Warm Winter Retreats


As temperatures edge ever closer to freezing and we await the impending arrival of Storm Caroline with bated breath, we can be forgiven for dreaming of warmer pastures this winter. Rather than the baking sun of a sub-tropical climate though, what if the comfort of warmth that we all crave in cold lay instead in a body of water? It is no surprise that you’ll find the highest volume of heated pools in some of the coldest climates on earth. Here are some of the best:

Mountain Village, Panorama, Canada

Nestled in the Purcell Mountains of Canada, is the alpine ski resort of Panorama. On the surface, its primary attraction lies in the labyrinth of ski trails that it houses – thrillseekers can ski, snowboard, bike, snowmobile or tube their way through them – but its real appeal rests firmly with its network of heated pools. The largest in Canada of its kind, each and every pool lies within close proximity of the stunningly scenic Rocky Mountains, allowing the resort of Panorama to really live up to its namesake.

Aqua Dome, Otztal, Austria

The otherworldly Aqua Dome Spa Center is also tucked away within a majestic mountain range – the Otztal Mountains in Austria. While most thermal pools attempt to blend into the natural surroundings as much as possible, the Aqua Dome makes no apologies for doing exactly the opposite. Suspended 6 metres above the ground are three heated outdoor pools that more closely resemble UFOs than anything else. Add to that the luxury offerings of a world-class spa and you have a better place than any to take respite from the cold.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Iceland is the de facto world leader when it comes to heated pools, and the most startling reminder of that status is the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik. Thanks to a nearby geothermal power station, 9 million litres of soothingly warm water provide for thousands of visitors every day. Not only does the lagoon present bathers with a rare opportunity to unwind and relax in a serene setting, it also treats and nourishes their skin. The mineral properties of the water allow the lagoon to double as a skincare treatment.

LeCrans Hotel, Switzerland

In the Swiss Alps, the LeCrans Hotel in Crans-Montana, strives to combine beauty and nourishment in one convenient location. As a ski resort, it caters to a sprawling patchwork of ski runs. As a spa, it caters to every whim of every guest as it boasts an exhaustive list of treatments – all of which are founded upon five formulation principles that ensure that every one is perfect for your skin and the environment. The spa consists of a fitness room, a sauna, a hammam, a Jacuzzi, an indoor pool and four individual treatment cabins – the centrepiece of which is the outdoor heated pool which harbours a panoramic view of the snow-dipped Alps.

While each of these pools are idyllic, they are not that way without regular human maintenance behind-the-scenes. But an integral part of that system are sump pumps and the like that allow the pools to be regularly drained and refilled. There are very few practitioners of pool pumps with more experience and quality than flotec.

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