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Hotel Hit-List: Poolside Picks

Posted 26.04.17  - Culture

With Turnbull & Asser’s bold and beautiful new swimwear now out, you’ll need a chic destination in which to debut your printed shorts and city-safe beach shirts. The following places are home to 2017’s hottest poolside properties.



Good for: City slickers

Staying at: Soho House, Barcelona

Nick Jones’s unique brand of comfortable-luxe blends with 19th-century Catalan finery at Soho House’s newest club. Amid the double-height vaulted ceilings and vivid Mediterranean colours, the indoor pool, 36-seat screening room, rainforest showers, and the rentable speakeasy are among the top attractions. But for the real star of the show, head straight to the rooftop bar for its enchanting city views.


Lake Como

Good for: A-Listers

Staying at: Il Sereno

The Italian Lakes’ latest haunt offers an alternative to the usual gilded opulence. The interior, by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, has a modern look, courtesy of wood, black metal and local materials ceppo di gré stone and Como silk. As well as the beautiful interior, your eye will be drawn to Como’s green hillsides and orange-roofed towns, which are visible from the terrace, pool and 450-foot shoreline.



Los Cabos

Good for: Resort hounds

Staying at: Mar Adentro

Forget Cancun, it’s all about the west coast of Mexico now, with successive hotels opening at the sandy base of Baja California, Mar Adentro is the stand-out choice. Designed by local architect, stark white cuboid blocks ring an oval pool and nest-like Nido restaurant, which appears to be built from twigs. Beyond is a huge beach and gardens dotted with daybeds.


Good for: Meditators

Staying at: Explora Valle Sagrado

The Explora group is known for immersive, low-impact properties in magical landscapes. Their first venue outside Chile is this new bolthole in Peru’s rustic Sacred Valley of the Incas, set among purple cornfields and grazing alpaca. In between hikes to high-altitude lakes, visitors can lounge around Scandi-style open-plan stone, wood and glass buildings, crossing between roofs via elevated walkways and enjoying superb locally sourced Quechua food.



Mie Prefecture

Good for: The overburdened

Staying at: Amanemu

Home to the Ise Grand Shrine, this little-visited corner of south Japan is suddenly on the tourist map thanks to hotel group Aman’s second property in the country. Built around healing hot springs, Amanemu adopts the harmonious approach of a traditional Japanese ryokan (travellers' inns) reflected in its pale hues and wooden flooring. Use your new swimwear in the main onsens (public springs) but feel free to go without in the room's hot tub.

Sri Lanka

Good for: Animal lovers

Staying at: Chena Huts

Of the many new properties in Sri Lanka, this safari lodge shines brightest. Its prime position along a jungle-lined beach is ideally located for access to Yala National Park, which is exceptional for leopard spotting. The sporadic presence of plodding elephants means you can't swim in the sea, but each huge thatched villa – offering a sharply modern reprise on safari-chic – boasts its own plunge pool, while raised walkways link to the spa, bar and sunset-facing restaurant.



Cape Town

Good for: Culture vultures

Staying at: The Silo

Converting an 80-year-old former-grain silo on Cape Town’s focal waterfront into a luxury hotel was always going to be a huge undertaking. The project was overseen by British architect Thomas Heatherwick – whose design for svelte curving windows now generate a lantern-like effect at night. The new hotel’s rooftop bar, spa, and stunning glass-sided pool will be accompanied in September by the Zeitz MOCAA – already anticipated to be one of the world’s foremost contemporary art museums.


Good for: The happily horizontal

Staying at: Six Senses Zil Pasyon

The private island of Félicité was once where Britain sent its troublemakers. But this island is hardly punishment, especially now the world's most exclusive beach resort has arrived. Everything at Six Senses Zil Pasyon oozes calm and relaxation: the glass walls, massive decks, glittering pool, bathroom swing-seats, yoga pavilion and large spa, wedged among glossy black boulders.

Top image: Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort in the Seychelles

Richard Mellor - Writer for The Sunday Times

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