Refreshing water, chic chaise longues, fine mosaics, and heart-fluttering views -- a stunning swimming hole can make a good honeymoon great. Let the travel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith sweep you away to stylish stays where you can take sunset dips in ancient Mexican ruins, splash with socialites, and bask beside a Tuscan castle. In other words, hotels to dive for.
A ruby-red pool is the heart of this black-and-white hideaway, and just one of the features that makes it stand out from the crowd. Others include funky sculptures and tall trees that grow in, around, and through the buildings. Relax in the seemingly scarlet waters -- colored tiles create this optical illusion -- and look out on the pristine sand and clear blue bay beyond. Pad a few steps to the hotel's acclaimed modern Thai restaurant or decamp to its alabaster-white library and browse a vast collection of films, magazines, books, and music.
Room to book: The Bookmark Suite is the closest to the beach, so it has grandstand-quality views of the ocean and that awesome swimming pool -- even from bed.
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Philippe Starck-styled and perched on the sexiest stretch of Rio, this glossy, glass-fronted wonder embraces its see-and-be-seen setting. And it has a pool to match: a white-marble number on the roof overlooking Ipanema Beach. Experts in the art of hospitality, the Fasanos have been in the hotel and restaurant game for more than a century -- a sumptuous seafood restaurant and section of private beach round out the offerings.
Room to book: Opt for a spacious Deluxe and enjoy serious sea vistas from a beautifully crafted Sergio Rodrigues chair on your balcony.
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Spend your luna de miel (that's honeymoon in espanol) immersed in cool waters and history at this restored 17th-century estate near the colonial city of Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula. While most of the old hacienda has been rebuilt and revitalized, the pool is situated amid crumbling walls and pillars -- left intentionally untouched for their overgrown charm. Take turns in the hammock strung across the sparkling water, take advantage of the complimentary poolside foot massages, and take tons of photos of the resident iguanas.
Room to book: Bubble away under the stars to a soundtrack of birdsong and monkey chatter -- the two Colonial Suites have outdoor hot tubs.
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The Florida outpost of London's coolest members-only club (no worries, anyone can stay at the hotel) is a 16-story high-rise styled with retro European details. It possesses a pair of perfect pools: One palm-framed oasis sits at ground level, a shimmy from the beach, and the other can be found on the roof overlooking the Atlantic. Other diversions include the celebrated Italian restaurant Cecconi's and a Cowshed Spa, a British brand known for its organic products and comfy, English-garden vibe.
Room to book: Room 35, a Beachside 3 (check out their site and this will make sense), has a bathtub with a birds'-eye view of both gardens and sea, an antiques-enhanced sitting area, and a huge bed you'll be reluctant to crawl out of in the morning.
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Manicured vineyards, a sprawling indoor pool, and a sleek, subterranean spa make this riverside resort the sexiest soaking spot in the Douro Valley. But -- surprise, surprise -- there's also a heated outdoor pool scented with honeysuckle and bordered by olive trees. After a leisurely wine-rich lunch on the terrace, flop on a sun lounger poolside to gape at the vistas of these Unesco-protected slopes.
Room to book: It's a toss-up between River Room 420's platform bed and sexy square bathtub, and the spacious Winter Garden Suite's four-poster, wealth of natural light, and glorious vineyard views.
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At Francis Ford Coppola's beachside retreat, Balinese-style huts, brightly colored hammocks slung between slanted palm trees, and the sun-kissed waters of the Caribbean are lure enough. Add to this a sea-green circular pool you can wade in from the bar and another, shaped like a triangle and tiled with a gorgeous mosaic turtle, and voila, a setting that will make you want to jump in feet first. Another plus: Rates are totally reasonable.
Room to book: The Chinese Matrimonial Suite wins for its tranquil location just steps from the sea, screened-in patio, and gorgeous 200-year-old hand-carved four-poster fertility bed (be careful with that one). Coppola himself favors the two-bedroom Pavilion House, which comes with a private pool, of course.
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Unforgettable panoramas of the region's rolling hills and valleys make swimming in either of this 11th-century castle's two infinity pools truly soul-stirring. One is lined with travertine marble, the other with tile, and both are blissfully isolated, perfect for floating on your back under the Tuscan sun. Pack your most flattering swimwear -- it's impossible to resist the authentic local fare, such as wild-mushroom bruschetta and spinach-ricotta ravioli, from the traditional on-site kitchen.
Room to book: Farthest from the main building, the secluded Suite Chiesina is a beautiful outbuilding with a Louis XIV-style bed, antique Persian rugs, original artworks, and impressive views from every window.
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Picture yourself marinating in your own private pool, the Andaman Sea stretching out before you. Every room at this alluring resort comes with the ultimate amenity: its own swimming hole. And some even have three walls of floor-to-ceiling glass so you can dip your toes straight from your seductive boudoir into the turquoise waters, or sidle across your deck to an outdoor bathtub, rain shower, and sun pavilion. If you can pry yourself away, there is a beach below.
Room to book: You can't go wrong -- all accommodations are pool-ified and lavishly decked out with contemporary taupe-and-amber furnishings, but for the all-glass experience, upgrade from a suite to any of the villas.
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Polished decking and golden tiles line the infinity pool of this super-sophisticated guesthouse and an ancient angophora tree provides welcome shade. From this vantage point, you can catch glimpses of the ocean through the silvery-green leaves of surrounding eucalyptus. If communal bathing's not your thing, stick with your own pavilion -- there are only three -- because each has a giant private terrace, luxurious daybed, and heated plunge pool. The price tag is high enough to raise eyebrows, but it's a true sanctuary in a magical, forested setting.
Room to book: All pavilions feature dressing rooms, fireplaces, and king-size beds, but for maximum privacy, nest in the Hideaway.
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Good things come in threes at this sun-soaked boutique hotel in the country's chichi southern resort town: Choose from one tranquil lap-worthy stretch in the spa and two postcard-perfect pools outside. Both of the alfresco options are surrounded by designer-pruned gardens, but (hint, hint) the vast Asian-accented one is adults-only. Crave a salt-water swim? Catch a shuttle to the hotel’s Beach Club, a little less than a mile away, where an infinity pool, beachside restaurant, and lounge chairs are ready and waiting.
Room to book: In an Andalucia-inspired building that hugs a cloistered courtyard, the spacious Junior Suites blend Asian elegance and comfortable Spanish style.
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For more insider tips and to book your next trip, contact the travel experts at Mr and Mrs Smith (800-464-2040, mrandmrssmith.com).
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