Anthony Bourdain’s 10 Favorite Hotels in the World

Beloved American writer, traveler and culinary curator Anthony Bourdain recently published a list on his Facebook account listing his 10 favorite hotels in the world. He describes himself as a “Hotel Slut” having stayed in so many different places over the years. Certainly his busy lifestyle as a traveling foodie has taken him to some far flung places and required a lot of nights away from home. The star says “A hotel where I know immediately where I am when I open my eyes in the morning is a rare joy.” Here are his favorites:

10. The Murray Hotel -Livingston, Montana

Bouradin says that if you stay at The Murray, make sure you try to book the Peckinpah suite.

Photo by: Panoramio/juan234x
Photo by: Panoramio/juan234x

9. Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor -Siem Reap, Cambodia

Grand colonial-area hotels in Asia have a certain spot in Bourdain’s heart and this one in the ancient city of Siem Reap, Cambodia is no exception.

Photo by: Kiwi Collection
Photo by: Kiwi Collection

8. Hotel Metropole -Hanoi, Vietnam

Bourdain says he’s a huge fan of English novelist and author Graham Greene and says if the writer has stayed at a hotel (like The Metropole) chances are he will stay there too.

Photo by: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Photo by: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

7. The Edgewater Hotel -Seattle, Washington

The luxury Edgewater Hotel in Seattle’s downtown sits right on the waterfront. Bourdain loves watching ships slide right past your room as you look west over the water.

Photo by: The Edgewater
Photo by: The Edgewater

6. Park Hyatt -Tokyo, Japan

This posh Tokyo hotel was featured in the 2003 film Lost in Translation and as a film geek, Bourdain can’t pass up the opportunity to stay here when he visits the city.

Photo by: Park Hyatt Tokyo
Photo by: Park Hyatt Tokyo

5. Hotel Oloffson -Port au Prince, Haiti

With all his television series, books and other entrepreneurial endeavors, Bourdain can afford to stay pretty much wherever he wants. But the star appreciates more than just 5-star accommodations, ambiance is everything and he describes Hotel Oloffson as “Sagging, creaky and leaky but awesome.”

Photo by: pizzo cipria e bouquet
Photo by: pizzo cipria e bouquet

4. Hotel Continental Saigon -Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Bourdain appreciates history along with his good nights sleep, and for this reason he loves to stay at Hotel Continental Saigon; Vietnam’s very first (and consequently oldest) hotel.

Photo by: Artful Rooms With a View
Photo by: Artful Rooms With a View

3. The Raleigh -Miami, Florida

Bourdain can’t stress it enough; stay at The Raleigh for the best pool in Miami. Period.

Photo by: The Raleigh Hotel
Photo by: The Raleigh Hotel

2. Chiltern Firehouse -London, England

This old Victorian firehouse turned hotel is owned by the same team as Bourdain’s number one pick and he describes the London hotel as “pretty much perfection.”

Photo by: Chiltern Firehouse Hotel
Photo by: Chiltern Firehouse Hotel

1. Chateau Marmont -Los Angeles, California

Bourdain’s love of Chateau Marmot is clear: the author says “if I have to die in a hotel room, let it be here. I will work in LA just to stay at the Chateau.”

Photo by: Chateau Marmont
Photo by: Chateau Marmont

8 Things to See and Do in Cambodia

After the fall of the terrifying and violent Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1990s, Cambodia has slowly re-established itself as a popular backpacker and off-the-beaten-path tourist destination. As the region stabilizes, more and more travelers are flocking to the area to marvel at the country’s world famous ancient structures and ruins, as well as explore the many virtually untouched beaches and natural wonders. For anyone heading to South East Asia, these are EscapeHere’s top eight things to see and do in Cambodia:

8. Visit Prasat Preah Vihear

Found on the obscure Thai-Cambodian border, visiting the ancient Hindu temple of Prasat Preah Vihear is akin to attending a field study on Cambodian political history. The temple dates back to the Khmer Empire under Yasovarman I (889-910) and has witnessed everything from centuries of Thai-Cambodian tensions to the modern aggression of the Khmer Rouge; the Communist regime that terrorized Cambodians until the late 1990s. Though heavy with the implications of history (the site is still plagued by patrolling military personnel) the temple is a beautiful example of Hindu architecture devoted, as was common for the time, to the deity Shiva. The stunning location atop the Dangkrek Mountain escarpment gives visitors an unparalleled view of the low country, visible some 550 meters below, and various sets of steps edging the complex and seemingly descending into an unknowable abyss make for one of the most hauntingly beautiful sites in the world.

