• Rooftop Pool at Ohla Hotel in Barcelona, Spain

    Best Hotel Pools Around the Globe

    <h2>7 Best Hotel Pools for Whiling Away an Afternoon</h2>   <p>It’s no secret that we love walking tours. Every one of our Classic Journeys trips includes walking trips that get us out into the countryside of Provence or immersed in the culture of Cuba or rambling along the cobblestone streets of Tuscany. And while we enjoy this type of travel so much, we also enjoy some downtime. And what better way to while away an afternoon than lounging by an amazing pool with picturesque views. Here are some of our favorites:<br><br><img alt="Desert Pearl Inn" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ox9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Desert Pearl Inn, Springdale, Utah</b><br> </p> <p>After a day <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">exploring Zion</a>, there’s no better place to watch the sun set over the amazing rock formations than relaxing in the pool at the Desert Pearl Inn. The large, free-form pool is surrounded by a flagstone pool deck dotted with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Soak tired muscles in the hot tub while enjoying the trickle of the nearby waterfall. Lush, green vegetation encases the entire area — a beautiful contrast to the red rock cliffs surrounding the inn.<br><br><img alt="Ohla Barcelona" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Ohla Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain</b><br> </p> <p>Situated <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/barcelona-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">right in the heart of Barcelona</a>, the Ohla Barcelona is a modern marvel masked behind a grand and exquisite neoclassical façade. The “chill-out” terrace, as they call it, offers stunning views of the city with a glass-sided pool perched between an upper sunning deck and lower seating area filled with two-tops — perfect for watching a sunset, cocktail in hand.<br><br><img alt="Hotel Lone" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia</b><br> </p> <p>At Hotel Lone, you can choose your pool — indoors or out. Indoors you can still enjoy the view of the gardens thanks to the glass wall enclosure. If you opt for al fresco, which we highly recommend, you’ll <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">enjoy views of the protected Zlatni rt forest park.</a> The area includes a sun bathing terraces (six levels!), a restaurant, a pool bar and a summer stage. The pool complex itself includes the relax pool, aqua-fun pool and a children’s pool with whirlpools, waterfalls, geysers and a swimming track — all filled with seawater. Be sure to enjoy the hydro-massage chairs available in both pools. If you’re lucky enough to stay in a Jazz Room, you’ll enjoy your own private infinity pool massage bathtub on the outside edge of you room’s patio — spectacular!<br><br><img alt="Jasper Park Lodge" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta, Canada</b><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Exploring the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies is a jaw-dropping experience.</a> With the opportunity to see grizzly bears, moose, caribou and more, combined with the awe-inspiring vistas, your senses will be overwhelmed. What better way than to relax and reflect on everything you’ve experienced than poolside under the star-filled night sky. On the shores of Lac Beauvert, you’re in the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve.<br><br><img alt="Hotel Sahrai" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Hotel Sahrai, Fez, Morocco</b><br> </p> <p>Enjoy <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">majestic views of Fez and the surrounding</a> area while soaking in the infinity pool at Hotel Sahrai on its magical hillside location. Stretch out in the afternoon sun on a daybed atop the teak pool deck. Hungry after a long day exploring the city? Grab a snack and refreshing drink from the poolside Arcades restaurant.<br><br><img alt="La Vista Boutique" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>La Vista Boutique Hotel &amp; Spa, Kusadasi, Turkey</b><br> </p> <p>It’s an endless blue vista from this luxury <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/turkey-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">infinity pool perched on the edge of the Aegean Sea</a> at the La Vista Hotel. Pick your lounge chair or sit at one of the many tables below the waterfall edge of the pool — both maximize this spectacular view. Be sure to catch a sunset and watch the cruise ships sail out to sea knowing you’ve got the best seat in the house.<br><br><img alt="Furama Resort" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oxd" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Furama Resort Danang, Da Nang City, Vietnam</b><br> </p> <p>You might be mingling with royalty, presidents and movie starts when you stay at Furama Resort Danang, a five-star favorite of the jetsetters. But all of this will fade away as you relax in the huge pool area bedecked with palm trees. The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/?utm_campaign=best-hotel-pools&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">infinity edge overlooks China Beach and out onto the East Vietnam Sea</a>. Even more enticing — check out the swimming lagoon. It’s like taking a swim through the jungle — overgrown with palms and other jungle plants — all with a nice tile blue bottom and clean, refreshing water.</p>

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  • Berber Encampment in Morocco

