9 Gorgeous Cabanas and Pools
These special destinations have aquatic offerings so singular that planning a visit for the pool alone might be in order. From beachside retreats to city-center rooftops, these are stunning spots to soak up a little sun.
1. An Oceanfront Whirlpool in Cancun
With Caribbean waters to one side and the waters of the Nichupte Lagoon to the other, visitors to The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun have ample selections of aquatic activities. Add to that the two sculpted outdoor pools with ocean views and an oceanfront whirlpool and it’s hard to know where to begin. If lounging poolside or in one of the private cabanas, cool off with goodies from the pool valet — options include fruit water and frozen treats. Chilled, scented towels are available, too.
2. Secluded Cabanas in Santa Barbara
At The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, guests not only have two natural beaches on the property’s 78 acres, but three stunning zero-edge, heated saline pools as well. Towering palms dot the perimeter of the two main pools, bristling softly in the ocean breeze and perfectly framing the epic view of the Pacific Ocean just beyond. For guests looking for a bit of privacy, private cabanas line either side of the larger of the two pools. If hunger strikes, the pool bar offers everything from fresh salads to fish tacos — as well as a fire pit that might just entice guests to stay poolside long after sunset.
3. Skyline Views in Hong Kong
The 118th floor in the middle of bustling Hong Kong is not the first place one thinks of when envisioning a spot to take a swim, but that is precisely where the spectacular pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is located. The pool’s perch, 465 meters in the sky, allows for breathtaking views of the skyline and Victoria Harbour and guests can choose from a dip in the 20-meter pool or the whirlpool spa. And if that isn’t enough, a ceiling-mounted LED screen envelops guests with mesmerizing images and light displays.
4. One With the Sea in Thailand
At Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the infinity-edge pool blends seamlessly into the Andaman Sea beyond with nothing but palm trees and a few verdant islands in the distance to interrupt the swath of almost electric-blue water. Cool down with a drink from the poolside bar or a bottle of water from the ice-filled coolers next to each lounger. Enjoy the sea breezes from the main pool or from one of the private cabanas or the large whirlpool spa — perhaps while also witnessing one of the property’s spectacular sunsets.
5. Swimming Among Modern Art in Barcelona
From the pool nestled among the terraced gardens, visitors to Hotel Arts Barcelona get a grand view of not only the Balearic Sea but also the impressive modern structures and art for which the property is perhaps most known. The 44 floors of the hotel rise, a neat web of steel and glass, and Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture, Peix, created from blue glass and exposed steel, is on full display.
6. Family Fun in Grand Cayman
There’s something for the entire family at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. For the adults, the pool offers a serene oasis lined with white-tented cabanas — and the sound of the breeze through the foliage and the soft tinkling of water from a series of hanging spouts. For the kids, there’s a water park with slides and water jets galore.
7. Six Swimming Pools in Dubai
With not one, but six pools to choose from at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, there’s something for every visitor. The property’s spa offers an outdoor lap pool as well as hot and cold plunge pools in which to soothe muscles and relax after a long day. A family-friendly, shaded kids pool offers a water slide and toys for the youngest guests. And if you’re looking for a dip in the Gulf, the property also offers 350 meters of private white-sand beachfront.
8. One With Nature in Bali
The luxury villas at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve each come with their own private pool — the grand three-bedroom villa’s pool is a whopping 172 square meters — for relaxation in a personal oasis. But for those who want to venture beyond their private retreat, the resort also offers a spectacular pool surrounded by elegantly shaded cabanas with views of the property’s lush terraced rice paddies. Visit for a swim or to catch some sun with a healthy drink in hand like the Loloh Kecemcem (Kecemcem leaves, lemon, honey, coconut water) meant to refresh the body.