Prasat Preah Vihear Cambodia

7. Check Out the Villages on Tonle Sap Lake

From floating and stilted villages to a rare bird sanctuary, Cambodia’s only freshwater lake, Tonle Sap, has plenty of interesting sights for those willing to venture out to find them. The lake also has the unique quality of flowing in two directions after the heavy rainy season, an event that is marked by the annual water festival (October/November) which features colorful boat racing and general merriment.

Villages on Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia

6. Sample Authentic Khmer Cuisine

Though significantly less famous than the culinary delights of neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, the Khmer cuisine of Cambodia deserves foodie recognition in its own right. It is here that visitors can find immeasurable quantities of food stalls lining city streets and selling enormous plates of food for often, as little as a dollar. Especially worth trying are the humble bai sach chrouk (pork and rice), fish and meat amok (fish/meat mousse that sounds scary but will delight your taste buds) and lap khmer (a lime marinated beef salad dressed with lemongrass, shallots, garlic, green beans and green peppers). Given a fair shake, even picky eaters will be won over by the delightful balance of sweet and bitter that form the main characteristics of authentic Cambodian cuisine.

Khmer Cambodian Cuisine

5. Escape to the Beach Paradise of Koh Rong Island

After countless hours spent journeying on rickety buses, navigating ruins and traumatizing your mind with the brutal history of this region, a vacation from your vacation might be just what you need. The peaceful and laid-back island vibe on Koh Rong Island is the perfect place to recharge you wanderlust battery, as well as get a golden opportunity to see one of the most idyllic natural landscapes in the world.

Beach Koh Rong Island Cambodia

4. Get a Sobering History Lesson at the S-21 Prison Museum

Although not a typical light-hearted vacation outing, many would agree that making time to learn about the history of a country you’re visiting is a sign of respect, as well as a unique opportunity to gain some insight into the nation’s cultural identity. With that in mind, a visit to the former S-21 Prison, now known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide is a heartbreaking (but necessary) experience for anyone visiting Cambodia. Located just outside of Phnom Penh, the exterior of the complex looks just like any other high school in the area, but the inside depicts the brutal reality of the blood-thirsty Khmer Rouge regime. A visit to the property reveals the stark original furniture or the prison/torture/death facility as well as hundreds of haunting victim photographs that plaster the interior walls (an initiative part of the meticulous record keeping of the regime). Spend some time here learning about the inner workings of the ultra-Communist regime and pay your respects to the lives lost and the gruesome history endured by the Cambodian people.

chris kolaczan / Shutterstock.com
chris kolaczan / Shutterstock.com

3. Marvel at the Beauty of the Royal Palace

The ornately constructed, gilded structures of the Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh are arguably the most beautiful in the country. The royal residence of Cambodian Kings since the 1860s, the complex is divided into 4 distinct areas separated by walls: the Silver Pagoda, the Khemarin Palace, the Throne Hall and the private Inner Court. While over half of the property is closed to the public (it is the current King’s residence), visitors are still able to get a feel for the intricate and luxurious beauty of the complex and explore the history that is has witnessed by visiting the Silver Pagoda, the Throne Room and several other outbuildings that remain publicly accessible.

