A makhtesh is a geological one-off – a landform unique to Israel’s Negev desert, it’s a deep, closed valley created by erosion over hundreds of millions of years. And the most famous is Makhtesh Ramon, a two-hour drive from Tel Aviv – it’s 40km long, 6km wide, 500m deep and looks like something you’d get if you crossed the Wild West with the surface of Mars.
There’s famously not much in the Negev desert, which takes up 60 per cent of Israel’s land mass, and until a few years ago you couldn’t find much in the way of decent accommodation in the small town of Mitspe Ramon. Then the upmarket Beresheet Hotel opened on a cliff overlooking Makhtesh Ramon, offering everything from jeep and camel safaris to helicopter rides from Tel Aviv. There’s great locally sourced food, and 39 rooms with private plunge pools. Or you could slum it at the main pool – the view’s not bad. isrotelexclusivecollection.com
Three more infinity pools
Santorini might be the world capital of infinity pools, and Oia’s Katikies Hotel has two of the best: curved beauties from which you can peer down over the town’s whitewashed villas towards the Aegean Sea.
Sardinia’s Hotel Costa dei Fiori boasts one of the world’s 10 most beautiful pools, according to TripAdvisor – you can admire the gorgeous sea around foodie and cultural resort, Santa Margherita di Pula.
For inner-city infinity, the heated rooftop pool at Munich’s Mandarin Oriental looks right over the historic red rooftops of the city centre.