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51 Refreshing Plunge and Cocktail Pools

You don’t need a huge backyard to have an amazing swimming pool. Take a look at these small plunge pools and cocktail pools that are perfect for a leisurely summer dip.

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Photo: Chris & Cami Photography. From: Carolina Landscape.

Taking the Plunge

If you’ve spent years daydreaming about installing a sparkling swimming pool in your backyard but can’t stomach the hefty investment that comes with it, you’re in luck. Plunge pools, or cocktail pools, are the key to bringing your backyard dreams to fruition. These compact swimming holes offer the best of both worlds by giving you a refreshing oasis to escape the sweltering summer heat at a fraction of the cost of standard pools. Plunge pools are cost-effective to install and maintain as they measure between 6 to 12 feet wide and 10 to 22 feet long and require less installation materials, water and cleaning supplies than standard swimming pools. In other words: You enjoy all the same benefits of a regular pool but spend less money and have less upkeep. Ready to dive in? Click on to check out 51 stunning designer plunge pools and spas to gather ample inspiration for a space-saving swimming hole of your own.

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Photo: Carmel Brantley

Swimming Under the Star Jasmine

Taking a dip in this romantic Spanish tile plunge pool is a treat for the senses. Swimmers are surrounded by wall-to-wall emerald foliage as they ease into the water and enjoy the captivating perfume of star jasmine blooms each time they come up for air. The lush blanket of greenery invites softness to the otherwise tiled patio and provides a striking backdrop for the adjoining outdoor lounge.

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Photo: GARDNER, REALTORS, a member of Luxury Portfolio International; SNAP Real Estate Photography, LLC. From: GARDNER, REALTORS.

Set in Stone

A stately, stone-wrapped plunge pool ensures that relaxation is always within reach in this luxurious al fresco lounge. The raised pool nestles against the plaster privacy wall, its pristine water beckoning guests to slip into their swimsuits and cool off at the end of the day. Three wall-mounted fountains deliver cascading water into the pool, creating a spa-like soundscape for the lounge and ushering Old World elegance to the outdoor space.

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Photo: Chris Luker; Luker Photography. From: Christopher Architecture and Interiors.

The Ultimate Heated Pool

A grand limestone fireplace brings a new meaning to the term “heated pool” in this striking Gothic courtyard. An in-ground cocktail pool sits flush with the flames, inviting guests to bask in the glow of the embers and warm up after dark on the wrap-around underwater bench. The soaring stone mantel boasts integrated fountains that deliver cascading water into the sapphire pool below. Twin potted cypresses flank the fireplace and pool to punctuate the design with symmetry.

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