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You want swank? These 27+ private pool suites are epic!

Please only travel when and where it’s safe.

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 punches 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 villa resorts with private pool suites tend to be some of the most luxurious.

Private Pool Suites

27+ Ultra-gorgeous villa resorts with private pool suites

We’ve splashed out in the following villa resorts with private pools. (Who said “work” is no fun?)

They’re so fabulous that it’s worth booking a holiday just to stay in one of them!

Here they are – in Mexico, Africa, Greece, Fiji, Bora Bora, Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the USA.

Mexico hotels with private pools

1) Thompson – Zihuatanejo

Thompson Zihuatanejo has lovely private pool suites
With a beach as nice as this, you may not spend much time in your pool!

A cool suite with your own private plunge pool? And it faces one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico?

Say hello to the Thompson Zihuatanejo!

Hugging Playa La Ropa in the beach town of Zihuatanejo, the newly renovated luxury resort (formerly a Viceroy) features oh-so-sophisticated rooms and 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 plunge pools; some have bigger infinity pools.

Confession: We actually didn’t spend any time in our private pool because the public spaces were so nice! The resort has a trio of outdoor pools (two for adults).

Playa La Ropa is a beautiful beach!
Playa La Ropa is a beautiful beach!

Plus, La Ropa beach is just so darn alluring!

What’s especially appealing is 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.

Thompson Zihuatanejo is one of the best hotels in Zihuatanejo
Drinks and dining with a view

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

Check rates and availability here

2) La Casa Que Canta – Zihuatanejo

Think La Casa Que Canta for a romantic Mexican getaway
Think La Casa Que Canta for a romantic Mexican getaway

Like the Thompson resort with private pools (#1), La Casa Que Canta is also in Zihuatanejo, with access to Playa La Ropa.

La Casa Que Canta means “the house that sings.” And this boutique hotel is as beautiful as its name.

Of the 25 oceanfront suites, 11 have private plunge pools.

Many La Casa Que Canta suites have private plunge pools
A private plunge pool and a view of Zihuatanejo Bay

As well, the hotel has two fabulous 4-bedroom villas. Each comes with their own infinity pool and a private chef.

See our detailed review! La Casa Que Canta Review: The House That Sings in Zihuatanejo

3) Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen

The white sand beach at Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The white sand beach at Grand Velas Riviera Maya is pretty epic!

Sip a margarita as you lounge in your own private plunge pool, soaking in splendid sea views.

All 90 suites in the Grand Class section of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya have oceanfront balconies with private plunge pools.

Grand Class suites at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya boast ocean views and private plunge pools on their balconies.
Grand Class suites boast ocean views and private plunge pools on their balconies

If you’re a foodie, you’ll be impressed with the food (which is amazing!) at this top-notch all-inclusive resort.

See our review of the Grand Velas! Grand Velas Riviera Maya Restaurants: aka The 9-Step Foodie Un-Diet

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Check rates and availability here

4) Banyan Tree Cabo Marques – Acapulco

The villas at Cabo Marques have OMG views!
The villas at Cabo Marques have OMG views!

Tucked away in a lush gated community, the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques is an elegant hideaway, with beautiful Asian-style villas on stilts.

The views of Acapulco Bay 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.

Resorts with private pools - Banyan Tree Cabo Marques
We had terrific bird’s eye views of Acapulco’s bay from our private pool

Indeed, this is one villa resort where we happily spent a lot of time in our private pool.

Mind you, we tore ourselves away to eat at the resort’s Thai-themed Saffron restaurant. Always delicious…

Saffron serves up delicately spiced Thai-influenced food

See our detailed review! Asian Style in Acapulco! Banyan Tree Cabo Marques

Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, Acapulco

Check rates and availability here

Romantic getaways with private pools in Africa

5) Baraza Resort & Spa – Zanzibar

Baraza Resort & Spa in Zanzibar has 30 deluxe private pool suites
Both couples and families like the large villas with private pools at this luxury Zanzibar resort

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.

Sleep like a sultan and princess in your white and gold villa bedroom

Others think this Zanzibar beach resort is pretty dreamy too.

Baraza, which has just 30 one- and two-bedroom villas (all villas with private pools, of course), was ranked #4 in the “Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Africa” in the 2019 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards.

Memorable moment: Bathing with clove-scented soap in our egg-shaped stone tub…

Our one-bedroom villa with private plunge pool looked like this from the outside

See our Baraza Resort review! A Sultan’s Palace? No, Baraza Resort and Spa

Baraza Resort & Spa

Check rates and availability here

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 7 villas).

7) Simbambili Game Lodge – South Africa

We saw all the “Big Five,” including loads of lions

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.

Simbambili Game Lodge Honeymoon Suite
The honeymoon bungalow; “regular” bungalows look similar, but don’t have the full living room area

Villa resorts with private pools aren’t that common in safari game reserves.

Simbambili, however, has nine honeymoon-deluxe, thatched-roof bungalows with private plunge pools on huge rustic wooden decks.

After a thrilling morning of big game watching, we’d take a delightful nap on our deck by our pool

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.

