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From urban agua hideaways to remote resorts in the middle of nowhere, here are our picks for some of the world’s most amazing pools.
1. Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy
Ancient architecture meets modern amenities at Italy’s Belmond Hotel Caruso, an 11th-century palace-turned-luxury resort that’s nestled in the hills of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. One of the hotel’s most spectacular sights is its gently-heated infinity pool, where guests enjoy 180-degree views of both the nearby mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, all perched about 1,150 square feet above sea level, which makes it feel like you’re floating in the clouds. No poolside need will be overlooked by the concierge, who will happily deliver you an iPod, pre-loaded with your pick of music, or an Evian vaporizer. From $1,025 per night.
2. Ma’In Hot Springs Resort and Spa in Madaba, Jordan
For thousands of years, people have flocked to the Dead Sea for its purported healing properties. On the southeast corner of that storied body of water, the Ma’in Hot Springs Resort and Spa boasts some healing powers of its own, thanks to its gorgeous Cascade Spa pool, which is named for the hot spring waterfalls that cascade into the pool area. Up the relaxation ante by booking one of the spa’s signature services, like the three-hour Hammam Ma’In Signature Journey (from $380 per person), which gives you time in the resort’s steam cave. From$225 per night.
3. Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh in Scotland
Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the heart of one of Europe’s most bustling cities when you pop into the Sheraton Grand Hotel’s One Spa, an oasis in the middle of the city that features an infinity swimming pool and a rooftop hydropool and thermal suite. The hotel offers an array of packages that let guests enjoy all the spa’s facilities, like the Escape at One, which includes one night’s accommodations, a full Scottish breakfast and either a massage or facial. From $250 per night.
4. The Hanging Gardens of Bali in Indonesia
The two-story pool infinity pool at the all-villa Hanging Gardens of Bali has won a number of architecture and design accolades, and it’s easy to see why: according to the resort, its placement above the Balinese rainforest gives “swimmers the unique sensation of floating above the treetops.” At night, the pool can be reserved as the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner for two as you dine under the stars. From $495 per night.
5. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Thailand
Nature is the main attraction at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, a luxury adventure retreat nestled into a ridge that overlooks the hills of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, and where you’ll also find one of Asia’s most popular elephant camps right onsite. When you’re ready to take a break from all that pachyderm watching, the infinity pool and jacuzzi are a slice of serenity — with perfect views of the Mekong Valley. If you’re still itching for something to do, there’s a squash court, table tennis, tennis courts and more than 160 acres of gardens and bamboo forest to explore. From $985 per night.
6. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
No one has ever accused Dubai of being understated. The city is home to many of the “world’s biggest” and “most luxurious” things — and that list includes the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, where guests have access to a private helipad, a Rolls-Royce-driven chauffeur service, nine restaurants and bars, a private beach and a whopping five swimming pools. We kind of love the terrace area, which stretches thousands of feet out over the ocean and houses both a freshwater pool and a saltwater infinity pool, and melts into the one of the world’s most stunning sunsets. From $1,100 per night.
7. Grace Santorini in Greece
If you’re going to Greece for the views, it’s hard to beat the majestic ones that can be peeked at from the terrace of Grace Santorini, a boutique hotel that cascades down the hillside of the island of Santorini. The top level is where you’ll find the hotel’s sublime infinity pool, which looks out over the Caldera for some of the most picturesque views you’ve ever witnessed. From $1,600 per night.
8. The Gold Energy Pool, St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet
There’s something magical about the Gold Energy Pool at the St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet. Maybe it has something to do with the foot massage you can order — poolside — to accompany your cocktail. It could also be the soothing views of the hotel’s lake and Himalaya Palace. Or it could be that the Gold Energy Pool, which is as vibrant as it sounds, was built with serenity and relaxation in mind. From $200 per night.
9. The Red Pool at The Library in Koh Samui, Thailand
Gold isn’t the only alternative pool color out there. Artistry surrounds guests at The Library, with the hotel itself describing each of its 26 literary-inspired studios and suites as a “blank page on which [guests can] write their story.” A gorgeous blend of elegant minimalism and state-of-the-art amenities, the Koh Samui boutique hotel’s signature swimming pool — which overlooks Chaweng Beach — is sure to leave a lasting impact with its vibrant red color, the result of gorgeous yellow, orange, and red mosaic tiling. From $360 per night.
10. Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
Looking to soak up the views in Singapore? Marina Bay Sands makes the most of its prime location, with sumptuous rooms that feature floor-to-ceiling windows and the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, located on the hotel’s 57th floor and offering breathtaking views of city’s gorgeous skyline. The hotel even invites you to “swim on top of the world.” From $339 per night.
11. Il Salviatino in Florence, Italy
Tucked into the Tuscan hillside of Fiesole, Il Salviatino is just a few minutes from Florence — a complimentary shuttle takes guests back and forth all day — but secluded enough to make you feel miles away from the bustle of the city. Yet there’s also very little reason to leave the 15th-century-villa-turned-luxury-hotel, which houses a breathtaking library, rambling flower gardens, a first-class spa and a two-level pool area that’s tucked into its own little hillside. It’s an intimate little space, perfect for quiet contemplation; just make sure you visit during “pool” season April through October. From $405 per night.
12. The Cambrian Adelboden in Switzerland
There are only a few places in the world where you can gaze upon snow-covered mountains in your two-piece — and the pool at The Cambrian Adelboden, a treasured Swiss wellness resort, is one of them. This Alpine retreat endeavors to make its guests feel at one with their surroundings, with 71 stylish rooms that incorporate locally-made textiles and knickknacks, a celebrated restaurant that makes use of locally-sourced ingredients and a spa that’s home to heated indoor and outdoor pools (the latter being the aforementioned one with the views), plus a Finnish sauna and sleeping area that the hotel promises will have you “feeling rejuvenated, revitalized and more laid-back than a cat in a pool of sunlight.” From $246 per night.
Which of these amazing pools just made it onto your summer travel bucket list?
Featured image courtesy of Belmond Management Limited.
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