Where the sun shines, the water glistens. From natural to man-made, this list of top ten pool experiences will have you swimming in some of the most luxurious and beautiful pools in the world. Time to pack your swimwear and pick a pool… or better yet, try them all.
1. Swissotel Citystars Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
Luxury Egyptian oasis, Swissotel Citystars Sharm el Sheikh may not have opened its doors yet* but it certainly has broken records. Taking the title from San Alfonso del Mer in Chile, Citystars Sharm el Sheikh currently holds the record for the world’s largest man-made lagoon in the Guinness Book of World Records. The 28-acre Crystal Lagoons designed lagoon is only the first of a ten-lagoon project, with 400 guest rooms and suites, retail spaces and 400 residences surrounding the lagoons. Due to open in 2020, this lagoon paradise is certainly a place to take a dip and wash away the world.
* Due to open in 2020
2. San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
San Alfonso del Mar in Chile, also designed by Crystal Lagoons, was the previous record holder of the world’s largest man-made lagoon. Crystal Lagoons is on one hell of a roll with those records… what will they do next? This enormous pool set along the Chilean coastline, is larger than 20 Olympic-sized pools, holds 66 gallons of water and costs a cool two million in keep costs each year. Thanks to innovative technology through Crystal Lagoon, the pool is able to bring in water from the ocean and using a special filtration system, the waters are a pristine turquoise in colour. Talk about WOW-factor.
3. Seagaia Ocean Dome, Japan
On days where the sun isn’t shining and it’s too darn cold to go to the beach, Seagaia Ocean Dome in Japan is the answer. You won’t need to slip, slop, slap on the sunscreen here. The three hundred metre long underground beach paradise has been kitted out with a faux flame-spitting volcano, soft sand beach and the world’s largest retractable roof showing off a blue sky no matter the weather outside.
4. Hearst Castle, California
At California’s Hearst Castle, a castle that is the definition of grandiose extravagance, you will find not one but TWO luxury swimming pools. Perhaps two of the most famous pools in the world, the outdoor Neptune Pool and indoor Roman Pool designed with marble and intricate mosaics to reminiscent of ancient Roman baths. We all know the Romans liked to bath, and boy did they do it in style. Want to feel like a Roman Emperor, then this is the place for you.
5. Sarojin Resort, Thailand
A pool overlooking the ocean is ever popular with travellers living the high life. With a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean and lush rainforest surroundings, it’s little wonder that Sarojin Resort in Thailand is the home of one of the world’s most luxurious pools. When you’ve had enough time in the water head to the floating pavilions for ultimate relaxation.
Image courtesy of Brain Berries
6. Gellert Thermal Baths, Budapest
The most famous of the Art Nouveau thermal baths, is Gellert Thermal Baths. Located in Budapest this old world beauty features fine marble and mosaic tiles with priceless works of art adorning the walls. Founded in one hundred years ago in 1918, Gellert Thermal Baths have remained ever popular. With ten pools all in various sizes and temperatures, you can design your own relaxation routine and hop from one pool to the next. For history and relaxation, Gellert Thermal Baths are the place to be.
7. Zodiac pool, Umaid Bhawan Palace, India
The Zodiac pool at Umaid Bhawan Palace will stop you in your tracks. The walls and ceiling are filled with thousands of gold tiles while the base of the pool is covered in mosaic depicting the twelve signs of the zodiac. It wont only be guests of the Umaid Bhawan Palace found swimming in this pool, but members of the Indian Royal family have been known to take a dip themselves.
8. Gold Energy Pool, St. Regis, Tibet
Synonymous with luxury are the St. Regis hotels. And the Gold Energy Pool at St. Regis, Tibet takes luxury to a whole new level. The temperature of the therapeutic salt water has been optimised to ensure it’s perfect for the human body. Every single tile has been plated in 14 carat gold, which, perfect temperature aside, make this one fancy place to swim. To add to the experience, this golden swimming pool is located in one of the most untouched remote regions of the world.
9. Cenote Ik Kil, Mexico
Hidden deep in the heart of the Mexican jungle is the infamous natural pool, Cenote Ik Kil. It’s a destination for adventurers and thrill seekers alike. After a hike through the jungle, you wont think twice about leaping off a dive platform to be immersed in the fresh cool cave waters. But be warned, people aren’t the only ones who know about this natural beauty. A catfish or two might try to say hello and enjoy swimming alongside you.
10. Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey
They may look like they’ve been carved from snow and ice but these thermal pools are all natural. Cascading white travertine pools and bright blue waters can only mean one thing… the Pamukkale Thermal Pools in Turkey. With the nearby ruin of the Greek and Roman city of Hierapolis, the area is a UNESCO World Heritage site making it an incredibly popular destination in Turkey.