Swimming in the Lap of Luxury: Posh Pools from Around the World

by Julie Hale,

With an area close to 20 acres, the San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool located in Algarrobo, Chile, beckons to any avid swimmer, boater or paddler. The Guinness Book of World Records has crowned it the largest swimming pool in the world.

But sheer size is just one of several attributes that can transform an ordinary pool from everyday to extraordinary and from so-so to swanky. If you are considering installation of one of the backyard pools from InTheSwim.com, these outrageously luxurious hotel pools could provide just the right inspiration.

1. The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, California, USA

Photo by Prayitno/more than 1.5 million views: thank you! via Flickr

Photo by Prayitno/more than 1.5 million views: thank you! via Flickr

A touch of classical Italy comes to Orange County, Calif., with the pool at the Pelican Hill Resort. Coliseum-inspired touches, including vaulted arches and an amphitheater of terraced decks, provide the setting for the world’s largest circular pool, stretching a full 130 feet in diameter. The unique poolside experience includes the beauty of 1 million hand-set glass mosaic tiles surrounding the pool area and the luxurious private cabanas dotting the perimeter.

2. Hotel Joule, Dallas, Texas, USA

Photo by victorfe via Flickr

Hotel Joule Photo by victorfe via Flickr

The luxury pool featured by the Hotel Joule in downtown Dallas juts out about 8 feet from the hotel structure, offering swimmers the sensation of floating off the edge of the building, if they are not too faint of heart. Those willing to brave the far end of the pool are rewarded with a view of the city from 10 stories up, with only a thick piece of glass standing between them and the downtown street-level activity below. Prized for its unique, visual offering, the pool also offers guests poolside bar service. The pool was designed to be the ultimate in relaxation.

3. The St. Regis, Lhasa, Tibet

The country of Tibet may be associated with monks and quiet spirituality, but this hotel’s luxurious gold-plated pool shouts out luxury loud and clear. It is located in the hotel’s Iridium Room, which features an adjacent meditation garden. The pool, which features saltwater, is kept at a constant 28 to 32°C. Guests can take the relaxation a step further with a poolside foot massage while enjoying food and drinks. The pool area also offers views of nearby lakes and the Himalayan Palace. Don’t expect to practice swimming laps, however. The hotel’s policy is that this pool is for wading and relaxation only.

4. Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore

Photo by kfcatles via Flickr

Fullerton hotel Photo by kfcatles via Flickr

The 75-foot-long rooftop pool at the Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore not only offers incredible views of the famous Singapore skyline and the Marina Bay waterfront below, but lush tropical landscaping surrounding the pool provides a haven of tranquility, offering serenity from the traffic and noise of the cosmopolitan city below. Rooftop furniture placed in strategically located alcoves provides some privacy. A soft waterfront breeze can be counted on to add to the tranquility of most evenings. But guests can also indulge in food and beverage at the nearby rooftop bar. The menu offers not only signature cocktails, wine, champagnes and non-alcoholic beverages, but also tempting gourmet snacks, including grilled meats.

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