Top 10 Cool Pools

When the summer months force the mercury to climb higher and higher, we can’t think of anything more refreshing than spending the day by the pool, especially when it involves breathtaking views and innovative design. Whether traveling for work or for play, setting aside time for a quick dip does wonders for the body, mind, and spirit. This month, we’re celebrating ten bed and breakfasts that offer guests unique swimming pools with water so inviting, you’ll want to jump right in.

B&B Agave

Cefalù, Italy

B&B Agave

This gem of a bed and breakfast offers guests a view of either the Sicilian hills of Madonie or the shimmering waters of the Sea of Cefalù. Its unique location makes B&B Agave the perfect place to establish a “home base” on your Italian island getaway. Being less than two miles from the sea means having easy access to a wide range of outdoor sporting activities, including scuba diving and rafting, but the nearby hills also offer opportunities for horseback riding or a round or two of golf. When you’ve finished exploring Cefalù for the day, head back and sit amid the property’s lush vegetation and bountiful olive and fig trees. Request a glass of wine to sip on while lounging alongside the saltwater pool and watch as the sun dips lower in the sky, blanketing the town in darkness. Your stay will be an experience that you’ll never forget.

Château La Villatade

Sallèles Cabardès, France

Château La Villatade

Situated in the Minergois wine region of France, La Villatade offers guests all of the charm of the picturesque Languedoc countryside. You’ll find grapevines and olive and cypress trees at this sprawling estate located within 10 miles of the city of Carcassonne and less than 25 miles from the beaches of the Mediterranean. Its sweeping views extend all the way to the foothills of the Pyrenees. Proprietors Denis and Sophie will wander the pathways of the property with you, discussing at length their passion for wine and stopping to admire the verdant vegetation surrounding the 26-meter-long swimming pool. Built around a 500-meter square courtyard and filled with natural water, the stone pool used to operate as an irrigation pond in the 18th century and has been lovingly restored and converted to a modern swimming pool for guests to enjoy.

Ed Lugo Resort

Wilton Manors, FL

Ed Lugo Resort

A vacation in Florida may nearly always involve a swimming pool, but we know of no Floridian law which states that the water must be on the cooler side. The pool at Ed Lugo Resort, as well as the impressive waterfall that cascades into it, is always heated. To complete the picture of luxury, the grounds are impeccably landscaped and highlight the use of exotic orchids in the exterior design. This Wilton Manors property in the Fort Lauderdale metro area puts you within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and shops and a short driving distance to popular points in South Florida, including Port Everglades, Miami, and South Beach. After seeing everything the local scene has to offer, unwind in the resort’s covered hammock draped elegantly with fabric, the warmth of the pool, or the massaging water jets of the hot tub while soaking in the soothing sounds of spa music. You’ll be relaxed in no time.

The Green House Inn

New Orleans, LA

The Green House Inn

Located in the Lower Garden District, the historic Green House Inn puts you in close proximity to all of the must-see neighborhoods in New Orleans, including the French Quarter and the Warehouse/Arts District, and within walking distance of some of the city’s best-known bars and restaurants. Even though it was built in 1840, this bed and breakfast offers guests a number of modern conveniences. All of the rooms come equipped with a king-sized bed, a 32-inch flat-screen television, an MP3-compatible clock/radio, and individual climate-control air-conditioning and heating units. As an extra bonus, the Green House Inn is environmentally-conscious, offering guests all-natural bath products and using sustainable products where possible. The policy here is to “stay… relax… just be,” and at this adults-only property, you’re encouraged to take the policy literally. Guests are permitted to relax in the buff in the inn’s clothing-optional swimming pool. The tree-shaped saltwater pool is a sight to see with its gently hypnotic waterfalls, but equally impressive is the oversized Jacuzzi that flows into it.

Hacienda las Animas

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Hacienda las Animas

Owned and operated by a Scandinavian couple, Ted and Brischa Borchgrevink, this Mexican hacienda is traditional in terms of its architecture and charm but thoroughly modern in terms of its amenities. With its picturesque views of both the Sierra Madres and the Pacific Ocean, the bed and breakfast is situated in the neighborhood of Colonia Buenos Aires, putting you within walking distance of the vibrant nightlife of Old Town, the bars and restaurants of Playa Los Muertos, and the ocean boardwalk, El Malecón. The hacienda’s large terrace offers ample seating that looks out onto the lush grounds with the highlight of the central courtyard space being the heated infinity pool. For convenience, the courtyard also features a bar where cold drinks and complimentary snacks are served. Animal-lovers, especially, will want to stay here, as Ted and Brischa have several pets, including mourning doves, dogs, and cats.

