12 Tropical Hotels with the Outdoor Showers of Your Dreams
Malolo Island, Fiji
You'll want to be barefoot every minute of your stay at the new Six Senses Fiji, open since April 2018, so evocative are the natural materials used in the construction of the villas and private residences (think mahogany floors throughout and bespoke furnishings made of reforested raintree timber, for starters). But it's the outdoor rain shower and oversized soaking tub on your villa's private patio that will keep beckoning you back outside after a day on the resort's sweeping beach and fringing reef. Slivers of handmade coconut soap are the perfect accompaniment for an alfresco soak in paradise.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
You're just two blocks away from Playa del Carmen's bustling Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) when you stay at sublime boho-chic Mahekal Beach Resort. But the private outdoor "moon showers" in the penthouses whisk you worlds away, with Caribbean Sea views and a crocheted hammock at the ready on the patio for afterward, when you want to dry off with moonlit views.
Barefoot luxury takes on new significance when you're enjoying an outdoor shower at one of the studio beach houses at this property set within a 200-acre reserve on Belize's Caribbean coast. Naia Resort and Spa offers much in the way of jungle hikes, ziplining, and other adventures. But for fans of alfresco bathing, it's the outdoor garden showers with rainfall showers mounted into the ceiling that may just be the highlight of your stay. Surrounded by flowering tropical plants, you'll feel like you got caught in a warm rainfall.
South Western Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
If ever an outdoor shower was worth getting on several flights for (including the grand finale descent by seaplane), it's the verdant alfresco bathing oases that await at this Maldivian resort. Niyama Private Islands sprawls across two white sand atolls frequented by nesting sea turtles and blanketed with thousands of palm trees. At the end of a beach day in paradise, rinse off in outdoor rainshowers surrounded by greenery and reached by stepping stones the lead across a shallow reflecting pool.
Jimbaran Bay, Bali
The Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay has seen plenty of renovations since it first opened some 25 years ago, including the most recent upgrades unveiled in 2018. But one design element that has always remained the same is the simple look of the blissful outdoor showers. A bamboo spout streams water into a lush garden surrounded by stone walls. Exotic, elemental. It's everything there is to love about Bali, distilled.
Sandy Bay, Jamaica
If the thought of a fully outdoor shower feels too advanced, may we suggest this indoor-outdoor version at The Tryall Club on the coast of northern Jamaica near Montego Bay. While you're officially still covered with a roof while you bathe here, the windows can be fully opened to let in views of the surrounding valley rich with forests and streams and so strikingly green you'll want to reach out and touch it. And the best part? Not a neighbor in sight.
Dorado, Puerto Rico
Recently re-opened after the devastation Hurricane Maria wrought on Puerto Rico in 2017, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is back in the business of the beachy good life on the island's northern coast. The resort is set on nearly two-miles of private beachfront and has a splurge-worthy spa with treehouses for treatment rooms. You can indulge back in your oceanfront suite here, too, where a frolic under the generous rain shower set in an outdoor garden just steps from an oversized soaking tub might go down as your vacation highlight.
Baa Atoll, Maldives
This private island resort in the Maldives had us at "Crusoe Villas." And right up there with the stunning natural surrounds at Soneva Fushi on Baa Atoll, it's the property's decadent outdoor showers that are the showstoppers here. Huge soaking tubs in the villas open onto a shallow pool where the shower appears to be set afloat on an island lush with tropical plants. Large privacy walls surrounding the entire scene ensure your shower stays discreet.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
For its balmy year-round weather, Florida doesn't have nearly as many hotels offering outdoor showers as you'd hope. We like this simple version fronting the Atlantic Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, on the balcony of the Sky Suite penthouse at Pelican Grand Beach Resort. Perched on the 12th floor and looking straight out at the ocean, the shower is inherently private. And your views can stay focused on all that gorgeous deep blue water and nothing else while you bathe.
The reefs fringing this rustic-chic eco resort on Vanua Levu in Fiji are some of the most colorful and pristine on the planet. But a stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji hardly has to be all about scuba diving. Guests booked into the presidential villa can choose to soak in the indoor jacuzzi tub with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to let the outdoors in, or simply step outside to a sprawling outdoor shower surrounded by simple stonework. Your ceiling, in the latter case, is a veritable constellation of palms swaying in the South Pacific breeze.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
If you're looking for one more reason to head back to the BVI, the outdoor showers in the penthouse suites at Oil Nut Bay on Virgin Gorda are a solid contender. Perched high on the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea below, the outdoor showers are laid with locally-sourced stones, large enough for a crowd and within earshot of the curling breakers.
All of the villas at this exotic resort fronting the Andaman Sea on Phuket's northern tip are meant to transport you to a different reality. But for fans of the outdoor shower, there's no Southeast Asian escape like Anantara's Jim Thompson Villa to take your breath away. Vying for your attention with the villa's private pool and traditional outdoor Thai lounge set over a lagoon is this perfectly simple outdoor shower surrounded by hanging plants and carved hardwoods.