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Step out of a room and into the pool? That’s luxury, says Laura French.
We’ve all heard of swim-up bars, but swim-up suites that take you straight to the door? Now that’s novel.
From lazy rivers winding their way through the grounds to infinity pools leading right up to the room, they’re making something of a splash.
Here, we round up 10 of the best from across the globe to help you sell them to clients seeking a little luxury – wherever they fall on the budget spectrum.
1 Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa, Mauritius
Set on the island’s west coast between Grand Baie and capital Port Louis, Beachcomber’s Victoria outpost will be bringing the first swim-up suites to the Indian Ocean when they open in January 2018.
The 17 rooms, each stretching across 50sq m, will allow guests to step straight into an 800sq m pool, opening on to the ocean with a private beach. It’s part of a wider renovation that will add another 23 beachfront suites to the mix, alongside a new steak restaurant and pool bar, all being targeted at couples under its new ‘Victoria for Two’ concept – expanding the net for this family-friendly, kids’ club-loving resort.
Book it: Seven nights’ half-board in a Swim-Up Pool Room starts at £1,565 per person, based on two sharing. The price includes flights and hotel transfers.
2 Calabash Cove, Saint Lucia
Over in Saint Lucia, the peaceful, secluded Calabash Cove takes things up a notch with four Swim Up Junior Suites leading to the hotel’s infinity-edge pool, which blends into a strip of opal ocean.
The suites are pleasingly close to the in-pool bar, where signature cocktails are whizzed up with flair during happy hour, and they all have their own Jacuzzi. Coconut palms, bougainvillea and hibiscus line the grounds making for verdant surroundings, and for those after added intimacy, there are Balinese-style Water’s Edge Cottages with private plunge pools, outdoor rain showers and hammocks to lounge around in.
Book it: Seven nights’ B&B at Calabash Cove costs from £1,985 with Caribtours, based on two adults sharing a Swim Up Junior Suite. The price includes flights, private transfers and the use of an airport lounge in the UK. The offer is valid for bookings made by August 31, for travel between October 1 and December 23.
3 Dreams Dominicus La Romana, Dominican Republic
AMResorts does pretty well on the swim-up suite front, and among the cream of its crop is the brand-new, five-star Dreams Dominicus La Romana, where Preferred Club Deluxe Swim-Up Rooms open on to a petite private pool.
Decked out in Italian-inspired architecture, the suites come with either a terrace or balcony overlooking tropical gardens, and sleep up to four guests. That makes them especially suited to families, as well as older groups looking to make the most of the Preferred Club amenities, which include access to a private lounge and beach area, and a special concierge service.
Book it: Funway Holidays offers a week’s all-inclusive in a Preferred Club Swim-out Suite from £1,444 per person, including flights, departing on October 14.
4 Aliathon Holiday Village, Cyprus
Swim-up luxury doesn’t necessarily have to mean trotting over to the other side of the globe and spending the earth to get there. For customers with time or budget constraints, recommend Aliathon Holiday Village in Paphos, where swim-up suites are available exclusively to First Choice customers.
Guests can jump straight from their doorstep into a long, shared pool, where a swim-up bar with stools in the water awaits those looking to quench their thirst with a cocktail or three.
Rooms sleep up to four, featuring a double bed, sofa bed and terrace with sun loungers. On the upper level, there’s a selection of family suites offering one and two bedrooms. A mini kids’ splash area, meanwhile, adds further appeal for those with little ’uns.
Book it: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the four-star Holiday Village Aliathon starts at £706 per person with First Choice, based on two adults sharing. The price includes transfers and flights from Gatwick on September 7.
5 Anantara The Palm, Dubai
Anantara The Palm is all about the extravagance, and its Lagoon Access Rooms – each featuring steps descending from the terrace to the pool – are no exception.
There are three categories, ranging from 47sq m Premier rooms to 65sq m Deluxe Family Suites, complete with a king-sized and twin beds on two separate floors. They’re all inspired by Asian design – there’s even a mixologist doing the rounds on a floating, market-style boat to provide signature tipples. That makes not moving for a week entirely acceptable, but if families do fancy venturing out, then Aquaventure, Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai and Dubai Marina are all within easy reach.
Book it: Five nights’ B&B with the Inspiring Travel Company starts at £795 per person, based on two adults sharing a Lagoon Access Room. The price includes BA flights from Heathrow and private transfers.
6 Santhiya Koh Phangan, Thailand
For an exquisitely designed, eco-friendly hideaway offering a unique swim-up experience, Gold Medal recommends the four-star Santhiya Koh Phangan in Thailand.
