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.
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
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 holidays 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
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
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
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 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
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
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