See our detailed review! Simbambili Game Lodge: Luxury Safari Stay in Sabi Sands

Simbambili Game Lodge, South Africa

Check rates and availability here

8) Chinzombo – Zambia

Chinzombo, a luxurious safari camp in Zambia, is one of the best resorts in Africa with private pools.
Chinzombo is one of the most luxurious African safari camps

Wildly luxurious. Overlooking the Luangwa River. Just 6 bush-chic tented villas, each 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 can see elephants and other animals.

Baby elephant in Zambia

See our full review of Chinzombo! Chinzombo: Zambia Safari Camp Wows With Luxury and Killer Leopards


For more information, see the website

Hotels in Greece with private pools

9) St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas – Crete

St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas is a lovely 5 star Crete hotel
One of the Thalassa villas at St. Nicolas Bay Resort

The cure for overdosing on ancient Greek temples and ruins?

An escape to St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas on the island of Crete.

Stone-clad suites and villas with organic Coco-Mat mattresses and huge infinity pools, a private beach cove, a spa with a private seawater cave for couples, an authentic Greek taverna, and oh-so-soothing sea views will set you right in no time.

Where to stay in Crete? One of the best hotels is St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas
Slow to wake up? You can have breakfast by your own private pool

It did for us – though we needed a few days there to make sure we were really better before flying home :-).

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this 5-star Crete hotel is one of the best Greece hotels with private pools.

Exclusive private pool resorts like St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas are rare - and special
Exclusive private pool resorts like St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas are rare – and special

See our detailed review! St. Nicolas Bay Resort: Chilling at one of the Best Hotels in Crete

St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas

Check rates and availability here

10) Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort – Santorini

Vedema is a classy luxury resort with private pools on Santorini

Say what? Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie have bedded down here?

But it doesn’t have those gawk-worthy sea views like Ikies, another Santorini hotel we’ve stayed at.

Vedema is built within the charming town of Megalochori
Vedema is built within the charming town of Megalochori

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?

Sign us up!

resorts with private pools - Vedema Resort, Santorini
Book an Olympian Villa at Vedema, and you’ll have your own private pool like this

At Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, we stayed in a Dorian Suite – which was lovely even without a private pool.

But the Olympian Villas have private pools.

See our detailed review! Vedema Resort, Santorini, Wows With Discreet Luxury

Vedema Resort, Santorini

Check rates and availability here

Fiji and Bora Bora hotels with private pools

11) Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort has 10 over-the-water bures – but they don’t have pools (you’ve got the sea)

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?

Villa resorts with private pools: Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji
Deluxe beachfront villas have private pools

But a string of 18 other ultra-luxe beachfront bures 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.

If you need another pool…

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.

The only problem? We were snorkeling so much we didn’t have time for kayaking!

See our LikuLiku review here! South Sea Dreams: Bures and Overwater Bungalows in Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji

Check rates and availability here

12) Four Seasons Bora Bora – French Polynesia

An overwater bungalow with a pool? Pretty epic!

Now, an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora is dreamy enough, right?

But to really crank up the wow factor, you can book one with a plunge pool on your deck too. Perfect for rinsing off after snorkeling in Bora Bora’s popsicle blue lagoon!

The glass panel in the living room floor is pretty cool too – is that a cute baby shark in the water below?

The Four Seasons Bora Bora is one of the best resorts in the world!
The Four Seasons Bora Bora is one of the best resorts in the world!

Read more on the Four Seasons Bora Bora! A Little Slice of Paradise at Four Seasons Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Check rates and availability here

Hotels in Thailand with private pools

13) Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Krabi

Resorts with private pool suites? The Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay in Thailand is epic!
Nope, not the main pool. It’s a water feature leading to the resort’s entrance

There are Ritz-Carltons.

And then there are Ritz-Carlton Reserves – which are even more luxurious. 

The Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay has villas with private pools

We were captivated by Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand.

Each of the 54 opulent villas has a butler. 

resorts with private pools - Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Reserve pool villas at this 5-star Thailand resort have delightful sea views and private plunge pools

Our butler appeared like a genie whenever we needed him.

Upon our 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 swimming pool with its curtained daybeds and complimentary coconut juice service was so alluring that we hardly used our own private pool.

Infinity pool at Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, Thailand
No, this isn’t Janice. But she’d love to go ritz again in this infinity pool!

Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Check rates and availability here

14) Six Senses Yao Noi – Phang Nga Bay

Pool view from the eco-chic Six Senses in Thailand
Pool view from the eco-chic Six Senses in Thailand

A 45-minute speedboat ride from Phuket – but a world away – is the Six Senses Yao Noi.

We yearned for a romantic escape, 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 beds.

Bedrooms are cool cocoons

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.


Dining at Six Senses Yao Noi

Bali resorts with private pools

15) Alila Villas Uluwatu – Bukit Peninsula

Villas with private pools? Check out Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali
The “birdcage” lounge jutting out over the ocean is a unique feature of Alila Villas Uluwatu

Bali is blessed with heavenly villa resorts with private pools – we’ve bedded down in many of them. (See our guide to the best luxury hotels in Bali.

