5. B2 Boutique and Spa, Zurich
Once Switzerland’s oldest and biggest brewery, the Hürlimann is now a chichi boutique hotel with a rooftop pool that’s got dramatic views of the city’s skyline. The knobbly factory bits jutting out from the roof give it a distinctive industrial feel – in fact, when you turn the taps in the showers, you almost expect beer to come gushing out.
The Clincher: The Hürlimann was the original brewer of Samichlaus, one of the world’s strongest beers (14 per cent alcohol by volume). Today, the waters can still get you high.
Skip the hotel’s larger outdoor pool and head to the climate-controlled indoor infinity pool – undoubtedly one of the sexiest in the country. Where else can you look out over spectacular valleys of strawberries, coffee and spices, all while submerged in heated water?
The Clincher: It’s situated in the midst of a 180-acre live rainforest.
This enormous infinity pool meanders past pillars and wind towers (which catch the breeze to provide natural air conditioning) and through courtyards adorned with Moroccan lamps and Persian carpets. The desert on one side and a shimmering waterfall on the other add to the overall effect of feeling like the whole thing is a mirage fashioned by a genie of good times.
The Clincher: On some nights, belly dancers are seen around while you lounge in this impressive piece of design.
It may be decked out with Philippe Starck design pieces but, compared to most private island resorts, this one’s small, simple and stripped down. There’s no dress code, no rules and pretty much no life around. Save this pool which, due to the constantly changing fibre optic lights at night, looks like it might be alive.
The Clincher: A table for two can be set in the shallow end.