Royal Palace Cambodia

2. Wander Around the Day and Night Markets in Phnom Penh

For a chance to purchase absolutely anything and everything and to explore the unique structure of a Phnom Penh landmark, check out the city’s Central Market, open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM. The art-deco structure housing the market was originally designed by French architect Louis Chauchon and is basically a large dome branching out into 4 large hallways. For tourists, the market is a must-visit location to witness the bustle and energy of Cambodian daily life, with the modern interior seemingly clashing with the old-world style stalls animated but the bargaining for merchants and customers. For a more exotic (and less chaotic) market experience, visitors can check out the riverfront Night Market, open on Friday and Saturday nights, and grab some unique souvenirs, sample delicious street eats and experience the city’s awesome nighttime vibe.

Day and Night Markets in Phnom Penh Cambodia

1. Spend Days Getting Lost at the Angkor Wat Complex and Surrounding Area

The largest religious monument in the world, the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap remains Cambodia’s most popular tourist destination. Occupying an area of about 500 acres, the main temple was built in the early 12th century in the Khmer architectural tradition, and is now inscribed as a UNESCO World heritage Site along with the other structures in the greater Angkor Archaeological Park. Seeing this ancient site in person is a mind-boggling experience that causes an overwhelming realization and appreciation of grandeur, architecture, history and nature. Many of the area’s overgrown temples, structures and ruins have remained relatively untouched (save conservation efforts) and getting lost among them is truly a mystical, life changing experience.

Banyon Temple Angkor Wat Cambodia

8 Things to See and Do in Cambodia

Over the last two decades or so, Cambodia has lost its dark, dangerous reputation and memories of Khmer atrocities have faded enough to let the beauty of the country and its people shine through. The Khmer culture fascinates its visitors with enticing street food, white sand beaches offering salty sea air, and the steamy, emerald jungle is filled with outdoor endeavors. Cambodians are peaceful and receptive, the history is unlike anywhere else on earth, and the vistas are backed by kaleidoscopic sunsets. Lacking travelers en masse like in Thailand, Cambodia is still unmistakably authentic.

8. Kampot

Travelers are captivated by Kampot, an endearing, sleepy waterfront village with a magnetic, laid-back feel and one of the country’s most impressive examples of French colonial architecture. Anyone hoping to explore the beautiful Elephant Mountains and Bokor National Park will find Kampot not only advantageous, but an interesting and fun base from which to enjoy outdoor adventures. Nearby, the seaside town of Kep, with its magnificent caves and lush, eastern coast, is just another reason to stay. This old trading hub saw its heyday until the 1950s when Sihanoukville gained a favorable position and took over. Kampot is for those looking to enjoy a varied backdrop that’s interesting to explore and perfect to relax in. The Old Market, an aging landmark, has recently seen some gentrification and now features many interesting restaurants and shops—they themselves are attractions, filled with interesting families who begin as strangers but end up good friends.

Kampot, Cambodia

7. Otres Beach

Along the southwest coast of Cambodia is beautiful Otres Beach, the country’s most beautiful stretch of sand. Lining the waterfront are small, traditional bungalows fronted by loungers and brightly hued papasan chairs, with hammocks hung from most big palms and other native trees. There really isn’t any one major attraction here; the biggest sell is the easy-going atmosphere. Most other Cambodian beaches are filled with early morning partiers hanging on to whiskey-filled buckets, looking to get their groove on. Otres is decidedly different. There’s a promising social scene-and plenty of cocktails available—but owners collectively agree to shut down music by 10 pm, making later evenings relaxing rather than rowdy. Though not a hidden gem, Otres Beach is still a little-known favourite among those in the know, but it won’t last so be sure to park yourself on Otres for a few days of pure relaxation and incredible sunsets.

Otres Beach, Cambodia

6. Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap Lake is south of Siem Reap, Southeast Asia’s biggest freshwater lake, and a UNESCO biosphere designated site. When ancient Angkor’s people were thriving, it had much to do with the lake: it’s one of the world’s most productive and varied ecosystems and therefore a central hub for Cambodia’s food production. The most interesting scene here is the series of lakefront villages, both stilted and floating, bustling with life. The bulk of residents are fishermen, mostly Vietnamese immigrants who have been living here for dozens of years. Tourism is on the rise at Tonle Sap, which is producing an essential stream of revenue, but it’s evident traditional life is slowly ebbing away. To avoid the thick of things and enjoy a more authentic experience, skip groups en masse and ride a long tail boat to villages Kampong Khleang and Kompong Phluk, where friendly locals are still fond of curious onlookers.

Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia

5. Sisowath Quay

In Phnom Penh’s pretty riverside area is the historic quay called Sisowath, part of Chamkarmon district and adjacent to Sisowath Boulevard. The Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers meet here which is also near the Royal Palace of Cambodia. In the old days of mighty kings and men, the palace was a vantage point for area events such as river races during the annual Water Festival. Being relatively small, Phnom Penh is an easy place to merge eating, temple-spotting, sightseeing, and shopping into a relaxing walk through the city—the dots are all connected by the three kilometer waterfront promenade hugging Tonle Sap’s west bank. This is the social center of Phnom Penh, where locals and visitors mix easily, ambitious artisans and vendors sell their wares, and bars, restaurants, and cafes are abundant. The quay is also the place to find authentic French baguettes and explore magnificent Wat Ounalom.

Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

4. Chi Phat

Once a poacher’s haven, Chi Phat has been impressively transformed into a conservationists paradise, where reformed poachers are the guides who will show you some of Cambodia’s most beautiful, natural treasures. Set in the misty Cardamom Mountains, you’ll be far-flung from the crowds but close to lots of amazing scenery. Take a jungle trek to some of Chi Phat’s best attractions: waterfalls, mountains, and grasslands which are filled with incredible flora and fauna. The village of Chi Pat sits along a river, home to more than 600 families, and also to CBET (community-based ecotourism foundation). Travelers can enjoy the rare opportunity to delve into the ecosystems of the Cardamom Mountains while subsidizing an incredibly worthwhile project. The once logged and poached landscape has enjoyed a much-needed change becoming a reliable source of income and jobs for local villagers aiming to conserve this essential part of Cambodia.

Photo by: Chi Phat Eco Tourism
Photo by: Chi Phat Eco Tourism

3. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is by far the most famous, historic landmark in Cambodia, and arguably the most popular attraction in Southeast Asia. The complex of ancient temples near Siem Reap is one of the biggest religious masterpieces in the world. Originally built for the Khmer Empire as a Hindu temple, the compound was slowly altered into a Buddhist wat, or temple, near the 12th century. Rivaling the great temples at Bagan in Burma, Angkor Wat is an architectural wonder with stonework to be explored in depth. Khmer kings based out of Angkor ruled the lands from Vietnam to the Bay of Bengal, and held reign for centuries. Over 100 astonishing temples of stone are today’s remnants of a massive social, religious, and administrative center. Some of Angkor’s most unforgettable sights include the faces of Bayon, Banteay Srei temple, and Ta Prohm, each living up to their world famous reputations.

Angkor, Cambodia

2. Ream National Park

Established in 1993 by King Norodom Sihanouk, Ream National Park is one of seven major conservation efforts in Cambodia. Home to more than 205 square kilometers of earthy and marine habitats, Kep is another place to kick off dusty city boots and get out into nature. Less than 20 kilometers from Sihanoukville, Kep boasts rich mangrove swamps, breathtaking coastal panoramas, and flourishing forests of evergreen—the islands of Koh Ses and Koh Thmei are also here. Birders relish in spotting a host of birds—there are more than 150 species in Kep—and exploring Prek Toeuk Sap River where kingfishers, storks, and fishing eagles are common. From December through April spot playful dolphins in almost any season. Day trips by boat through mangroves and rivers, ending in the Gulf of Thailand, are most popular. Safaris and mountain walking tours are more options for scouting the area.

