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Say No to Jewelry and Yes to Private Pool Villas for Valentine's Day

February 11, 2014 at 5:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.

Idea #1: A night or two in a private pool villa, for skinny-dipping.

Now, skinny-dipping here and there doesn't make you a nudist, but it does impart some spontaneous edge and prove you're more than a little comfortable in your own skin. Sleep naked, and wake up before coffee by walking straight from bed into the deep end.

Unlike an overwater bungalow, the confines of a private pool ensure there'll be no sharks or jellyfish lurking below. Here's our three favorite hotels with villas whose pools are ultra-private:

Anantara Phuket Villas

Phuket, Thailand


It gets hot in Thailand. No matter what time of the year you're heading to Bangkok or beyond, you'll spend half the day hardly dressed and the other half wishing you weren't dressed at all. So why be?

The layout of the villa is such that the king-size bed faces directly out over the pool and, in the morning, you can open the entire wall and drop right into the water.

From the bathroom, it gets even better. To the side is an outdoor shower and, through another set of sliding doors, there are several steps down into a bathtub sunken alongside the pool. When it's time to dry off, hop up into the Thai sala next to which is the minibar. Convenient! Around the entire villa is a tall wood fence with no slat openings for peeking. It is, to say the least, deliciously private. When it comes time to return to society, grab your swimsuit and head to the resort's larger pool and beach on the Andaman Sea. We don't regret a single penny we spent on three nights here.
Villas from $320, and all have private pools.

Gending Kedis Villas

Bali, Indonesia


Ah, Bali. It might as well be the world capital of private pool villas, and some of the most affordable can be found in Jimbaran, at the Gending Kedis. Villas are 1-4 bedrooms, so huge families or simply a group of friendly couples can make themselves at home.

Use the free area transfer to lunch at the fresh seafood stalls on Jimbaran Bay beach, and head for sundowner cocktails at the bar on the cliffs at The Ayana. At the end of a perfect day out in Bali, there's still that private pool for a naughty nightcap.
Yes, their website needs work, but the prices don't. Villas from $250 and all have private pools.

Jade Mountain

St. Lucia


Forget the term "hotel room," because here you'll be staying in a "sanctuary," and they're completely deserving of such a highfalutin term. Each sanctuary has its own infinity pool looking out towards the Pitons, plus a hot tub, plus the very romantic four-poster bed with netting, plus a host of other luxury goodies and features to complete the four-digit-per-night experience.

St. Lucia is widely reputed to be one of the most popular destination for honeymoons, and indeed a lion's share of Jade Mountain guests never find it necessary to leave their rooms. But, when it is time to re-enter polite society, the hotel's top level has yet another infinity pool topped with a star observation deck.
Are you seeing a trend here? All have private pools, but stays start from $1,025 per night.

[Photos: Jaunted]

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