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The Travel File: The World's Best Swimming Pools

The Travel File: The World's Best Swimming Pools

From infinity pools suspended above the jungle to the world’s most iconic bathing spots, our guide to the best swimming pools on the planet.

The pool around a rockstack in the Utah desert at the Amangiri hotel
The pool around a rockstack in the Utah desert at the Amangiri hotel

AMANGIRI, UTAH, USA

The pool: Built around the base of a rock stack in the Utah desert, the pool at Amangiri is the modernist hotel’s focal point. A remote hideaway in the almost-lunar landscape of the wind-carved Navajo country, it is perhaps the last place on earth you’d expect to find a spa – but there is one here nonetheless, and a world-class one at that. It is no ordinary hotel, and no ordinary pool – the dramatic surroundings and stunning architecture give you a sense of being at one with the wild and nature. The perfect place to have your David Attenborough moment without sacrificing the luxury of a five star hotel.

Best for: Out of this world bathing under a big sky

Image: Via Amangiri Resort

The inifnity pool with views over the Aegean sea at sunset at the Grace Hotel in Santorini
The inifnity pool with views over the Aegean sea at sunset at the Grace Hotel in Santorini



GRACE, SANTORINI, GREECE

The pool: Built in the Cyclades’ unique style with whitewashed walls and sun terraces spilling down the cliffside, the traditional design of the Grace Hotel on Santorini belies its very modern approach to luxury. An infinity pool that seems to hang impossibly above the cliffs overlooks the famous volcanic caldera basin. It’s by far the best place on the island to enjoy uninterrupted views across the Aegean sea. Spend long leisurely days in the Grecian sun and balmy evenings at the pool bar where you can relax with a signature cocktail created by the world-renowned mixologist Salvatore Calabrese and drink in the sunset.

Best for: A taste of old Greece in luxe surroundings

Image: Via Grace Hotel

The pool within the sea withi views across the ocean and palm trees in the foreground at the One&Only Reethi Rah hotel in the Maldives
The pool within the sea withi views across the ocean and palm trees in the foreground at the One&Only Reethi Rah hotel in the Maldives



ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, THE MALDIVES

The pool: Dive head first into the pool-within-a-pool-within-the-sea at the One&Only Maldives Hotel and emerge a better, more relaxed version of yourself. Like a holiday baptism, the water will refresh and revitalise you and is the best way to reset yourself to vacation mode. The pool extends into the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean and is one of many aquatic havens in the area – from blue lagoons to the gentle waves that lap the white sand shore of the hotel’s private beaches.

Best for: A dip on an island paradise

Image: Via One&Only Reethi Rah The Maldives

The infinity pool cut into the rock overlooking the sea at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France
The infinity pool cut into the rock overlooking the sea at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France



HÔTEL DU CAP-EDEN-ROC, ANTIBES, FRANCE

The pool: Take the plunge and live for a week in true A-list style at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc. A long-serving haven for royalty and Hollywood’s elite, this heritage hotel on the stylish Cote d’Azure is a byword for old-world glamour. The exclusive pool is an icon – cut into the rock it is arguably the most famous on the French Riviera (and we can confirm there are more than a few pools along this crystalline piece of French coast.) Enjoy a glass of bubbly at the Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge by the pool – or a bottle, should you be feeling as louche as some of the hotel’s more infamous guests. Santé.

Best for: Holidaying like a Hollywood star

Image: Via Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

The rooftop infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel with views across the city skyline
The rooftop infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel with views across the city skyline



MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE

The pool: Few pools can rival the unique position of that at Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. With views across the glittering Singapore skyline, the world’s highest and longest infinity pool is set on a cantilevered platform suspended 57 storeys above the sprawling city below. The SkyPark, as it’s known, is planted with palm trees – pull up a luxurious lounger in their leafy shade and sip on a well-shaken cocktail from one of the terrace bars. Billed as the world’s most expensive stand-alone resort ever built, the hotel boasts beautifully appointed rooms and houses over 80 restaurants serving up the perfect post-pool fare. Bon appetit.

Best for: A city escape in the thick of it all

Image: Via Marina Bay Sands

The tiered pools in the jungle at the Hanging Gardens hotel in Ubud, Bali
The tiered pools in the jungle at the Hanging Gardens hotel in Ubud, Bali



THE HANGING GARDENS, UBUD, BALI

The pool: The Hanging Gardens in Ubud, Bali is a hidden oasis set deep in the Balinese jungle. The hotel’s iconic infinity pool defies gravity with two tiers that stretch seamlessly into the dense tropical rainforest. As though suspended in mid-air, it gives bathers a sense of swimming above the tree canopy. The hotel is built into the side of a valley at the bottom of which the sacred Ayung river flows – the riverside spa keeps its windows open to the sounds of the forest where hummingbirds sing and the river cascades. Not to mention that every room has its own private infinity pool – truly personalised luxury.

Best for: Secluded lounging in the tropics

Image: Via The Hanging Gardens Bali

Views of the snow-topped Swiss Alps mountains from the outfoor pool at The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden, Switzerland
Views of the snow-topped Swiss Alps mountains from the outfoor pool at The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden, Switzerland



THE CAMBRIAN, ADELBODEN, SWITZERLAND

The pool: Outdoor swimming with panoramic views across the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps. There is something quite surreal about bathing outdoors in warm water whilst temperatures outside reach sub-zero, but that is just one of the many delights awaiting visitors to the trendy Adelboden alpine resort. The pool provides welcome relief for aching muscles after a day on the slopes and is equally as soothing come summer when intrepid tourists adventure up the Wildstrubel. Pursue wellness further at the spa with a Finnish sauna, steam bath and rain shower. Gesundheit.

Best for: High-altitude luxury with a view

Image: Via The Cambrian Adelboden

The clifftop pool overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea on the Amalfi Coast, Italy
The clifftop pool overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea on the Amalfi Coast, Italy



MONASTERO SANTA ROSA, AMALFI COAST, ITALY

The pool:Perched on a cliff above the azure blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the pool at Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel and Spa is a boutique experience where guests can unwind in the luxurious warmth of the Amalfi sun. Surrounded by lush secret gardens, lemon groves and quiet sun decks, it’s a secluded spot steeped in history – once a monastery, the place retains a sense of peace and is a sanctuary from the fast pace of modern life. Enjoy a spa treatment in the shade of a pergola at the Santa Maria Novella spa before taking a languid dip in the turquoise waters of the pool. Those who seek la dolce vita will find it here.

Best for: Mediterranean romance in the sun

Image: Via Monastero Santa Rosa