Ream National Park

1. Koh Rong

Anyone who’s explored Thailand’s vast network of islands will love the quiet beauty of Koh Rong, Cambodia’s premier paradise island. Reachable only by a small ferry, not too many tourists make the trip to this small, but gorgeous spot. With more than 20 different beaches to check out, the temptation to stay awhile and laze away the days is overwhelming. Treehouse resorts, traditional beach huts, and a cluster of small hotels will keep any budget traveler on track while still living the good life. Tech junkies will have to put away their devices—there’s only power from dinner time through midnight—but that’s part of the peacefulness here. Lazy hammock days, sunbathing on quiet beaches, eating your weight in delicious Khmer specialties—it’s all readily available on Koh Rong. If you really need some adventure in your island schedule, head out hiking, snorkeling, or diving in the Gulf.

Koh Rong, Cambodia

15 of the Best Outdoor Hotel Pools in the World

Outdoor hotel pools don’t need to be square concrete blocks, littered with screaming children and leaves that haven’t been scrapped off the bottom, which are normally freezing cold. In fact, outdoor hotel pools can be downright beautiful. From the ever popular infinity pools that look over the sides of cliffs, to rooftop pools so high up you forget what lies below; these outdoor pools are wonderfully unique in their own ways. Discover 15 of our favorite outdoor pools, and before long you will be booking a night, just to try out the pool.

15. Hotel Caruso -Salerno, Italy

This open-air infinity pool is brilliantly blue in color and creates the perfect atmosphere for hotel guests to relax. The pool is set atop the highest point of Ravello, seemingly suspended in the clouds, halfway between heaven and earth. It overlooks the breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Getting to the pool is just as beautiful as the pool itself as guests will have to wander through a rose garden. Complete with medieval ruins towering beside the pool, you will simply feel as you have fallen back in time. Make sure to indulge in the fresh-fruit appetizers that will be delivered to you poolside, or request a pre-loaded iPod with your choice of music. A visitor here can even get an Evian vaporizer delivered to them while they are in the pool. This is luxury at its finest.

Photo by: Belmond Hotel Caruso
Photo by: Belmond Hotel Caruso

14. The Oberoi Udaivilas -Udaipur, India

Spread over a 50 acre wildlife preserve is this wonderful hotel in India that features not one but two impressive pools. Guests here will be privy to amazing scenery, wildlife and exceptional service. The first pool runs lengthwise along the interconnecting domes and corridors that make up the hotel. This 70-foot pool is for guests that are staying in one of the semi-private pool rooms that allow access to this wonderful pool right from the room door. Private pool rooms are also available for those guests wanting their own private 36 foot plunge pool complete with dining area. The main pool at this hotel is stunning in deep blue tiles, set within a Mewar style courtyard with lush green lawns. The sandstone and marble tile patterns set off the sapphire blue color and truly make it a majestically centerpiece for this hotel.

Photo by: scupperssf via Flickr
Photo by: scupperssf via Flickr

13. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti -Serengeti, Tanzania

As if staying at a safari lodge isn’t enough of an amazing experience, the Four Seasons have upped the ante with this awesome outdoor pool. This large sparkling blue free-form infinity pool is among favorites of visitors to this awesome safari lodge. The pool is the perfect break from your safari adventure, although it may not feel like much of a break from wildlife sightings as you watch over the watering hole that brings elephants, lions and other wildlife up close and personal. Relax in the cool waters, grab a cocktail from sunrise to sunset or relax in one of the sun beds on the deck. Watching a sunset from here is a favorite activity as the sky turns a brilliant pink and orange while the sun disappears. At night enjoy a romantic dinner poolside, complete with candles, lanterns and excellent dining options.

Photo by: Roman Boed via Flickr
Photo by: Roman Boed via Flickr

12. The Library -Koh Samui Island, Thailand

Located just a few steps away from the white sandy beaches is a pool that shines so brilliantly red, one would think that the water is dyed to be that color. This signature red pool is absolutely stunning to the naked eye and swimming here is an unforgettable experience. We promise, you aren’t swimming in dark crimson blood, although we admit it looks like that from a distance. It is in fact the stunning mosaic tiles that make it look so red, as the combination of the red, orange and yellow present a dazzling spectacle of brilliant color. This shallow pool is perfect for relaxing and gazing out at the beautiful blue water. The Library is also the only five-star hotel in Chaweng Beach and in addition to the amazing pool, the hotel itself is wonderful.