Rebecca Turner, senior product manager for Asia and Australia, says: “The Supreme Deluxe Pool Access Rooms are lined with ornate carved-wood panels, with a sliding door opening on to a private veranda that leads straight into the swimming pool.”
Most special are the wooden sun loungers, which are designed in the shape of boats floating on the water and offer seductive views of the cerulean sea.
Elsewhere there’s a spa and a good selection of water sports, and it’s all spread across seven hectares of tropical forest that flanks a gold-sand beach, making it a sure-fire hit for couples seeking a romantic getaway.
Book it: Gold Medal offers seven nights’ B&B in a Deluxe Room from £1,079 for departures from October 7-23, including flights from Heathrow and transfers.
7 Colony Club by Elegant Hotels, Barbados
Over in the Caribbean, there’s the award-winning Colony Club, set on Barbados’s Platinum Coast. Here, verdant palm trees tower over tropical gardens spanning seven acres, and the decor harks back to its past as a real-life private colonial club.
“Guests receive a bottle of the hotel’s home-made rum punch on arrival, so they can sip and dip at the same time.”
It’s the Luxury Poolside Rooms that really seal the deal though, with doors opening on to aquamarine pools that snake their way around like rivers. Each room has a private patio or balcony – some also feature access to the swim-up bar – and guests receive a bottle of the hotel’s home-made rum punch
on arrival, so they can sip and dip at the same time.
Book it: A week’s B&B in a Luxury Swim Up Poolside Room starts at £2,028 per person with Kuoni in May 2018, based on two people sharing. The price includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick and transfers.
8 Unico 20°87°, Riviera Maya, Mexico
This contemporary hotel is all about local culture, with art hanging in the rooms, and cuisine and cocktails inspired by the region. The theme reaches its Alcoba Swim-Up Pool Suites too, with handcrafted accent pieces adding pops of colour to modern interiors, making each one unique.
Elevated lounge chairs make sunbathing by the swim-up entrance suitably relaxing, while beyond the suites themselves are three other pools, a holistic spa and wellness centre, and a programme of pop-up events designed to reflect the locality.
Book it: Carrier offers a week’s all-inclusive from £2,290, based on two sharing a Swim Up Alcoba King Room. The price includes flights from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and private transfers, departing November 4.
9 Cornelia Deluxe Resort, Turkey
If selling Turkey is proving something of a struggle, highlight its unique – and good-value – properties such as the five-star, 358-room Cornelia Deluxe Resort in Belek, where you can clamber down from a Villa Junior Suite into the hotel’s main pool in the space of a minute. The modern, studio-style apartments (suitable for a family of four, or three adults) have a living area, bedroom and Jacuzzi-equipped bathroom, while the pool itself offers up a handy restaurant and bar. Elsewhere in the resort you’ll find five pools, seven restaurants and an impressive roster of activities, and it’s all set among natural surroundings, including a stretch of picturesque, sandy beach.
Book it: Thomas Cook offers a week’s all-inclusive at the resort from £885, based on two adults sharing a Junior Suite with pool access, flying from Birmingham on September 27.
10 Sandals Negril, Jamaica
Loved-up couples need look no further than Sandals Negril, whose lavish swim-up suites, leading to a lagoon pool, have you gazing straight out at the ocean.
Inside it’s all marble, mahogany and glass mosaic tiles, with beautiful fixtures adding a certain je ne sais quoi to the ambience, helped along by a daily patio breakfast served by a private butler, a four-poster king-sized bed, flat-screen TV and whirlpool bath. The cherry on the cake is the glass of champagne poured at the edge of the lagoon each evening as the sun goes down – worth highlighting to honeymooners.
Book it: Seven nights’ all-inclusive in a Swim Up Crystal Lagoon Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite starts at £2,475, based on a May 9, 2018, departure. The price includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick and resort transfers.
Four of the best overwater resorts
Shangri-La Villingili, Maldives: Accessed by a timber walkway, Shangri-La’s 60 Water Villas are generously sized and offer unobstructed views over crystal-clear ocean. Guests get a personal host and 24-hour in-villa dining, plus a private terrace.
Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia: Surrounded by luminescent lagoons and colourful coral reefs, these thatched overwater bungalows are as idyllic as they come, decked out with French Polynesian art and teakwood furnishings, and overlooking white-sand shores.
Mirihi Island Resort, Maldives: There are 30 overwater villas scattered across this exclusive island in the South Ari Atoll, with reef sharks, octopuses and green turtles gliding around its waters.
Salt & Sill, Sweden: This ‘floating hotel’ overlooks the Bohuslän archipelago, with six two-storey houses built on pontoons. Lower-level rooms offer direct access to the water via a ladder, and there’s even a ‘floating sauna’ on a catamaran, complete with hot tub and sun deck.