fbpx

There’s something decadent about taking a dip in the steamy waters of an outdoor heated pool in winter. The frosty air,  the snow, and ice-capped mountains, a spectacular luxury hotel. From Switzerland to Spain, here is our curated guide to the best global hotels and resorts with sexy outdoor pools definitely, worth traveling for.

Riffelalp Resort, Zermatt, Switzerland

The Setting

Set  (7,000 feet) above sea level in the magnificent Swiss Alps amidst fragrant pine and larch forests, with a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

Arrive by Skidoo (snowmobile) to Zermatt’s world-famous ski resort, home to the highest outdoor pool in Europe. Open-air, icy blue in hue, and a toasty 95 degrees F, the steamy pool has massaging bubble jets and the area is outfitted with cozy loungers, bubble seats, and offers epic views of the Valais mountains, including a close of the landmark Matterhorn. The resort is also home to an indoor steam cave, Finnish sauna, and grotto of salt baths and waterfalls.

Insider Tip

When not swimming alfresco, spend days skiing (slopes go directly past the hotel), snowshoeing, or hiking through the snow-covered forest. Later head to the resort’s Walliserkeller restaurant, open only in winter, acclaimed for its regional Pennine Alps cuisine like cheese fondue and raclette, paired with wine.  Don’t skip the Toblerone fondue for dessert.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

The Setting

Set on a clifftop, the ranch soaring 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

There are actually two dreamy cliff-top infinity pools here, heated to a heavenly 104 degrees F, plus a standalone outdoor heated pool in a sunny meadow knoll.  These clifftop beauties – known fittingly as the  “the basking pools” – offer jaw-dropping panoramic views of both the ocean and surrounding Big Sur. Romance and alone time together is the hallmark of the stay here.

Insider Tip

For ultimate privacy, book the Cliff House, a free-standing structure featuring a deck suspended over the cliffs, wood-burning fireplace, indoor shower, and soaking tub with ocean views. And outdoors – yet another watery option – a stunning artsy sculpted stainless steel soaking tub.

El Lodge, Sierra Nevada, Spain

The Setting

Set high in the Sierra Nevadas, enjoy sweeping panoramas of the mountains –  on a clear day it is possible to see Africa in the distance.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

Snow and ice don’t instantly come to mind when thinking of southern Spain. Unless you go high into the mountains of Andalusia to the show-stopping, alpine-style, El Lodge. Open only in winter, this boutique alpine property is also home to the only open-air heated pool in the Sierra Nevadas. Enjoy a day on the slopes – ski lifts are available from the hotel – followed by an après swim in the pool, and dip into the hot tub, elegantly fashioned from Finnish timber.

Insider Tip

After your swim, wrap up in faux-fur blankets by the firepit and sip mulled wine. The rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning mountain views and there’s a chic alpine-inspired main lodge with antler chandeliers and cowhide rugs perfect for hanging.

Amangani, Wyoming, USA

The Setting

Set on the edge of a 7,000-foot butte offering unrivaled views of the snow-capped Grand Tetons and Snake River below.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

Finished in quartzite, this sexy, steamy infinity-edge pool  – warmed to a comfortable 80 degrees F – offers stunning views of the Grand Tetons and is the perfect way to unwind after a day skiing, snowshoeing dog sledding, or snowmobiling. The pool is part of Amangani’s vibey redwood-paneled spa, known for seasonal treatments like the Winter Solstice (Himalayan salt body scrub, hot-stone massage, and body wrap with a crystal sound bowl therapy). 

Insider Tip

Rooms and suites are equally decadent featuring high ceilings, balconies, and large picture windows, perfect for ‘framing’ the mountains, and comfy wild west accents like woven cowhide chairs and faux-wolf throws.

Wildflower Hall, Himalayas

The Setting

Shrouded in mist, blanketed in snow, soaring 8000 feet in the Himalayas, overlooking fragrant cedar forests and endless mountain views.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

Although adopted as the summer capital of British India in 1863, Shimla (also the summer residence of India’s former commander-in-chief, Lord Kitchener) is a bucket list destination. Especially with its romantic year-round outdoor heated pool overlooking cedar and pine forests and the ragged, jagged mountain peaks in the distance. The indoor pool is just as stunning – with overhead chandeliers exuding a colonial majesty.

Insider Tip

Also enjoy treatments in the property’s renowned spa, like the Oberoi Signature (75 minutes) using Kasa bowls, rooted in Ayurveda, India’s ancient healing modality, then try skating on the hotel’s converted-to-ice tennis court before finding your way back to the blissful infinity pool.

Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada

The Setting

In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, surrounded by evergreens, and offering ridiculously magnificent mountain views.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

Nicknamed the ‘castle of the Rockies,’ this grand dame hotel, originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800s, features an indoor saltwater pool and fabulous spa with waterfalls and mineral pools. We love, most, the divine outdoor pool. There’s no better experience than to float in warm water with snowflakes drifting down amidst snow-capped mountains.

Insider Tip

You can also order warm bites from the poolside bar or reserve a private campfire pit to toast s’mores.

Hotel Mont-Blanc, Chamonix, France

The Setting

Chamonix’s most luxurious hotel, redesigned by renowned French interior architect Sybille de Margerie, offers breathtaking views of Mont-Blanc.

Why it’s Worth the Dip

The famed mountains are the draw here (although the shopping and fine-dining experiences in Chamonix are quite dreamy). And what could be better after a day of trekking or skiing- to unknot and relax tired muscles than in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool, with its unparalleled views of Mont Blanc. We especially love that the watery retreat stays open late, making it the perfect nightcap following a dinner at the hotel’s Restaurant Le Matafan where Michelin-star chef Mickey Bourdillat shows off his regional cuisine (foie gras, fera fish).

Insider Tip

After floating away under the winter-night sky, retire to your warm, inviting room with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and yes, more epic views of the famous mountain.

Don't miss the News!

On the latest travel tips, hottest resorts and dream destinations and the best places to eat, drink and relax.