20 of the world’s best hotel swimming pools
From Bangkok to Brazil, these luxury pools are one-of-a-kind
137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok
Perched high above the city’s vibrant skyline, the swimming pool and terrace at the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok has been described as one of the “most Instagrammable” pools in Asia.
In fact, there are two “fantastic” rooftop pools found at this “modern and urban venue”, said The Rooftop Guide. The one on the 27th floor is open to all hotel guests. While the other, on the 30th and top floor, is “more private and only available to suite guests”. The suite pool on the 30th floor is “really something extra” and “one of the best and most luxurious rooftop pools in Bangkok and also in the world”.
Silhouette Island, Seychelles
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
Located on the stunning island of Silhouette, the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is a tropical paradise which offers guests the chance to swim and relax in the pool and spa, snorkel and dive in the waters of its white sand beaches, and hike through mountain forests. If you want a bit more privacy, then the resort has a range of rooms and suites, including beachfront pool villas, garden oasis pool villas, king sanctuary pool villas, and the two-bedroom Silhouette Estate, which includes a pool with panoramic sun deck, private beach access, private boat arrival, butler and bar.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fasano Hotel Rio de Janeiro
The chic and exclusive Fasano Hotel on Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema Beach was the first building in Brazil designed by Philippe Starck. The hotel’s architecture and interior design pay homage to the spirit of Brazilian design of the 1950s and 1960s and the “glorious Bossa Nova era”. It’s “true gem” – the infinity edge rooftop pool and lounge – is “one of the most famous roof pools in South America”, said The Rooftop Guide. Located on the eighth floor, the rooftop infinity pool gives an unparalleled panoramic view of Ipanema Beach and the bar menu offers a wide array of fresh-squeezed fruit juices, cocktails and dining options throughout the day.
Khao Lak, Thailand
Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak
Located on a secret stretch of Thailand’s Andaman Coast in the province of Phang Nga, the Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak only opened its doors a few months ago. Taking inspiration from the traditional riverside villages of Thailand, a canal flows throughout the beachside resort connecting guest rooms and shared areas. Travellers can enjoy a tranquil beach getaway experience here and each of the 195 guest rooms and suites feature private terraces overlooking the canal and tropical gardens. There’s three swimming pools on offer at the resort as well as a gym and a spa.
Marina Bay Sands
Is the iconic infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore the world’s best swimming pool? There’s no doubt that it’s “breathtakingly beautiful”, says Katie Machado of The Travel, but does it live up to the hype? In short, the answer is yes. Located 57 levels above the city-state, and spanning the hotel’s three towers, the 150m-long pool is “easily one of the world’s most Instagrammed watering holes”, says RTÉ. If you want to take an “epic poolside selfie”, you’ll need to check in for a night as pool access is reserved for guests of the hotel.
Zannier Hotels Omaanda
On arrival at the Zannier Hotels Omaanda luxury safari lodge, located a 30-minute drive from Namibia’s capital, guests are greeted by a shimmering, savannah-facing infinity pool. Overlooking a glorious expanse of desert, this one-of-a-kind pool provides the perfect spot for cooling off after an early morning safari.
“The only thing better than a cliffside infinity pool is a cliffside infinity pool facing Santorini’s caldera coast,” The Times says. Most hotels on the popular Greek island only have plunge pools or hot tubs, but the Grace’s “jagged gem of brilliant aquamarine” is an “instant upgrade on all other hotels on the island”.
Grand Ferdinand Hotel
The heated rooftop pool on the top of the Grand Ferdinand Hotel in central Vienna offers unrivalled rooftop views of the city’s historical architecture. It’s also right next to the hotel’s Grand Étage restaurant, allowing guests to enjoy fine wine and dining while relaxing poolside.
Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives
Located directly on a white sandy beach is the infinity pool at the five-star Atmosphere Kanifushi resort in the Maldives. Perfect for an early morning wake-up swim or a relaxing sunset paddle, this enormous pool overlooks the Indian Ocean horizon.
Lake Argyle Resort
The Lake Argyle Resort in Western Australia is known as the “jewel of the Kimberley” and its pool was named the world’s second best hotel pool in a list compiled by Big Seven Travel. At its “most magical at sunset”, the 35m infinity pool is “spectacular” and “overlooks some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Australia”. It is open to all day guests, accommodation and caravan park guests.
NYX Hotel London Holborn
Guests at the new NYX Hotel in London’s Holborn (named after the Greek goddess of the night) can take a splash in an expansive, indoor 13m Greco-Roman swimming pool. Offering an urban sanctuary in the heart of the capital, the unique, quirky pool has been designed with dramatic black and white tiles, neon signage and bold splashes of artwork on its surrounding pillars.
The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe
The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe’s stunning heated lakefront swimming pool is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a day on the slopes during the winter or sightseeing during the summer. This pool overlooks Lake Tahoe, the clear-blue lake that’s surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Mango House Seychelles
LXR Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s collection of independent luxury properties, has recently opened Mango House Seychelles, an intimate and exclusive island oasis on southern Mahé’s unspoiled beachfront. The sea is always a tempting option, of course, but guests also have the choice of taking a dip in the main infinity pool (pictured) or an oval-shaped pool located next to Soley, Mango House’s vibrant poolside bar.
The magnificent £10m Aqua Club, a new leisure complex at The Headland, a five-star clifftop hotel in Cornwall, features six pools including a 25m swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a children’s splash pool and an outdoor vitality pool (pictured). The complex also features a sun terrace with impressive ocean views and a restaurant.
Nestled high in the hills of Cote d’Azur with striking panoramic views over the surrounding Provencal landscape, the 600m² infinity pool at Terre Blanche is the crowning jewel of the five-star resort. Overlooking perched medieval villages and rolling vineyards, the pool is heated to a warmth of 28C, producing an ethereal steam which rises in the mornings and evenings.
St Brides Spa Hotel
Positioned on a headland above Saundersfoot harbour and Carmarthen Bay, the St Brides Spa Hotel’s infinity pool overlooks a breath-taking view. The pool forms part of the hotel’s luxurious “marine spa” which includes aroma steam, rock sauna and treatment rooms, a sensation shower, a salt infusion room and an ice fountain.
Burj Al Arab Terrace
This freshwater pool spans 612sqm with a shaded swim-up bar at its centre, setting the perfect tone for relaxing and socialising. The Terrace also features an 828sqm salt water infinity pool and four jacuzzis, as well as a restaurant, beach and cabana space.
Lake Como, Italy
The elegant Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como in Italy is a favourite for the rich and famous and one of the world’s “most celebrated” hotels, The Telegraph says. Its Sporting Club boasts a gym, eight tennis courts and the hotel’s “most famous and ambitious project”, a floating pool on the lake. Luxury Explorer says the heated floating pool, with its own jacuzzi, is “a must” for hotel guests.
Gleneagles, Scotland's iconic five-star luxury hotel and sporting estate, has three outstanding pools for guests to choose from: a vitality pool (featuring a jacuzzi bench, hydro pods and a swan neck shower), a 31-degree leisure pool (pictured) and an adults-only, 18.5-metre lap pool (featuring heated loungers, a steam room and saunas).
New York, USA
TWA Hotel at JFK Airport
The TWA Hotel, the only on-airport hotel at JFK International Airport in New York, is a haven for AV geeks and swimmers alike. You can enjoy a dip in the rooftop “pool-cuzzi”, eat and drink at the pool bar, or lounge on the observation deck and watch the jets take off for far-away destinations.