A fine way to soak up a new place is from the soothing vantage of your very own al fresco bathtub. Chosen for their style, sense of place, and ambience of indulgence, these are the most stunning private open-air baths from hotels around the world. Just be warned: After you unwind in a tub under the open sky, indoor bathing may never be the same again.
With its otherworldly views of Great Oyster Bay, the single freestanding tub at Thalia Haven (pictured at top) looks like something out of a surrealist painting. This wind-lashed retreat on Tasmania’s wild and rugged east coast is self-sufficient, running on both wind and solar power, and sits within 130 private acres, so you don’t need to worry about curious neighbors while you soak.
Tangled up in fronds and jungle vines, the tubs at the Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi are brimming with bliss. Of the 120 villas on the private island, all of the Beach and Jungle ones come with freestanding outdoor tubs and alluring rain showers, which make for an unforgettable bathing experience. While there is plenty of melodious natural birdsong, each space is also equipped with a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor Bose sound system, so you can take this island fantasy to the next level with your favorite music.
The bathtub at Sabi Sabi’s Selati Camp, which has been known to receive large feline visitors, just may be the world’s most wild. Based deep in Kruger National Park, this intimate, seven-suite safari camp with plenty of open-air tubs and turn-of-the-century romance is one of the prestigious National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Where else but this enchanting escape can you spy the Big Five from your own bathtub?
For a heavenly soak in an unrivaled Balinese setting, head to Alila Ubud. Each of the property’s four pool villas comes with a divine indoor/outdoor bathroom with a bathtub sunk in the middle of a koi-filled lotus pond.
The soaking tubs at Satoyama Jujo, in Japan’s mountainous Minami-Uonuma region, offer near-spiritual levels of peace and serenity. Laid out on the terraces of most of the hotel’s 12 rooms and boasting views of the towering Mount Makihata, the cypress-wood bathtubs are one of the defining design elements of this minimalistic Design Hotel.
Lympstone Manor embodies all the beachside beauty of Devon. The country estate’s Tern Suite is a relaxing haven dressed in Georgian elegance and modern neutrals; with views of the rolling hills and the Exe Estuary, the suite’s outdoor tub is a prime spot to watch the sunset.
Spend a night stargazing in a romantic zinc tub on a private deck surrounded by twinkling lanterns at Botswana’s Sanctuary Baines’ Camp. Set out on raised platforms above the Boro River, all five of the luxurious suites also come with four-poster beds, which can be pushed outdoors so that, after your open-air bath, you can enjoy an open-air snooze.
Immerse yourself in the jungles of Thailand when you relax in one of the open, pavilion-style bathrooms at Soneva Kiri, a luxury eco-resort on the tropical island of Koh Kut. Every villa comes with its own outdoor tub, making it easy to put away your phone, unplug, and adhere to the property’s “no news, no shoes” philosophy.
With relaxed Napa Valley wine-country vibes and eco-friendly touches, the suites at Bardessono are all about coziness, privacy, and sustainability. Backyard sanctuaries extend from the already-spacious living quarters and feature outdoor showers with repurposed wood paneling, and an underground geothermal system heats the water for the chic stone tubs.
For a different way to soak in the city of London, check into the Rooftop Deluxe Suite of The Zetter Hotel, a hip, contemporary space in the arty Clerkenwell area. This hot pink–accented suite has a massive private patio complete with panoramic urban vistas and a chic clawfoot roll top bath.
With a Caribbean-cool bohemian aesthetic, the Fleming Villa at Jamaica’s GoldenEye is a hideaway with history. As its name suggests, the 52-acre estate was once the home of James Bond creator Sir Ian Fleming. Guests can reserve Fleming’s own private abode, where they’ll find his original writing desk and an inspiring freestanding tub in the lush backyard.