Private Plunge and Swimming Pools

Great Resorts Where You Can Take a Dip

A private plunge pool at a resort hotel.
••• Trinette Reed / Getty Images

What is it about water that makes people feel sexier? It's not merely that it helps you come clean. It's about gravitational easing, and the delightful buoyancy that makes swimmers light on their feet. When you're alone with someone you love, in a beautiful setting, just add water: The effect is simply intoxicating.

Spas have known all along that water soothes and heals. But they don't generally offer the kind of seclusion romantic travelers crave.

If you're part of a couple that can't imagine a great vacation without a private place to dip, look for a resort that features rooms with a private plunge or swimming pool. These are some we know of:

1. Sandals Grenada (Grenada)

Sandals is known as a honeymoon haven, and its first resort on Grenada offers a multitude of private swimming pools. In its Italian Village section, many suites have a private plunge pool, which is particularly impressive when you realize they are several stories above the ground. Its freestanding rondovals and millionaire suites nearby also feature private pools. Adults only.

2. Jade Mountain (St. Lucia)

Part of the beloved Anse Chastanet resort's 600 acres, modernist Jade Mountain sits high on a hill (the better to view those iconic Pitons from) above it. Here, every room features its own private plunge pool. Rooms have three walls; the fourth is open and you just may feel as if you're in your own private Garden of Eden.

Adults only.

3. Spice Island Beach Resort (Grenada)

On Grand Anse Beach, this all-inclusive resort contains private pool suites, each with a plunge pool and double whirlpool bath. And they're located only fifty feet from the beach. The more luxurious Royal Private Pool suites measure 1,500-square feet and consist of a large bedroom, living room, and dining area.

The main attraction, though, are the 16 x 20 private pools. Each is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and features a private patio and sun deck that hold a sauna for two. 

4. Ottley’s Plantation Inn (St. Kitts, West Indies)

Weather in the Caribbean ranges from warm to hot, and there's nothing like having a private plunge pool to cool off in. Once the owner's estate on a sugar plantation, Ottley's has been carefully restored and tended by its family owners. All Supreme Rooms include a Jacuzzi, patio, sundeck, and plunge pool. There's also a 66-foot-long, spring-fed pool if you feel like socializing with occupants of other guest quarters. 

5. Mauna Lani Bay Resort (Kohala Coast, Hawaii)

Luxurious and lovely, the Mauna Lani Bay Resort offers private swimming pools in its 4,000-square-foot bungalows. There's also a heated swimming pool that guests share. 

6. Round Hill (Jamaica)

Named one of the top ten romantic getaways in the world by the A&E channel, this all-inclusive contains villas with private swimming pools. Since they have 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms, each with private living rooms and /or verandahs, they may be too big for just one couple. But they'd be perfect for a small destination wedding.

Half Moon Bay, another luxury resort that offers an all-inclusive plan, also has spacious villas with several bedrooms sharing a private pool.

7. Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay (Bali)

At the private villas in this ultra-luxury, five-star resort, Balinese sleeping, dining, and bathing pavilions surround a courtyard and plunge pool. Air-conditioned one-bedroom units measure 2,150 square feet. Still thirsty for more H2O? Luxurious bathrooms include an oversized soaking tub apart from the shower and an outdoor garden shower.

8. Las Brisas (Acapulco, Mexico)

In warm and sunny Acapulco, the pools are outdoors -- and there are several waterside units to choose from at Las Brisas. Up a hill, Private Pool Casitas have their own secluded pool steps away from the bedroom. Well-tended terraces, lined with fragrant bougainvillea and hibiscus, add sensuality to the view.

Higher up, Beach Club Casitas have even better views, more privacy, and premium amenities (such as hotel bathrobes). At the top level of the resort, Junior Suites have a bit more space and a larger terrace surrounding the pool. And Master Suites boast indoor-outdoor pools. Historical note: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton honeymooned here in 1964.

9. La Casa Que Canta (Zihuatanejo, Mexico)

Also south of the border, Zihuatanejo's La Casa Que Canta is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Perched on a cliff, it provides panoramic views of pristine Zihuatanejo Bay below. This exclusive resort includes ten master private pool suites. Each 1,290-1,560-square-foot unit features a king-size bed, terrace, balcony, and outdoor living room. The bathroom has a shower, but no tub. After all, who would need one in such a setting? Elsewhere on the property, guests have the choice of swimming in a freshwater or ocean-filled pool.

10. Pavilions & Pools (St. Thomas, USVI)

This affordable Virgin Islands property features private villas with a sun deck surrounding a private swimming pool. Offering self-sufficient Caribbean living, units also contain a kitchen alcove with a small stove, refrigerator, sink, and cooking utensils. (Don't worry if you can't cook. The Fish Pond Cafe is open daily, all day.) Large bedrooms hold king-size beds. Daily pool maintenance and maid service is included in the rate. High season is December 21 - March 31. Rates drop by nearly a third April 1 - December 20.

11. La Mancha (Palm Springs, California, USA)

In downtown Palm Springs, the affordable La Mancha offers private pool villas within 20 walled, gated acres. Its three day/two night "Lovers Package" includes a private patio mini-suite, bottle of champagne, one candlelight dinner for two, breakfast for two daily, and half-hour his-and-her massages. Swimming pools are rectangular. Some units also include a private tennis court. 

12. Taveuni Palms (Fiji)

Willing to venture all the way to Fiji for a swimming pool to call your own? This luxurious three-villa cluster on the garden isle of Taveuni has earned multiple awards including “Fiji’s Leading Resort” and a Travelers’ Choice Award from Trip Advisor. The largest of the villa, stands on three acres and its infinity pool overlooks the sea.