But when it comes to luxury clout, Alila Villas Uluwatu tops our list of 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.

One-bedroom villa at Alila Villas Uluwatu

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.

Looking out from the stunning infinity pool which overlooks the sea

See our detailed review! Is Alila Villas Uluwatu the Most Luxurious Hotel in Bali?

Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali

Check rates and availability here

More Bali villas with private 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 private pools

18) Ulagalla – Anuradhapura

A pool villa at Ulagalla, Sri Lanka

To visit Sri Lanka’s incredible UNESCO sites in the Cultural Triangle, base yourself at the lovely Ulagalla.

After bicycling around ancient temples and climbing up rock monuments, you’ll relish the luxury of cooling off in your own pool.

Ulagalla is built around a beautiful 150-year-old mansion.
Ulagalla is built around a beautiful 150-year-old mansion

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.

Sri Lankan curry at Ulagalla
Sri Lankan curry at Ulagalla

Ulagalla, Sri Lanka

Check rates and availability here

Other hotels in Sri Lanka with private pools

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

22) Papagayo Luxury Villas – Guanacaste

How about a vacay in a gorgeous Costa Rica villa with private pool?
How about a vacay in a gorgeous Costa Rica villa with private pool?

Spread out in your own luxury vacation condo or villa in Costa Rica’s exclusive Papagayo Peninsula (home to the Four Seasons Costa Rica).

Jane Moore at Papagayo Luxury Villas expertly manages a dozen gorgeous properties with pools. (We stayed in Vista Hermosa.)

You have a concierge too, who arranges private chef services and child care.

See our Papagayo Luxury Villas review! Costa Rica’s Secret Papagayo Peninsula (and a Golf Buggy Ride by Moonlight)

Papagayo Luxury Villas

For more information, see their website

23) Makanda by the Sea – Quepos

Sloths, monkeys and private pools

Celebrating a honeymoon or special occasion?

This 27-room, adults-only boutique hotel near wildlife-rich Manuel Antonio National Park is made for romance.

Upgrade to a villa at Makanda by the Sea for your own private pool in the rainforest.

Lounging with a cool one at Makanda by the Sea
Lounging with a cool one at Makanda by the Sea

Caribbean resorts with private pools

24) Blue Waters Resort – Antigua    

Blue Waters is a lovely British colonial-style resort on the Caribbean island boasting 365 beaches – Antigua.

It has 3 super luxurious villas (Pelican House, Turtle Cottage Rock Cottage), each featuring private pools.

No doubt Prince Harry bunked down in one of them. (He’s a past guest of the hotel.)

Maybe splurge on a luxurious villa at Blue Waters Resort!

English broadcaster Piers Morgan, who’s also stayed at Blue Waters, has said: “It was as close to perfection as a Caribbean holiday could get.”

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.

Cove Suites at Blue Waters Resort overlook a semi-private pool
Cove Suites overlook a semi-private pool

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).

See our Blue Waters review! How to Holiday Like Royalty at Blue Waters, Antigua

Blue Waters Resort & Spa

Check rates and availability here

25) Jade Mountain Resort – St. Lucia

Heavenly suites with private pools are the hallmark of Jade Mountain Resort
Heavenly suites with private pools are the hallmark of Jade Mountain Resort

On St. Lucia, we stayed at Anse Chastanet – but it doesn’t have private pools. Jade Mountain Resort does, however.

And it’s one of the most romantic Caribbean resorts, with breathtaking views of the incredible Piton Mountains.

Bridges through lush gardens lead to your infinity pool sanctuary. What’s completely wow is that one wall of your suite 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.

Jade Mountain Galaxy Suite

The slightly smaller Sun, Moon and Star pool suites are just as gorgeous, however.

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

Amangiri is a remote hideaway in Canyon Point, Utah
Amangiri is a remote hideaway in Canyon Point, Utah

26) Amangiri Utah

Explore Utah’s remote canyons from this ultra-deluxe (and wallet-breaking) Aman resort. Six of the rooms at Amangiri have spacious plunge pools plus star-gazing terraces.

27) Four Seasons Scottsdale

With recently renovated casitas, this Four Seasons is nestled in the Sonoran Desert. Kiva One-Bedroom Suites boast private pools and indoor/outdoor fireplaces.

Luxury hotels with private pools

So there you have it – our round-up of some of the world’s best villa resorts with private pools!

Experience more beautiful resorts!

Read our posts on:

Kauai | Check out the best hotels in Kauai, ranging from boutique escapes to family-friendly resorts.

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: 30 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Lead image courtesy St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas | Remaining photos courtesy of the respective private pool resorts

Have you stayed at any fabulous hotels or villa resorts with private pools? Do tell!

About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the owners and founders of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews and information, insanely useful travel tips and more!

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Cassie Vonneka

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

Tricky question.

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!

Becky Padmore

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

Oh wow the Baraza Resort & Spa in Zanzibar looks seriously gorgeous - what a place!

Victor Tribunsky

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 :-).