The only thing that keeps me going, when the going gets tough, is the prospect of an upcoming holiday (Farah Khan agrees). And if there’s anything truly synonymous with a good vacay for me, it’s a plush bathtub and a plunge pool. Nothing puts me in ‘unwind’ mode faster! If you are anything like me, a shimmering turquoise pool, looking out at a dreamy horizon, is your idea of bliss too. To up the ante, we’d say the pool acquires an even more intense hue when you don’t have to share it with anyone else. Honestly, having a private pool is like flying first class — you don’t really know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced it first-hand. For those lovers of luxe who romance the pause with pleasure, we scope the hospitality landscape to list five of the most indulgent private pool destinations that you can splash out on for your next vacation. Go ahead, dive in!
HEAD TO THE TAJ EXOTICA RESORT & SPA, GOA
This 56-acre tropical paradise, set on the pristine white-sand Benaulim Beach, has long been a benchmark of hospitality in South Goa. Their rooms are some of the largest you can find in the sunshine state, but we have a special spot in our hearts for the Premium Villa Room with Plunge Pool. A luscious residence, it channels a whitewashed Mediterranean vibe and offers a great view of the landscaped gardens. The private pool is the jewel in its crown, of course. You’d want to unpack and dive into its expanse immediately. As much as we recommend this villa for a family gala, it’s a no-brainer for honeymooners. The hotel staff can arrange a candlelit dinner on the patio, custom-catered by Mediterranean restaurant Miguel Arcanjo, which whips up delectable baked red snapper, honey glazed shrimps and wine leaves dolma, or a classic Goan meal of Kullanche Mass, Nistiachi Koddi and Caldin de verdura. Line that up after a spa session, pause to savour some scotch as the sun goes down and slip into the pool later — it doesn’t get any dreamier!
RETREAT TO MIHIR GARH IN ROHET, RAJASTHAN
Where else can a private pool vacation satiate your soul more than in the midst of a desert, with a generous dash of royalty thrown in for good measure! Just a 40 minute drive from Jodhpur, the regal Mihir Garh is a fortress retreat perched on the sand dune of Mali Nathji ka Dhora, dedicated to the warrior god of Marwar. The luxurious Relais & Chateaux property is managed by its owners, Sidharth and Rashmi Rohet, who’ve hosted celebrities like Madonna at their magnificent home and look personally into every detail — from the sumptuous furnishings and ochre-stone bathrooms to the indigenous flooring. Of their nine resplendent suites, we recommend any of the Alishan suites on the ground floor. Named after a fine stallion from the Rohet stables, these suites open out to their own plunge pool and personal courtyard. After a day well spent in the saddle — the equestrian programme at Mihir Garh is among the finest in the country — and a shikar dinner, this is the best spot to take a soothing break from the fierce but fabulous desert.
FIND EQUILIBRIUM AT NAKA PHUKET IN THAILAND
A 94 pool villa resort, just 10 kilometres away from the bustling nightlife in Patong, Naka Phuket is a rarity — offering the twin pleasures of the beach and hillside in one lush property, tucked away at the end of a narrow mountain road. The seclusion of this verdant paradise is enhanced by its premium residences, which pack a double whammy; they not only have a private pool but look out at the sea as well. These sprawling villas — starting at 2,760 square feet, with one, two and three bedroom options — are kitted out with the works, including king size bed, full setup mini bar, 46-inch LED television sets, a home entertainment system with a well-stocked library of HD movies and satellite TV channels. Integrating natural elements into their cutting-edge design, each villa features an elegantly appointed overhanging bedroom, protruding 6 meters beyond the edge, just short of the stunning shoreline. Think of these private pool villas as endless aquamarine and cerulean vistas, where you can step out from the shower, into your pool and onto the beach and sea. Seekers of bliss and water babies, your ideal world awaits!
If you visit in November, be sure to enjoy Loi Krathong in Thailand too…
SAVOUR YOUR PAUSE AT THE VYTHIRI RESORT IN WAYANAD, KERALA
South India’s paddy haven, Wayanad, set along the upper echelons of the Nilgiri Biosphere, features on every Indian traveller’s checklist several times over. On your next holiday, should you choose this popular district in Kerala, book a stay at the Vythiri Resort, set in an eponymous hamlet packed with a majestic landscape of thick, tropical forests, deep valleys, spectacular waterfalls and mountain streams. Each of its three contemporary villas with spacious living areas and a secure children’s bedroom on the upper level, has an attached crystal-clear, aquamarine pool — making them perfect for an idyllic family vacation. What the resort lacks in chic, new-age style, it makes up for in soul. Romance the pause here, with nature’s abundance for company.
KEEP COOL AT CAVO TAGOO IN MYKONOS
The world’s best-loved island retreat, the Greek playground named after the sun god Apollo’s grandson, nestled in the heart of the Cyclades, Mykonos is home to the stylish and cutting-edge barefoot-chic Cavo Tagoo resort. The resort staggers over a mountain in sinuous curves, leading up to every modern luxury imaginable. Apart from its gorgeous 38-metre-long infinity seawater pool with an aquarium bar and wood decking, the resort offers a lavish Diamond Villa with a yawning veranda and an oversize ocean-view pool. As an added bonus, the villa even has an elaborate bar of its own (perfect to stash your beloved Black Dog). It’s the ideal spot to view the sunset while you savour your scotch and soak up the good life.
While in Mykonos, check out Cavo Paradiso — it makes our list of the top 10 international party places to strike off before the New Year!
Image Credits: mrandmrssmith.com; tajhotels.com; thenakaphuket.com; booking.com; luxhotels.eu
Looking to travel to an uncommon destination this year? Here’s all the inspiration you could possibly need!