Cool Pools: Selling Resorts Beyond the Beach

Written by  Melanie Reffes

Skip the crowded beach, give the heave-ho to sand between your toes and opt instead for a refreshing dip in a resort pool. For clients who prefer a day at the pool over a day at the beach, pool royalty runs the gamut from pools on rooftops to infinity varieties with edges that seem to disappear into the ocean or the sky. Put a new spin on an old splash and take a leisurely lap around a cool pool in
the Caribbean.

Swanky Splashing
The beauty on the bay in Anguilla, The Reef by CuisinArt is a golf cart ride away from its bigger sister, CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the new resort is stylishly designed with eighty suites, two tennis courts, two restaurants and an expansive pool that overlooks Merrywing Bay Beach. With its own resident DJ, stationed poolside from 3 PM to 6 PM and the island’s first aqua-cycling class, the pool is the resort showpiece where savvy sunbathers sip a fruity cocktail, enjoy a water’s edge facial and take five on a comfy chaise lounge.

Overlooking St. Lucia’s majestic Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, the pools at Jade Mountain are simply spectacular. Inside the 24 sanctuaries, the design of the infinity pool matches the décor of the suite. The vision of architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy, suites are designed with the fourth wall open to the views and fifteen foot high ceilings for privacy par excellence.

Across the sea in St. Martin, the pool at the Grand Case Beach Club took six months and an Olympian budget to build. High atop the beach and the sea, the giant bathtub is curvy with lights circling the clear glass railing. With no shortage of chaises for an afternoon siesta, the 50 footer is the latest addition to the serene seaside resort close to the foodie town of Grand Case. A watery welcome mat for novice swimmers, the pool was designed with a gradual sloped entry for easy entry into the water and a deck coveted by sundown spotters .

Take the Plunge
On the northeast tip of Nevis, Nisbet Plantation sits pretty on thirty acres of palms and alabaster sand. Flip-flop friendly, the historic resort is home to three restaurants, croquet lawn, tennis courts and one of the prettiest freshwater pools on the island. With a Jacuzzi and gratis scuba lessons, the expansive pool is siesta-central on a sunny afternoon

At 15,000 square feet, Mediterranean Village Pool at Sandals Grande Antigua is the longest freshwater pool on the island. The heart of the hotel, the big dip is one of six large pools and a gaggle of smaller pools at the all-inclusive that fronts Dickenson Bay. With a lively swim-up bar and half a dozen whirlpools, the biggest pool at the 373-suite all-inclusive is an H20 oasis on the northwest coast.

In Jamaica, pool connoisseurs make the trek up the Blue Mountains for a lap around the infinity pool built into the hilltop at Strawberry Hill. With views of Kingston three-thousand feet below, the mountaintop pool is in front of the dining verandah where a slice of warm bread pudding and a cuppa Blue Mountain coffee is irie, mon. With a dozen cottages, the coffee plantation-turned-resort is owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and where Bob Marley came for a natural high and as the story goes, a romantic tryst or two.

Pool Trios
It is a trifecta at Oil Nut Bay on the eastern tip of Virgin Gorda; third-largest of the British Virgin Islands after Tortola and Anegada. Eco-hip, three pools at the Beach Club are made of recycled glass and divided for multi-generations of swimmers; one pool for children, one for teenagers and one with a swim-up bar for those old enough to order a cocktail. With views open to the Bay, standouts include walk-ins to the beach, deck with oversize loungers, waterfall and grotto with in-water bar seating.

The best part of the tri-level pool complex at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort is floating over to the terracotta-tiled Balashi Bar and snagging one of the in-the-water bar stools. On the Palm Beach strip, there’s plenty of slippery fun on the two-story slide, cascading waterfalls and in the gigantic pool with handsome decks made for soaking up the sunshine. For early risers, the towel hut opens at 7am.

City Slickers
In the Convention Center district across the San Juan Bay from the Pan American Cruise Terminal, the rooftop pool at Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel is the hands-down coolest rooftop pool on the island. A coconut’s throw from Old San Juan, the ginormous pool that clocks in at an impressive 57,000 square feet is the primo perch for sightings of the floating city-sized ships as they chug along the bay and the twinkling skyline as evening falls.

In Trinidad, you can lounge all day on the roof at the Hyatt Regency where views from the mirror-smooth infinity pool are mesmerizing. Overlooking the Gulf of Paria and a steady parade of clunky oil barges making their way to Venezuela, the pool is a watery world away from the busy capital city of Port-of-Spain, a short walk from the high-rise hotel. Inviting for a cool dip, the perfect pool is one-stop-shopping with a sun deck that hosts comfy chaises draped with extra-large wrap-around towels and a bar with a menu of local snacks and heady drinks.

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