Splash out on the hottest hotels in Europe with picture-perfect pools
When booking your boutique hotel for a summer escape, a wow-factor pool is a must – after all, this is where you’ll be spending most of your sun-soaked days. Wrapped in vineyards, perched on rooftops, carved into cliffs, or steps from the sea, we’ve handpicked the most snap-worthy places for a holiday swim in Europe. It’s time to take the plunge…
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, Ibiza – Spain
An iconic beachfront beauty on the quieter side of the White Isle, guests at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay can step straight from the hotel onto the white sandy shore – or one of the many boats bobbing in Talamanca bay. Nibble on bento boxes from the sashimi-serving Nobu Restaurant while you lounge poolside on a Bali bed, or sip on fresh watermelon juice as you take in the panoramic sea views. For the best of both worlds, splash out on the Junior Suite with its own plunge pool and direct access to the resort swimming pool.
Castello di Reschio, Umbria – Italy
Huddled amidst rolling green hills lined with cypress trees on the Umbrian-Tuscan border, Castello di Reschio is a one-thousand-year-old castle which has been stylishly reimagined by architect Count Benedikt Bolza and his B.B. for Reschio team within a staggeringly beautiful 1,500-hectare landscape. Sun seekers can lie beside a rustic outdoor pool overlooked by Il Torrino, the castle’s original watchtower turned trendy pool bar – from which freshly-squeezed juices and cocktails, creamy gelati and made-to-order panini appear as if by magic to our lime-green lounger.
Hôtel Crillon le Brave, Provence – France
A hilltop hamlet-style hideaway housed within ten stone buildings centred around an ancient olive tree, Hôtel Crillon le Brave has bottled the magic of Provence and sprinkled it throughout its quintessentially French interiors. Slow, lavender-scented days here are spent sipping rosé, playing Pétanque, and dipping into the pool’s emerald waters – with the spectacular Mont Ventoux in the distance – set to a soothing soundtrack of cicadas and the occasional chiming of the original bell tower.
Gecko Hotel & Beach Club, Formentera – Spain
A blissed out, barefoot beach retreat on one of Formentera’s best stretches of sand, rooms at Gecko Hotel & Beach Club overlook the blue Mediterranean or palm-filled gardens, while suites come with private plunge pools surrounded by hammocks and terraces with sink-into sofas. Little touches like beach bags and towels are all thought of, so all you have to do is decide how you’d like to relax – our favourite spot is on a Balinese bed by the pool, shaded by blue and white striped umbrellas with an island cocktail in hand and the Balearic-house beats of the resort’s resident DJ in the background.
Villa La Madonna, Piedmont – Italy
The best way to rosé (image right) by @villalamadonna
Verdant hills, vineyards, and terracotta roofs – the Bormida Valley in Piedmont is a timeless spot where life slows down. And overlooking this sleepy valley is Villa La Madonna. When you’re not wining and dining amidst the vines, or hunting for truffles, the vineyard-fringed pool is the perfect spot to sink a Barolo wine (or two). Pull up a wicker stool at the green and white striped pool bar for an afternoon aperitivo, or sink into a sofa around the poolside piazza for some post-swim pasta – homemade recipes, of course.
Hôtel Lou Pinet, Saint-Tropez – France
Designed to feel like a beautiful holiday home you would share with friends, Hôtel Lou Pinet has a wonderfully vintage vibe thanks to its sixties-inspired interiors by architect of Mediterranean chic, Charles Zana. Rooms and suites are filled with light and colourful graphic prints handpicked by the art collecting owners, many of which open directly onto the swimming pool lined with cherry red umbrellas and surrounded by private gardens scented with lavender, jasmine and cypress. Far from the crowds in Saint-Tropez, but close to Bardot-approved beaches, return to the hotel after stretching out on the Plage de Pampelonne for a spritzer under the stars.
Can Ferrereta, Mallorca – Spain
A converted 17th century mansion in sleepy Santanyí, one of Mallorca’s least-discovered areas, Can Ferrereta reimagines rustic minimalism for the modern Mediterranean traveller. Time seems to move slowly here – saunter down to the sun loungers lining the landscaped pool, salute the sun in a morning yoga class, and surrender yourself to total bliss during a salt-and-seaweed wrap in the Sa Calma spa – with a soul-soothing indoor pool. As the hotel’s most exclusive room, the Pool Suite comes with access to an expansive second terrace. Natural light floods through the large double windows into the lounge area with garden views, sundeck and, of course, its own pool inspired by Mallorcan lavoirs, known as safareigs.
White Coast Pool Suites, Milos – Greece
Named after the ethereal white rock formations on the resort’s privately owned waterfront nature preserve, White Coast Pool Suites is an adults-only boutique hotel where every spellbinding suite comes with an individual infinity pool overlooking the Aegean Sea. The recently opened hotel champions cubist, minimalist design where whitewashed walls melt into the moonlike surroundings of ethereal Milos. The main pool is bathed in island sunshine from dawn ’till dusk – for a refreshing way to cool off in between dips, just ask for a healthy smoothie to be brought straight to your sun lounger.
Homewood, Bath – UK
Set in 20 secluded acres of rolling West Country landscape just outside of the World Heritage City of Bath, Homewood is a honey-hued Georgian country house hotel with a playful personality. Sweeping Somerset views across the scenic Avon Valley form the beautiful backdrop to the all-year heated outdoor swimming pool, romantic bar, and heavenly spa. Take to the waters by booking one of the luxurious Hot Tub Suites, complete with a private tub and spacious outdoor terrace.
Pousada Palácio de Estoi, Faro – Portugal
A Rococo palace bathed in Algarve sunshine, dusky pink walls and flourishing gardens greet every guest on arrival at Pousada Palácio de Estoi. Take a dip in the statement outdoor pool, before retreating to the elegant simplicity of your private suite. This historic hideaway makes a wonderful base from which to explore the eastern Algarve, from wild walks through the natural parks, to canoeing out to the region’s distinctive sandbank islands.
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Mallorca – Spain
Soak up panoramic views of Palma’s old town from the 200-metre-squared rooftop terrace, pool bar and solarium at Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, an urban oasis overlooking the spectacular Palma Cathedral. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better spot for chilled champagne-sipping and all-day pool dipping in Mallorca’s capital. As evening draws in, retire to your room to watch the world wind down from your private balcony which overlooks the hotel’s peaceful courtyard.
Villa Geba, Sveti Stefan – Montenegro
Hidden away in the wild Montenegro countryside, perched over the shores of the Adriatic, Villa Geba cocoons guests in classical-meets-contemporary luxury. The far-reaching views of the Sveti Stefan peninsula will tempt you out onto the terrace, where a bespoke cocktail will be waiting for you. When you’re not taking a dip in the heated infinity swimming pool which forms a tranquil centrepiece at the Villa Geba spa, choose from a range of exclusive treatments, including the Jacuzzi, sauna, hammam and ice fountain.
Grand Forest Metsovo, Metsovo – Greece
Peaceful mornings at Grand Forest Metsovo are broken only by the sound of birdsong ringing across the peaks, an eco-conscious retreat perched on the slopes of the Pindus Mountain range in the foothills of the Pindus National Park – considered one of the most important protected areas for the maintenance of alpine biodiversity. This Considerate Collection hotel makes the most of its sublime setting, but it is the jaw-dropping outdoor pool which will really take your breath away in the refreshing Epirus mountain air.