Featuring a bottle of stunning Manly Spirits Australian Dry Gin - hailing from a distillery in one of Sydney’s most beautiful beach towns - our August Gin of the Month box was a celebration of sun, sand, surf, and, of course, cocktails.
So we got to thinking: what is the most beautiful place in the world you can drink a gin cocktail?
We did the research and come up with a list of 15 of the best swim-up pool bars in holiday destinations across the globe. Now all you need to decide is: which one is your dream cocktail destination?
Intercontinental Resort & Spa Tahiti, Tahiti, French Polynesia
From your seat in the Lotus Swim-up Bar within the palm-fringed infinity pool at this French Polynesian island paradise, you’ll be able to breathe in the heavy perfume of tropical flowers as you sip your cocktail and admire the sun setting over the turquoise lagoon, volcanic peaks rising up in the distance.
Hotel Monte Mulini, Rovinj, Croatia
We were always going to rate this Croatian gem highly, given that the facilities include a Gin Library!
As if that weren’t enough, the swim-up Pool Bar provides light-flooded, 180-degree views of the glorious aquamarine waters of the bay below (and cocktails, natch).
Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz, Switzerland
“Wowzers!” is probably the only polite way to describe the sound you’ll make when you see the views from the pool at this glamorous Alpine retreat.
While not strictly a swim-up bar, guests are able to take their cocktails with them into the poolside lounge or even swim through a little tunnel and emerge into the outdoor hot tub and heated pool, where you can sip your drink as the snowflakes float down around you. Dreamy.
Villa Fiorentino, Positano, Italy
For a true taste of ‘la dolce vita’, you couldn’t do much better than a visit to the spectacular pool bar at Villa Fiorentino on Italy’s breathtaking Amalfi Coast.
Even better, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to access the infinity pool and whirlpool - a day pass is available, and includes a welcome drink to sip on as you glide over to the edge of the pool to soak in THAT view.
Hotel Werdenfelserei, Bavarian Alps, Germany
Breathe deeply and feel the pure mountain air cleanse your spirit as you sip on your cocktail from the serene heated waters of this fabulous outdoor pool bar, part of a pretty boutique hotel nestled among the magnificent German Alps.
Although the focus at this spa resort is very much on rest and relaxation, they do have regular ‘Summer Sundowners’ at the bar too, with live music to accompany your cocktails.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore
That’s not a rooftop pool; THIS is a rooftop pool! The Infinity Pool at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a staggering, stomach-lurching 57 storeys above ground level!
Yes, those with a head for heights can gaze down on the glittering expanse of the city skyline far, far below as they sip their cocktail from the edge of this incredible rooftop pool. (Or, you know, stay back on the lounger… as far back from the edge as possible…!)
Fasano, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This uber-luxurious hotel, created by legendary designer Philippe Starck, is a fabulous tribute to Brazil’s glamorous era of Bossa Nova and the style of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
If you’re lucky enough to stay here, you too can dream of being the girl from Ipanema as you sip cocktails by the rooftop infinity pool, surrounded by a stunning panorama of beach and mountains.
The Palms, Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos
Okay, to be honest, you had us at “hot tub island”. But if that isn’t enough to tempt you to stay at this swish Caribbean resort, perhaps the swim-up Plunge pool bar, with a side helping of fresh tropical fruit kebabs to go with your cocktail, might do the trick? Thought so.
Regency Country Club Apartments Suites, Tenerife, Spain
Take to the 8,600 square foot heated infinity pool at this upmarket Tenerife resort and paddle your way over to the in-water bar for a gin and tonic - Spain does make arguably the best G&T in the world, after all.
That said, it would be easy to imagine you were not in Europe at all, but exotic Indonesia - the resort is designed in Balinese style, so watch out for the little Buddha statues smiling down on you as you sip your drink!
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, Hawaii
Admittedly, it would be pretty hard to tear yourself away from the white-sand beaches at this Hawaiian resort, but if you did want a little seclusion with your cocktails, you should head to the Grotto Bar.
Swim underneath a gently waterfall to enter a rustic cave setting before pulling up a seat at the bar for a frozen or traditional cocktail.
Lagoon Bar, Blue Lagoon, Iceland
And now for something a little different. In fact, you could say that this pool bar is almost other-worldly. The Lagoon Bar is part of the Blue Lagoon, the famous natural geothermic swimming ‘baths’ that bubble up among Iceland’s Mars-like volcanic landscape.
The Lagoon is open all year round for day visits, so slather your skin in mineral-rich mud and relax with a cocktail as you let the steaming, naturally heated waters work their healing magic.
Esperanza, Los Cabos, Mexico
You won’t want to leave the tranquil waters of the infinity pool bar at Esperanza as you gaze out over the Sea of Cortez and listen to the waves crashing over the Punta Ballena coastline at this smart Mexican resort.
W Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
More of a ‘party pool’ than some of the others on this list, the WET® Deck houses one of the world’s highest rooftop swimming pools, perching on the 76th - 76th! - floor of the sleek W Hong Kong hotel, almost 700 feet above the harbour. Gulp!
If you’re not planning a stay at the W, you can still experience this spectacular pool bar for yourself with a ticket to a ‘Twisted Tiki’ pool party, offering drinks, live DJs and dancing, held on various dates over the summer.
Kivotos, Mykonos, Greece
Greece has an abundance of gorgeous outdoor pools and many also feature wonderful swim-up bars - so what sets this one apart? Well, two things: first, it’s a saltwater pool, so you will be able to swim and relax while breathing in the delicious salt spray scent with none of the sand in awkward places; secondly, there’s an underwater sound system so the mermaids among you can enjoy a relaxing tune as you dive into the turquoise waters and up to the bar for your cocktail. Bliss!
Hotel Punta Islita, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
This adults-only infinity pool and bar surely boasts one of the best views in Costa Rica. Perched on the top terrace of this upscale eco-luxury resort on a verdant clifftop overlooking the ocean and beach to one side and the lush vegetation of the Camaronal National Wildlife Refuge to the other, you’ll be in the perfect place to relax with a G&T after a day exploring the local area.
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