    5 Things You Don't Know About Staying in a Berber Encampment

    <p>Long before the Arabs arrived, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">North Africa was home to the Berbers, a nomadic and farming culture</a> that dates back more than 4,000 years. Most Berbers live in Moroccan Berber camps, but you can also find them scattered throughout Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.</p> <p>Although the Berbers integrated into modern life long ago, their traditional homesteads remain nestled around the rolling Sahara sand dunes. And unlike some tribes, they welcome guests.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Crossing the golden Sahara by camel and sleeping in a communal Moroccan Berber camp is a rare and unforgettable experience. </a>Prospective travelers expect sand and sun at a Berber camp; they may not expect the following:</p> <p>1. These aren’t your everyday tents. Today’s Berber camps feature modern amenities such as air-conditioning, mattresses and flush toilets. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">The encampment chosen for our Morocco Cultural Walking Adventure features spacious tents </a>decorated with hand-made fabrics and kilims (tapestries). Tents encircle a common area that’s often covered in thick carpet. Lanterns serve as a beacon in the cool, dark night.</p> <p>2. You will eat well. The Berbers do wonders with a campfire. As you approach the desert encampment, the smell of simmering, cumin-scented stew drifts through the air. Your host greets you with a steaming cup of Moroccan mint tea. A typical dinner includes bread, Moroccan salad, goat tagine (stew) and fruit. Breakfast may be more tagine, bread or pastries and tea.<br><br><img alt="Guest&#39;s eating at Berber encampment" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lmv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>3. You will be entertained. Music, drumming and songs are integral to Berber culture. Most Moroccan music incorporates large drums, lutes and sometimes flutes and tambourines. In a Berber camp, you may hear either village music, which is made for dancing, or music from professional musicians. The pros, which often perform in groups of four, belt out traditional tunes for dancing, singing and drumming along. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">In Morocco, you just go with flow, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised throughout your stay.</a><br><br><img alt="Drummers in berber encampment" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lnA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>4. You will never see stars like this again. You’ve never seen the night sky the way you’ll see it in the middle of the Sahara. Imagine lying on a blanket and gazing up into a black sky lit by millions of bright, twinkling stars. You feel the cool, night breeze and hear — wondrously — nothing. Wake up to an expansive, fiery sunrise over the Sahara dunes.</p> <p>5. It’s a great place for kids. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">What teen wouldn’t love riding a camel over mountain-high sand dunes?</a> Discovering that an oasis is a real thing — lush and verdant, too? And winding down the night dancing fireside to drumming? None that we know of!<br><br><img alt="Kid riding a camel" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lnF" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/?utm_campaign=staying-moroccan-berber-camp&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Let a Berber tribe welcome you into their community. Your camel awaits.</a></p>

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  • Lake of the Poas

    Introducing Coast-to-Coast Travel in Costa Rica

    <h2>Atlantic to pacific, the diversity is off the charts.</h2>   <p>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">soundtrack of a day in Costa Rica</a> is a crazy mash-up. The macaws caw in a different key than the howler monkeys that are totally out of tempo with the tree frogs. But somehow, all of the twitters, raspy roars, buzzes, hoots, whirrs, howls, soprano trills and chuffs work just fine together until — as if somebody flipped a switch — they fade in unison at dusk.</p> <p>That’s the sound of biodiversity, and there’s more of it in this West Virginia-sized country than anywhere else on earth. That’s what makes <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">coast-to-coast travel in Costa Rica</a> so amazing. After all, this is a nation where a “transcontinental” flight takes about an hour. It’s a land with Afro-Caribbean culture and cowboys. Don’t even try to count the keeled-bill toucans, orchids and river otters or the surprisingly different habitats where they live.<br><br><img alt="Toucan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Coast-to-coast is how we took in Costa Rica’s diversity on our latest trip,</a> and now we’ve transformed our gee-whiz week into the newest Classic Journey. We start on the Caribbean side at Tortuguero National Park, a coastal landscape laced with freshwater creeks and lagoons. On a single kayak ride, you could spot white-faced Capuchin monkeys, caimans, tiger herons and … well, you get the idea. The local beach is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for sea turtles. In season, you may see the hatchlings emerging from the sand and making a break for the waves. In an isolated village (no cars, no streets), we hang out with the locals, visit their school and learn about their Afro-Caribbean heritage.</p> <p>Even a quick morning flight comes with a built-in geography lesson like no other. From the window, you get an egret’s-eye view of the rainforest and a trio of volcanoes … and you appreciate in a way no textbook ever taught you just how skinny Central America is. By early afternoon, you’re in a raft on the Tenorio River near the continental divide, ready to take on Class III/IV rapids or taking a walk to Llanos de Cortez waterfall. By dinner, you’re <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">in a Pacific-view room at a resort in Guanacaste National Park</a>, on one of the country’s most pristine beaches.<br><br><img alt="Whitewater rafting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Up there in Costa Rica’s northwest corner, the climate’s a little dryer, and ranches stretch toward the Nicaraguan border. In season, we check out the cowboy and rodeo festival. In these parts, we go for a<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank"> guided walk near the volcano in Rincon de la Vieja National Park</a>. The forest is ideal for a quintessentially Costa Rican zipline ride through the treetops. And this is habitat for a full cast of monkey species, sloths, tapirs, collared peccaries and even jaguars and pumas. Just in case you haven’t already racked up enough unique experiences, we’ll also head out for a catamaran-based snorkeling trip or, alternatively, you can go for a surfing lesson on Pacific waves.</p> <p>Sound like fun? Here’s a bit of news that will make you even happier. Every activity on the trip is included in the price you pay upfront; you won’t run into a single surcharge or equipment rental fee the way you do on cruises or some other tours. We’re also offering the trip two ways: as a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Luxury Eco-Adventure</a> and as a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoastfamily/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Multisport Family Journey</a>. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/?utm_campaign=coast-to-coast-travel-in-costa-rica&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Coast to coast, Costa Rica has more than enough variety</a> to spice up your life like no vacation ever has!</p>

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