Photo by: The Library
Photo by: The Library

11. The Sarojin -Phang Nga, Thailand

This enchanting hotel is only reached by a hidden pathway and borders on five national parks, as well as a long sandy beach. The pool itself is surrounded by lush green gardens and tropical foliage and shimmers a gorgeous turquoise color under the bright sun. Private cabanas are placed in the shallow waters and come complete with sun beds, umbrellas, curtains that can be closed for privacy, towels and bar service. The blue mosaic tiles, the large vases growing beautiful flowers and the steps leading into the deeper water all make this pool incredibly beautiful. With warm water, a serene setting and a private cabana; you may never want to leave this hotel.

Photo by: Roderick Eime via Flickr
Photo by: Roderick Eime via Flickr

10. The Grace Santorini -Santorini, Greece

This exquisite infinity pool is the largest of its kind in Santorini and offers breathtaking views of the sea below. In typical Santorini fashion, the pool is outfitted in white and blue, a perfect combination of simplicity yet style. Chairs and table are places around the pool, at staggering heights to allow for the unparalleled views of the surrounding hills and water. The pool features both a shallow and deep end, for any type of swimmer. Make sure to check out the infamous Santorini sunsets that occur nightly, either from inside the pool or from the chairs. Food and beverage service is available around the pool all day and evening, and visitors are encouraged to spend their days enjoying it.

Photo by: Grace Hotels
Photo by: Grace Hotels

9. San Alfonso del Mar -Valparaiso, Chile

It holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest crystalline pool, measuring over one kilometer in length, eight hectares and holds more than 250 million liters of water. Apart from the sheer size of it, the waters here are an amazing turquoise color and have the same transparency of those in the Caribbean. The water also happens to be an amazing 26 degrees Celsius in the summertime, the absolute perfect temperature for splashing around. The white sand beaches here are private to each of the buildings and recreate a tropical paradise. During the day you will find kids snorkeling, sailing in small boats and many recreational activities taking place in the biggest pool on earth. Make sure you book your room into one of the buildings that has access to the private beaches and pool, as some do not.

Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com
Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com

8. Amangani -Jackson Hole, United States

This legendary resort is Jackson Hole’s most exclusive resorts and it set seven thousand feet above sea level, carved into the hillside at Gros Ventre Butte. The 100-foot heated swimming pool operates year round and offers stunning views of Wyoming’s snow-capped peaks. During the summer visitors enjoy lounging in the crystal clear waters, taking in the surrounding scenery and watching out for wildlife, all with a cocktail in hand. During the winter guests take advantage of both the warm pool and the attached hot tub, which comes in handy after a long day of skiing in the area. At night the candles are lit and there is no where better to enjoy a bottle of wine than this awesome luxury pool.

Amangani, Wyoming

7. B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa -Zurich, Switzerland

This trendy 60-room boutique hotel features open spaces and a fabulous rooftop pool. It was once a 150 year old brewery. The hotel has managed to keep the aged stone walls and has refurbished the valves and bolts as clever décor elements. The natural thermal pool on the roof is really what visitors here love though. This uniquely shaped pool offers visitors unparalleled views over the city of Zurich, especially during the night. The pool is divided into different zones, all featuring different jets that relax and unwind you. There are enough nooks and crannies here that everyone can have their privacy. Although there are no surrounding loungers or service staff; the experience is unlike any other rooftop pool experience.

