Today (May 5, 2014): Top 10 most spectacular swimming pools in the world.
Swimming pools are the heart and center of action of every luxury hotel. It’s the place where their guests can relax, socialize, see and be seen. So, it should come as no surprise that hotels go out of their way to make sure their pools represent idyllic escapes from the hectic pace of daily life and that they feature them prominently on their websites and social media to lure news guests. Here’s my round-up of the top 10 most beautiful hotel pools in the world (or at least those that impressed me the most during all my travels around the globe).
There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite hotel pool in the comments section, or take my poll below!
The Four Seasons Safari Lodge is located deep in the heart of Tanzania’s celebrated wildlife reserve, the Serengeti, where the Big Five – the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant and the rhinoceros – run free. Perched on a series of elevated platforms and walkways, the lodge sits next to an animal watering hole, where you can watch families of elephants stop for their morning drink as you take a dip in the magnificent free-form infinity pool. The latter also overlooks the endless, untamed landscape of the Serengeti plains, the ideal vantage point for thrilling wildlife observations.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
- Other accolades: Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in Tanzania.
- Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, and $100 USD spa credit).
This is the only indoor pool in my list. Surrounded by the towering mountain peaks of the Himalayas, St Regis Lhasa Resort bills itself as “standing on the roof of the world”. Facing the jaw-dropping Potala Palace, it houses 162 guest rooms, villas, and suites, boasts 24-hour butler service, and owns Tibet’s first ever fine-dining restaurant. But what sets the St Regis Lhasa apart is its “Golden Energy Pool” lined with thousands of tiles plated in gold. The pool contains therapeutic salt water constantly heated to 28-32°C (82-90° F). An indulgent treat for anyone with a thing for bling!
- Hotel website: St Regis Lhasa
- Other top 10 accolades: The St. Regis Lhasa Resort also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in China and the world’s most stunning indoor hotel pools.
- Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, $100 USD hotel credit, early check-in and late check-out).
The most expensive hotel ever built, the Marina Bay Sands hotel comprises three 55-storey towers, 2,560 luxury rooms and suites, and 18 different room types. Crowning the three hotel towers at 200 m (656 ft) in the sky, the Sands SkyPark rooftop stretches longer than the Eiffel tower or four A380 Jumbo Jets when laid down. The Sands SkyPark is also home to the world’s largest public cantilever housing a public observatory deck, lush gardens, exclusive restaurants and a stunning 150 m (492 ft) infinity-edged pool to complete the luxurious experience.
- Hotel website: Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- Other top 10 accolades: Marina Bay Sands Hotel hotel also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most spectacular hotel rooftops, the world’s most instagrammable hotels, and the world’s best urban resorts.
- Review: read my review of Marina Bay Sands here.
A former 16th century residence of European aristocrats, converted into a resort in 1873, Villa D’Este has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable decor and extraordinary hospitality. Here, guests can experience the splendor, the grandeur, and the intrigue of the Renaissance while overlooking glorious Lake Como. The hotel has a unique pool floating on the lake, with a built-in Jacuzzi and stunning views everywhere.
- Hotel website: Villa d’Este
- Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, complimentary mini bar replenished once a day, early check-in and late check-out; for stays of 3 and 4 nights: one 3-course lunch; for stays of minimum 5 nights: one 3-course dinner).
Udaipur, in the heart of Rajasthan, is a city of majestic palaces and beautiful lakes. Here, adorning the banks of Lake Pichola and standing witness to the historic City Palace, the Oberoi Udaivilas captures the romance and splendor of a royal era. Conceived as a traditional Indian palace, the hotel showcases the rich heritage of Rajasthan with its rambling courtyards, gentle rippling fountains, and verdant gardens. In addition, the hotel is surrounded by two magnificent swimming pools, one facing the lake and one centering a large green courtyard.
- Hotel website: The Oberoi Udaivilas
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, fruit basket, one lunch for 2, early check-in and late check-out).
Overlooking starkly beautiful desert scenery and the Southwest’s iconic flat-topped mesa rock formations, Amangiri is located in the USA’s Grand Circle region. The resort’s stunning architecture blends seamlessly into its dramatic natural surroundings. Amangiri’s 34 suites are situated in two wings which sweep from each side of the resort’s main pavilion. The amazing swimming pool is set within a sunken courtyard framed by a rock escarpment.
- Hotel website: Amangiri
- Other top 10 accolades: Amangiri also features in my top 10 lists of the best resort & hotels in the USA, the world’s best wilderness resorts, the world’s best hotel room views, the world’s best luxury hotels, the world’s most luxurious desert retreats, the world’s most instagrammable hotels, and my favorite Aman resorts in the world.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, a 30 minute scalp massage or neck/shoulder massage, and a toiletry kit with Amangiri’s signature sage shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash).
Located along the Amalfi Riviera, Europe’s most spectacular stretch of coast, 11th-century palace-turned-resort Caruso Belmond offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea from its gorgeous infinity pool, seemingly suspended between sky and sea. No less impressive are the hotel’s terraced gardens and grounds, which feature native olive, lemon and pomegranate rows, as well as an original chapel with a Baroque altar, frescoes, a former priests’ quarter, and a stunning infinity pool.
- Hotel website: Belmond Hotel Caruso
- Other top 10 accolades: Belmond Hotel Caruso also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Italy, the world’s most spectacular cliffside luxury hotels, and the best luxury hotels on Capri, Ischia, and the Amalfi Coast.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
- Review: read my review of Belmond Hotel Caruso here.
The Maldives is one of the world’s most beautiful beach destinations, and boutique hotel Huvafen Fushi was one of its pioneer hotels and still delivers. It is located in a ridiculously clear lagoon, where you can relax on your own private stretch of sugar white sand or snorkel in one of the Maldives best house reefs. The large lagoon-like infinity-edged pool bleeds into the watery horizon of the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by four-poster day beds; by night, it’s romantically lit with fibre-optic lights and reflects the inky sky.
- Hotel website: Huvafen Fushi
- Other accolades: Huvanfen Fushi also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best underwater hotels.
With sacred Mount Agung as its backdrop and unimpeded views of the Lombok Strait, Amankila enjoys a breathtaking hilltop spot on Bali’s east coast. References to Balinese culture abound – in the motifs inspired by the water palace at nearby Ujung; in the paras stone decorating the stilted and thatched 33 suites (nine with private pools); and in the spectacular infinity pool that cascades in three tiers down the hillside, reminiscent of a rice paddy.
- Hotel website: Amankila
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out ,and one complimentary lunch for two).
- Review: coming soon
Located in the romantic setting of Imerovigli in the northwest of the island, high above Santorini’s Caldera, Grace Santorini is the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy the famed Santorini island sunsets that envelop Greece’s Cyclades Islands. The exquisite infinity pool, the largest of its kind in Santorini, offers bathers stunning uninterrupted views across the caldera – the ultimate transporting experience that defines a holiday in Santorini.
- Hotel website: Grace Santorini
- Other top 10 accolades: Grace Santorini also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best honeymoon resorts, the best hotels in Greece, and the best hotels in Santorini.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, complimentary one-way private airport transfers, welcome amenity of bottle of champagne, fruit and chocolates, early check-in, and late check-out).
- Review: read my review of Grace Santorini here.