A round-up of our top 10 pools!
Growing up in England the swimming pool was a very different beast to the one enjoyed here. Housed inside a fluorescent-lit building, emanating eye-watering chlorine, one wore a thick coloured band around the ankle to indicate your time slot. At the end of each time slot a bell blared and your colour flashed on a screen – time up! The next group would start dive-bombing into the pool as, with red-rimmed eyes, we staggered out to the musty communal changing room. After wriggling damply into our clothes we’d congregate in the lobby for the big treat – hot chocolate from a vending machine! Thus fortified we could cope with the temperature drop when, with wet hair, we braved the freezing outdoors. Despite that, as a kid it was one of my favourite outings!
How very different and privileged has been my daughter’s swimming pool experience. With a pool at home she mastered the art aged three. In fact the breakthrough came one Boxing Day whilst staying with dear friends on their McGregor farm. With temperatures in the late 30’s she spent day after joyful day playing in the pool with their slightly older sons. With the boy’s guidance and, I like to think, good-natured dunkings, she cracked it.
When we’re going away, it’s always the first question – ‘Does it have a pool?’ And whilst many of our hideaways do, what is it that makes a pool worthy of appearing in our Top 10? Mainly it’s the setting. Below are pools with just the most incredible views, pools that take indoor/outdoor flow to a new level, pools which architects have ingeniously integrated into the house itself. Some are large enough for a game of water polo, others are all about cooling off at the end of a day’s game viewing but each has something that makes it stand out as the perfect spot to dive in, cool off, lay beside and fully embrace the sweetness of doing nothing. Enjoy!
This pool’s setting is simply sublime…with mountains for miles and no other dwelling in sight. One is immersed in nature, yet with a luxuriously layered home to retire to when the midday sun glares.
Caida House – Lopud, Croatia
Found on the tiny island of Lopud, an hour by ferry from the Croatian mainland, Caida House is a cool and elegant hideaway. The centrepiece though has to be this pool. Ruins discovered under rubble and undergrowth were lovingly repurposed as the foundation creating a fairy-tale setting of quite magical beauty.
Lookout House – Plettenberg Bay
An iconic pool image, conjuring up the romance of a 1940’s Ingrid Bergman movie. Who wouldn’t want to be on set?!
The Quarry House – Higgovale, Cape Town
We’re smitten with this one – SUCH clever design! The slate-grey of the house contrasts beautifully with these bright turquoise tiles and what fun for friends to swim and shower simultaneously!
Sweni Lodge – Kruger National Park
Take a dip to cool off but never leave the bush. Or sit dangling your feet and watch the birdlife and elephant over the river, sundowner in hand – bliss!
Ayodele – Constantia
Another movie-set pool this one. Incredible mountain backdrop and extensive gardens frame this large and lovely pool at Ayodele, something of a rock-star hideaway!
Matetsi River House – Victoria Falls
Matetsi River House, 40 km downstream from Victoria Falls, commands a mesmerizing Zambezi riverfront setting with uninterrupted views over the lap pool to the shores of Zambia beyond. A unique and rather special location.
Pel’s Post – Pafuri, Northern Kruger
The beauty of being in the bush lies in the extent to which you can soak in the setting and feel removed from all things urban. Perched above the wide, winding Levubu River, the pool at Pel’s Post offers the perfect vantage point to watch from, when you’re not in the thick of it.
Maison Noir – Hout Bay
Heated pools are rare as hen’s teeth and one of the draw cards for this pool at Maison Noir, though by far the only one! Opening up effortlessly from the very spacious living area onto the deck this home’s flow is sublime, as are those views.
Emanzini – Llandudno
The owner of this thoughtfully designed hideaway crafted the house from the environment and the low-lying structure jigsaws seamlessly into the coastline. We just love how the pool is nestled amongst the boulders.
So there’s our round-up. Please let us know which other hideaway’s pools you feel we should have included. And if you have your own fabulous pool and hideaway to share – please get in touch!
Portfolio Manager – Perfect Hideaways
Perfect Hideaways has over 300 curated properties across South Africa. If you’d like to stay in one of these hidden gems, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 21 790 0972 so that we can help you find your perfect hideaway.