Each of these cool pools tries to outdo the next—and the effort comes with a hefty pricetag. Most of them are expensive to visit, but our slide show is completely free.
INFINITY AND BEYOND
World's Most Amazing Hotel Pools
Swimming is almost beside the point at these 15 pools found at gorgeous, unexpected properties around the world.
Hotel: Hotel Caruso Belvedere, Ravello, Italy
Why It's Cool: The Hotel Caruso Belvedere is set at the highest point in the sun-splashed Amalfi Coast town of Ravello, so the open-air infinity pool offers unobstructed, panoramic views of one of the world's most dramatic coastlines—and the sea beyond. It doesn't hurt that the pool itself is flanked by 11th-century Roman ruins.
Hotel: Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, India
Why It's Cool: In a massive, 347-room palace overlooking the Blue City of Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, this serene, temperature-controlled swimming basin takes advantage of natural candlelight—with rose petals sometimes strewn on the surface. The hotel is run by the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, which shares the property with the palace's owner, the Maharaja of Jodhpur—who has been known to swim laps with the guests from time to time.
Hotel: Viceroy Miami
Why It's Cool: In a city loaded with cool pools, the pool at the Viceroy stands out. The two-acre pool deck—with Japanese blueberry trees and swanky chaise lounges and beds—features three types of pools: an 80-person hot tub, a wading pool, and a football-field-size swimming pool. Perhaps coolest of all, it's 15 floors above the street, with sweeping views of downtown Miami and glimpses of Biscayne Bay in the distance.
Hotel: InterContinental Hong Kong
Why It's Cool: Set on the third floor of the InterContinental Hong Kong, the hotel's three pools—two hot and one cold, but all with underwater music piped in—give the almost unnerving illusion that you're floating in Victoria Harbor. After your swim, park yourself in one of the poolside cabanas and gaze out at Hong Kong's skyline.
Hotel: Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
Why It's Cool: You'll swim with five species of sharks (16 sharks in all) at the Nugget's $30 million pool complex. The Tank, as it's called, houses a three-story waterslide, waterfalls, and the pool's pièce de resistance, the 200,000-gallon shark tank. You're in more danger at the Golden Nugget's roulette wheel: The sharks, stingrays, massive Queensland grouper, and silvery jack crevalle are separated from the swimming pool by a six-inch clear acrylic wall.
Hotel: Quincy Hotel, Singapore
Why It's Cool: This glass-enclosed pool is cantilevered from the 12th floor of the futuristic-looking Quincy Hotel, suspending swimmers high above the passing cars and pedestrians at street level. At night, special lighting effects make the pool appear to glow. Bask and swim for a bit, then retire to one of the rattan chairs at poolside for a nap.
Hotel: Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat, Muscat, Oman
Why It's Cool: After an extensive 18-month renovation, this InterContinental property in Oman reopened with a major pool upgrade—which the roving pool butlers (you heard us) are more than happy to tell you about, after refreshing your rose-scented spritzer. The spacious, 164-foot-long infinity pool is flanked by shady, palm-studded islands. The water is temperature controlled, so it's always an oasis-like 84 degrees.
Hotel: Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa, Koh Samui, Thailand
Why It's Cool: You look straight out into the Gulf of Thailand from the 98-foot-long infinity pool at this stylish resort on the island of Samui, Thailand. If the views aren't soothing enough, order a stiff drink at the swim-up bar and laugh it off with the comical, spitting monkey statues along the pool's perimeter.
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