The only thing better than gazing out over a stunning view from your hotel room is watching the same view while you relax in one of the world’s most spectacular swimming pools. From infinity pools that merge with the sea to mountainside vistas and even some pools built only by nature, these are some of the most extraordinary pools, swimming holes and bathing spots from around the world.
The Library, Koh Samui
The location of the pool at the Library Resort on Koh Samui is pretty stunning itself, overlooking the bay and just a few steps away from the golden sand beach. But the really amazing thing about this particular swimming spot is the crimson water that fills the pool. An incredibly photogenic sight, the intense color shifts throughout the day as the light changes, going from a bright blood-red during the middle of the day to an almost golden orange as the sun goes down.
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca
Just outside the vibrant city of Oaxaca in southwest Mexico, Hierve el Agua is one of nature’s most stunning natural wonders. A series of petrified waterfalls high in the mountains above the city have combined to create a network of jaw-droppingly beautiful natural infinity pools fed by freshwater springs. Due to the high mineral content, the waters are believed to have healing powers, and you’ll feel like you are floating in the clouds.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
If you’ve just got off a cruise ship to Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands hotel could be the perfect place to unwind. Taking infinity pools to a new level, the pool at the hotel is perched high above the city’s iconic skyline below, 57 floors up. The pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel is the highest and largest rooftop infinity pool in the world, and the experience of gazing over Singapore as you sink into the warm water is unique and not to be missed.
Havasu Falls, Arizona
If you are looking for something a little more off the beaten track then Havasu Falls might well be the spot for you. Hidden away on traditional tribal lands near Supai, Arizona, just getting to this stunning demonstration of natural beauty can be tricky, as permission is required from the Havasu tribe and limited numbers of tourists are allowed. But once you are in, this stunning natural pool at the bottom of a majestic cascade is truly remarkable, and you’ll likely have it all to yourself.
Chongwe River House, Zambia
If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming surrounded by the grandest and most amazing creatures on earth, combining a relaxing dip in a pool with a dream safari holiday, then look no further than the Chongwe River House in Zambia. The pool and the deck of this delightful boutique hotel look out over the Chongwe River as it flows by, and are shaded by a gigantic winterthorn tree. Watch elephants, giraffes, zebras and buffalo as they come to graze and refresh themselves by the river, and keep your eyes peeled for more deadly critters like lions, hyenas and crocs as well!
Bondi Icebergs, Sydney
The southern end of Bondi Beach in Sydney is home to a full-sized Olympic swimming pool…with a twist. This dramatic spot is almost encircled by the ocean, and the crashing waves and surf create a remarkable backdrop to a swim. Even more excitingly, the water temperature is constantly a few degrees colder than the sea itself, leading locals to call it the ‘band of steel’ during the winter months. The local swimming club Bondi Icebergs is only open to members who have logged 75 laps during these colder times, and membership is quite the badge of honor.
Cave Pools, Santorini
The Greek island of Santorini is famous for the dramatic contrast between the dazzling white of its buildings and the gorgeous blues of the Mediterranean. Hidden amongst many of the gorgeous boutique hotels built into the cliffs of this rocky little gem are secret cave pools, offering remarkable views of the volcanic caldera and mountainous vistas beyond. The whitewashed walls and glittering blue waters create an almost meditative ambiance, and a swim in one of these iconic pools is a deeply relaxing and almost spiritual experience.
Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali
Ubud in Bali is a holy place, one of the centers of Hinduism and Buddhism in the country, and a place full of extraordinarily rich culture and history. Right at its spiritual core, the pools at the Adiwana Dara Ayu Villas hang suspended above the forest canopy, offering stunning views. Designed by a noted architect, a swim here gives guests the sensation that they are floating effortlessly above the jungle, or flying through the trees, and provides an experience that will last a lifetime.