with in-room pools.
Have you splashed out in a private pool suite? Do tell! You can let us know in the Comments below…
Discover more beautiful hotels + resorts!
Kauai | Check out the best hotels in Kauai, ranging from boutique escapes to family-friendly resorts.
Rhodes | The top boutique hotels in Rhodes, Greece include Elite Suites, where most suites have private sea-view pools.
Los Cabos | The 5-star hotels in Cabo San Lucas are a magnet for A-list celebrities – and are some of the most deluxe in the world. (We’ve bedded down in many of them.)
Mallorca | From a farm finca to a fabulous seaside estate, check out these enchanting places to stay in Mallorca.
Victoria, Canada | We live in Victoria; see our insider guide to the best hotels in Victoria, BC.
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Photo credits: 34, 36, 37 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Lead image courtesy St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas | Remaining photos courtesy of the respective private pool resorts
About the authors
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.
Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!
Wednesday 30th of October 2019
These are some gorgeous resorts with great amenities! It must be so luxurious to stay at one of them. They make me want to go somewhere this cold season!
Janice and George
Thursday 31st of October 2019
You can't go wrong checking in at any of these resorts (except you won't want to pick the Greek resorts for a warm-weather escape between mid- to late-October and early April, as they'll be closed).
Sunday 26th of May 2019
Super swanky! Which one is the most "affordable"?
Janice and George
Wednesday 29th of May 2019
If you asked someone else, they might say, "If you have to ask, you can't afford any of these places!" :-).
But seriously, Simbambili Game Lodge is "affordably" luxurious for a terrific Sabi Sands game lodge in South Africa. There are many safari lodges that are more expensive in South Africa. So it's probably the most "affordable" of the places we've covered here...
Friday 7th of October 2016
I've seen your Santorini photos in perfect time as heading there next week and can't wait...though not staying where you did or where Brangelina stayed but the place we're going to does have a caldera facing infinity pool so I'm hoping the sun will be out :) You have both stayed in some utterly magical places so I can easily see why it must be such a hard question when you get asked what " the best" is. That game reserve in South Africa as well as the Fijian retreat are calling out to me most!
Janice and George
Saturday 8th of October 2016
You should still get sunshine in Santorini! Having a caldera-facing infinity pool will be lovely. Don't forget to do the hike from Fira to Oia :-). The weather will be just right for this -- not too hot, and you'll enjoy amazing views and get some exercise too :-). Have fun!
Tuesday 4th of October 2016
Oh wow the Baraza Resort & Spa in Zanzibar looks seriously gorgeous - what a place!
Wednesday 28th of September 2016
An interesting list. Now, all I need is a little more money.
Janice and George
Wednesday 28th of September 2016
We could all do with a little more of that, couldn't we :-).