The world's most awesome swimming pools
That first dip in the pool is the best bit of going on holiday, right? Well, with these incredible man-made and natural swimming spots, you're set to have the trip of a lifetime
Published: Monday 11th July 2022
That first dip in the pool is the best bit of going on holiday, right? Well, with these incredible man-made and natural swimming spots, you're set to have the trip of a lifetime.
From lush Mexican lagoons to dystopian Singaporean hi-rise pools, we round up the most gobsmacking places for you to practice your breast stroke.
Don't forget your goggles...
Oberoi Wildflower Hotel, Shimla, Himalayas
If you have vertigo, maybe sit this one out. Perched at 8,250 feet in the heart of the Himalayas, this beautifully manicured hotel is one of Oberoi’s finest. You can breathe in the fresh mountain air, enjoy panoramic views and practice your butterfly stroke in one fell swoop.
Hoshinoya, Bali, Indonesia
Sat atop a hill that rolls down into lush jungle, this resort has canal-like swimming pools that are open all day. In Bali, it’s customary to bathe multiple times a day to keep cool, and hotel customers are encouraged to do just the same. So you’ll be free to bask in the pools 24/7.
Fonteverde, Tuscany, Italy
Once built as a renaissance palace for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, this stunning resort looks onto the golden, undulating hills of the Val d’Orcia region. The natural hot springs are used to heat the hotel thermal pool. If you get peckish, why not try resort dishes modelled on Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine?
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff National Park, Canada
For more than 130 years, the Fairmont Springs hotel been at the centre of Banff National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The spa attached to the mountain resort has a mineral pool which helps soothe and invigorate tired muscles – perfect after a long day out skiing.
Lakshman Sagar, Raipur, Rajasthan
Prefer a more remote location – why not dip your toes into the swimming pool at the Lakshman Sagar Resort in Rajasthan? Carved out of a single rock, this architectural masterpiece took two years to construct. After a day of goat herding, kite flying or even horse trailing, you could sit on the pool edge and stargaze your worries away.
Arakur Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Found at the very bottom of Argentinian Patagonia, Arakur Ushuaia resort and spa sits at the southernmost tip of the world. Burn some calories with guided treks along forest footpaths before hanging out in the jacuzzis or swimming pool. Located at the front of the resort, the pool allows for stunning views over the surrounding countryside, the Beagle Channel and the Martial Mountains.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, Scottsdale, Arizona
There are three expansive pools to choose from at this slick resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Set among skinny palm trees and poolside cabanas, these swimming pools are great places to delight in the awesome view of Camelback Mountain. Or, you could always pop to the Cattle Track Retreat Suite for a more private pool experience.
Domaine de Verchant, Montpellier, France
10km inland from the coast of the Mediterranean sea, this quaint hotel emerges through a restored wine estate. With 17 hectares of vineyards around the spa, you can enjoy a sip of vino whilst channelling your summer alter ego.
Ski Portillo, Valparaiso, Chile
Shoop, shoop, shoop. While skiing the slopes of the Andes with your most stylish snow gear sounds like a dream, the cherry on the cake of a trip to Ski Portillo has to be heated outdoor swimming pool. Warmed by the geothermal energy from inside the mountains, it’s the perfect place to heat up among snow-capped peaks and clear blue skies.
Grantley Hall, Yorkshire, England
Committed to providing customers with a stress-free, relaxing experience however long your stay, Grantley Hall offers a range of therapies and treatments. If a few laps in the pool is all you’re after, then this marble-lined 18-metre indoor pool should suffice.
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Vietnam
Set along a white-sand beach on an island off the coast of Cambodia, Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is one of Vietnam’s finest luxury hideaways. It’s pool is shaped like an actual seashell, perfectly fitting the beachside location of the resort. After hiking up Phu Quoc National Park or dining and drinking at Duong Dong Night Market, you could laze around in the pool on your favourite inflatable.
Cenotes of the Yucátan Peninsula, Mexico
Hidden away in Mexico’s Yucátan Peninsula are numerous cenotes, which are water-filled sinkholes in limestone. Varying in length, depth and breadth, these cenotes will cater to swimmers of different abilities. Plunge into the cavernous depths of the crystal clear waters and bask in the freshwater creeks.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
This opulent hotel skirts the edges of Singapore, backing the Singapore Strait channel. Featured in the blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians, this 57-story hotel has the largest rooftop infinity pool in the world. There are also two poolside menus, so you can enjoy Singaporean delicacies whilst looking over the glinting bay below.
Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, California
Behind the bustling coastal city of Santa Monica is Shutters on the Beach – a beachside hotel that’s modelled on the picturesque cottages that line Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Immerse yourself (in full LA style) in the organic wellness rituals at ONE Spa, then paddle in the pool as you enjoy the sunset.
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
Right next to Williamsburg’s McCarren Park is the longest outdoor pool in Brooklyn. At a stonking 60 feet long, it’s only a little shy of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. It’s also a prime viewing spot for the Manhattan skyline, and you definitely won’t need to grab your binoculars to enjoy it.
Hamilton Pool, Texas
The Hamilton Pool Preserve near Austin in Texas became a designated nature preserve 30 years ago. Since then, it has become a natural hotspot for tourists and locals wanting to take a dip.
The Inn at Key West, Florida
With coastal bars, a Caribbean-style golf course and quirky nightlife venues nearby, you’re bound to find an activity that stokes your interest. One facility that’s an all round crowd-pleaser is this intimate private pool. With palms hanging over the poolside, you can enjoy the warmth of the Sunshine State without getting sunburnt.
Ol Malo, Kenya
Offering guests a slice of authentic ranch lifestyle in the Laikipia region of Kenya, this family-run resort is home to a glorious, curved infinity pool, which overlooks the wide rocky expanses that surround the property.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Endeavouring to maximise social, cultural and environmental sustainability and minimising it’s impact on local wildlife, Alila Villas Uluwatu has embraced a code of sustainable commerce and tourism. It’s the resort’s cliff-edge 50-metre pool that really steals the show as it overlooks the top of the Indian Ocean.
The Spa at South Lodge, Sussex, England
You don’t need to travel far to snag a swim in a luxury lido. The Spa at South Lodge opened in 2019, and it’s home to the UK’s only heated wild swimming pool. Surrounded by wildlife and planted around the edges with wildflowers, it’s great for getting out of the city and setting your mind and body at ease.