Photo by: B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa
Photo by: B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa

6. Marina Bay Sands Tower Pool -Singapore, Indonesia

It is hailed as the world’s largest rooftop pool at its height and sits high above the city of Singapore on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. If you don’t like heights, you may want to avoid this pool as it is 55 storey’s up in the air and more than three times the length of an Olympic pool. Did we mention that this pool is an infinity pool? This pool is part of the Sands SkyPark, a park that spans over all three hotel buildings and offers shops, restaurants and observation decks to the public. Building the SkyPark was one of the most expensive construction projects in history and once you see it, you can believe it. Unfortunately for the general public, the infinity pool is just open to hotel guests. With plenty of sun loungers, umbrellas, palm trees and dining choices, it is easy to spend an entire day on top of the world here.

Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com
Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com

5. Ubud Hanging Gardens -Bali, Indonesia

It is one of the most photographed pools in the world and it is no wonder why, as the architecture here is absolutely stunning. This pool won’t be for the faint of heart though as it jets out from the hotel, high above the treetops. It is a split-level infinity pool, the top half featuring a huge deck that flows out from the hotel. The bottom half is almost hidden from sight and creates the feeling of having a private atmosphere, complete with a waterfall. The curved pools were designed to replicate the steep terraced rice paddies that are such an iconic feature of this area of the world. There are a variety of benches and sun chairs around the pool and service staff is more than happy to bring guests food and drink. For the true romantic, you can even eat dinner on a floating dock in the lower level of this awesome infinity pool.

Photo by: Hanging Gardens UBUD
Photo by: Hanging Gardens UBUD

4. Habita Monterrey -San Pendro Garza Garcia, Mexico

These pools are located on the rooftop terrace of this modern boutique hotel and offer guests stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The infinity style pools run the length of the rooftop with a bar and eating area running down the middle to separate them. One of the pools is warm and perfect for relaxing while the other is slightly cooler and draws more swimmers serious about swimming laps. The concrete canopy above ensures that you aren’t sweltering up here and there is no better place to grab a cocktail after your swim than from the friendly bartender up on the roof, willing to make you just about anything you desire.

Photo by:  Hotel MTY
Photo by: Hotel MTY

3. Kempinski Hotel Ishtar -Amman, Jordan

This five star luxury hotel is situated on the edge of the famous salt lake, the Dead Sea and provides unlimited views across the sea. This resort doesn’t just offer one amazing pool though, it offers nine. The most popular pool here is the lazy river, which takes visitors around the resort. The sunken pool is the perfect place to relax, offering guests a fireplace in the middle and fringed with palm trees along the sides. The round infinity pool though is perhaps the most visually impressive and offers load of space to visitors looking to take a dip. All the pools here are surrounded by plush sun beds, extraordinary scenery and excellent service. It’s too hard to narrow down which of these pools is the best one, so we suggest trying them all.

Photo by: Dan Lundberg via Flickr
Photo by: Dan Lundberg via Flickr

2. Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor -Siem Reap, Cambodia

This colonial style hotel offers an escape from the city and features an authentic looking tropical pool. The saltwater pool here is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and soaring palm trees on one side, enough to make you forget that you are indeed in the middle of the city. There are enough sun beds on the other side for all guests and this tropical oasis manages to never feel crowded. The inviting lounge spills out onto the swimming pool terrace and most of the bedrooms horseshoe around the pool, giving lovely views to all who stay here. Most visitors love to pad around these tranquil grounds, sip a cocktail on the deck or go for a refreshing afternoon swim.

Photo by: Belmond La Residence D'Angkor
Photo by: Belmond La Residence D’Angkor

1. Hacienda Uayamon -Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

This wonderfully unique property is set ideally close to the Mayan site of Edzna, on Mexico’s stunning Yucatan Peninsula. It is hidden away in thick jungle foliage and ancient ruins and was created to retain some of the original charm of the former cattle ranch it was once. The pool is actually situated in a ruined part of the building and was once the main room. It has since been flooded with water and has become one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the world, with its crumbling stone walls and topless pillars. The absence of a roof means that light pours in all day to this pool and more often than not guests can been seen lounging in the provided hammocks. This setting is sure to relax and inspire you as your worries drift away in the clear turquoise waters.

Photo by: Julie Edgley via Flickr
Photo by: Julie Edgley via Flickr