Hotel Maya del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Hotel Maya del Carmen

When you imagine your perfect beach vacation, do you picture an endless sandy white shoreline and crystal blue water that stretches all the way out to the horizon? A stay at the Hotel Maya del Carmen, located at the heart of the Riviera Maya, will put you within steps of this dream landscape and within easy access to numerous beach activities. What makes this property truly special, though, is its commitment to honor and respect the Mayan culture and people. Each of the 30 rooms comes with a king-sized bed and a private terrace or balcony and is decorated by the children of Buctzotz to depict the typical life of the Maya today. Sit in one of the poolside grass huts, sip on a cool beverage, and find peace in the lush scenery of the surrounding gardens.

La Bastide des Princes en Provence

Caderousse, France

La Bastide des Princes en Provence

Food and wine enthusiasts will want to book a stay at this property located in the idyllic French region of Provence. The close proximity to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is famous for its wine, is enticing all on its own. Add the opportunity to cook side-by-side with Master Chef Pierre Paumel, and you’ll have the makings of an unforgettable vacation. When Pierre left the highly demanding restaurant industry, he, along with his wife Annie, transformed this authentic 17th-century manor house into an intimate hotel in the French countryside. Sign up for a cooking class and listen to Pierre break down the secrets of traditional Provençal cuisine while he guides you through the preparation of multi-course gourmet meals featuring fresh, local ingredients. To recover from your inevitable food coma, recline alongside either the outdoor pool to take in the rustic sights and the scents of the nearby lavender fields or the more modern indoor pool. Open to guests who are 16 and older, the indoor pool is just one element in the bed and breakfast’s ultimate relaxation space with its mixed-texture design of stone and wood, soft lighting, fireplace, and Jacuzzi.

Orquidea del Sur

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Orquidea del Sur

The perfect location for an intimate retreat, this boutique bed and breakfast boasts a casual elegance and spectacular views of Playa Yankee, a premier surfing beach along the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The generous amenities make this property feel more like an all-inclusive resort, with the beautifully decorated lounge, library, and billiard area in the main house, wireless internet, and access to a private beach. You’ll also find an outdoor conversation fire pit that has uninterrupted views out to sea, making it the perfect place to sit and watch the sun go down. Despite these offerings, you’ll undoubtedly want to spend the majority of your time lounging in the stunningly designed pool area. The upper whirlpool features an infinity edge and is connected to the 50-foot-long lower pool by a cascading 12-foot waterfall that is illuminated at night. The lush foliage in the surrounding gardens complete the picture, making you feel as if you’ve been transported to your own private tropical getaway spot.

The Spring

Desert Hot Springs, CA

The Spring

If you’re in need of an ultimate spa weekend full of pampering, then head to The Spring, a luxurious resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs, California. Two hours from Los Angeles, 30 minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, and a mere 15 minutes from Palm Springs, this boutique resort offers guests an extensive list of massage, facial, and body treatments that focus on cleansing, detoxification, and rejuvenation all while displaying dramatic views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. Soak in the three sparkling mineral pools filled with some of the best water in the world, its healing and restorative powers rivaling that of the mineral water at Baden-Baden and Evian. The water will help relax your muscles and will enhance the benefits of any massage that you schedule. The enclosed soaking pools are maintained slightly above body temperature, while the outdoor soaking pool is maintained at 104 degrees. The temperature of the outdoor pool is adjusted to fit current weather conditions making it the ideal place to unwind in the evening hours and to take in the beauty of the starlit desert sky.

The Sunhouse

Nosara, Costa Rica

The Sunhouse

This bed and breakfast sits on a gated 2.5-acre piece of land that backs up to the Costa Rican jungle. The three-story property allows guests to enjoy breathtaking views overlooking the valley and sunsets over the nearby beach. Take care of your body and spirit in the on-site exercise studio with its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that will make you feel as if you’re dancing on the surrounding treetops. Participate in meditation, yoga, or Pilates sessions or even treat yourself to a massage. Afterwards, relax in the saltwater infinity pool, which is the largest salinized pool in the world. For those looking for a little more adventure, you can go fishing or surfing at Playa Nosara, the beach located within a two-minute drive of The Sunhouse, or you can sign up for guided canopy tours or tours of the nearby waterfalls and mountains.