One of the (many) delights of hitting your 30s and 40s is that you get to be more discerning about the hotels that you stay in.
No more roughing it in $20-a-night shared dorms with “air con” that sounds like a persistent, hacking cough.
Instead, you begin a subtle shift over to the finer things in life. Fresh fruit cocktails. Breakfast bars. Crisp bed linen. And of course, a beautiful hotel pool.
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We at Flash Pack take the whole pool question extremely seriously, and we’re lucky enough to stay at some corkers on our travels.
From rooftop infinity hangouts to turquoise lagoons that stretch out into the ocean horizon, here are a few of our favourites…
Amorita Resort, The Philippines
The Philippines is hardly lacking when it comes to picturesque beaches and pools, but this one trumps the lot. Perched on the tip of Panglao Island, Amorita Resort‘s two infinity pools max out on the incredible views. Whoever designed these beauties deserves a Nobel prize for services to happiness: every aspect promises to delight. Take your pew on a pool-side lounger, or wallow by the edge amid a tapestry of powdery white sands and the Bohol Sea.
El Mangroove, Costa Rica
A plinth-like pool runs through the centre of El Mangroove on Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline, creating a textbook vision of chic. It’s hard to know what to do first in this small pocket of paradise. Perhaps take a lazy dip, with the Gulf of Papagayo shimmering before you. Or, make yourself at home in an elegant pool-side cabana. If the whole pool thing becomes exhausting (the struggle is real), wander down to the thicket of mesquite trees by the shore, where spa treatments await.
Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
The handsome Heritance Ahungalla lies at the end of our Sri Lankan escape; a rousing finale to a string of exceptional hotels. If you fancy some privacy, head to the shaded and secluded residents’ pool. But sun-lovers who really mean business should cut a fast-track to the large infinity pool that stretches out in the front of the hotel, with a prime window onto Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Signature sundae, coming right up…
Shinta Mani Shack, Cambodia
Ah, the Shinta Mani – you charmer, you. This inviting vision of a pool in Cambodia’s Siem Reap ticks all the boxes. You have sunbeds dotted here and there, a healthy peppering of palm trees and turquoise water that’s just shouting out for a bathe. The entire design is soup for the soul and we can’t think of a better spot to wind down with a G&T after an early start temple-hopping in nearby Angkor Wat.
De Zeekoe Guest Farm, South Africa
There’s nothing particularly flashy about the pool at De Zeekoe guest farm in the Western Cape. But then, there doesn’t need to be; the stunning wilderness landscape does all the talking. A sunset soak here – with vast stretches of scrubby veld all around – is an experience not to be missed. Bask in that golden African light as it creeps over the valleys of Oudtshoorn and toast to the brilliance of being. As an added bonus, see the morning meerkats.
Hotel Shambala, Nepal
What’s the best way to admire the dazzling cityscape of Kathmandu? Why, from the rooftop pool of Hotel Shambala, of course. This tucked-away spot provides a great antidote to the hustle of the Nepalese capital. You’ll still hear the beeping chorus of rickshaws and scooters all around, but from the solace of your poolside hideaway – Khukuri Beer in hand. Watch day turn to night across a labyrinth of narrow streets, golden temples and hazy mountain peaks.
Photos: hotels’ own, Flash Pack