13 Incredibly Cool Pools From Around the World
Dive into a swanky swim.
Go on, make a splash. You don't have to settle for an ordinary swimming pool with a slick of sunblock floating on the water. Take the plunge into one of the world's most fabulous pools instead.
Wake up to a sunrise over the Andes Mountains at Casa de Uco, a boutique resort in Mendonza. It’s located in Uco Valley, where the soil and climate combine to produce high quality grapes for the region’s fine wines. As you float in the infinity pool in the resort lagoon, you'll have panoramic views of 790 acres of surrounding vineyards, open skies and jagged peaks.
The blue sky blends into the blue ocean, which blends into the blue pools at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. This $4.2 billion resort in Nassau, the first of three properties to open at the Baha Mar Resort, the largest development in the Western Hemisphere, offers 1,800 rooms and seven pools. The main pool has its very own “blue hole,” where you can explore manmade, underwater caverns while surrounded by an aquarium-like enclosure filled with live sharks, fish and other marine life.
Smell fragrant plumeria and gardenias in the tropical gardens and around the waterfalls and ponds at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort. Then immerse yourself in one of six pools (there's one just for kids) and stunning views of Diamond Head, once an active volcano. Later, slip over to Paradise Pool and careen down the longest waterslide in Waikiki. Guests can snorkel, surf, water bike or SUP at the resort's Duke Kahanamoku beach and five-acre saltwater lagoon, named America’s best beach in 2014 by the coastal expert known as "Dr. Beach".
Acclaimed the world’s #1 hotel in the 2017 TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, the Aria Hotel Budapest features a musical theme. Even the 35-foot heated, indoor pool and spa have musical décor--and, of course, incredible music. Join a water fitness class to work on your cardiovascular health and strength, or ask to have an aqua bike lowered into the pool and "ride" away.
5. Costa Rica
Dip into any of the ocean-side pools at the Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, and explore a network of canals, islands and swim-up bars. The resort opens onto a rocky beach at Herradura Bay; it’s located in the heart of 1,100-acre tropical rainforest on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast.
If your idea of pool-time is flipping the pages of a summery best-seller, head for the recently renovated Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. You can opt for a “lively” or “quiet” pool deck, complete with a library of completely waterproof books to check out (no more soaked, bloated pages if you drop that paperback). Both decks also offer bamboo-shaded cabanas and hammocks. Rent a cabana on the quiet deck and you'll get a refreshing fruit platter, lounge chairs and towels, and an ice cooler with bottles of water.
7. British Virgin Islands
Splash into one of three sparkling infinity pools at Oil Nut Bay, a community of luxurious villas in Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands. The Beach Club is the social heart of the community, with a special pool for young kids. For adults, there’s a larger pool with two gently sloping “beaches” that let you walk comfortably into deeper water. There’s also an upper level adult pool with a waterfall, grotto, and in-water bar. Look for recycled glass beads, called beadcrete, around the pools. They reflect the sunlight and shimmer in ocean-like shades of blues.
8. Puerto Rico
Hop a plane from San Juan International Airport, and step out on Vieques Island just 20 minutes later. After you unpack on this island, about 8 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, you can plunge into the two-level, infinity WET pool at W Retreat & Spa. Then chill out while the underwater sound system cranks out tunes, and dedicated “sun butlers” deliver colorful floats, custom-crafted cocktails and a sun care bracelet, so you can monitor those UV rays.
At Casa Palopo, nestled on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, you can watch the clouds drift over three distant volcanoes. The hotel’s infinity pool is part of its exclusive two-bedroom villa, which sits atop a hill overlooking the magnificent scenery. A wood-burning fireplace is near the solar-heated pool, so you can chase off any chill when the sun goes down.
Il Salviatino, a resort in the rolling hills of Tuscany, boasts original frescoes, lush, organic gardens and spectacular views of Florence from its large terrace. From about May to October, its two-tiered swimming pool is open for guests. Make a 15 minute drive, and you're in the busy heart of Florence.
South Florida is famous for its sugar-fine sands, and the W Fort Lauderdale Hotel is known for its beautiful oceanfront WET East infinity pool. Portholes and translucent walls let guests see what's happening underwater without getting wet. Stroll over to the WET West pool to watch the sun sink in the waves, or to see the boats on the intracoastal waterway.
Look for ships in the distance, passing through the Panama Canal while you're swimming in one of the four freshwater pools at Panama's Westin Playa Bonita. You can wade around small islands planted with rustling palm trees, lounge on a communal sofa and chat up other guests, or disappear into a private cabana (available on a first-come, first-serve basis). A jetted kids' pool burbles with fun bubbles.
13. Dominican Republic
No need to dress up when you leave your first-floor room at the AlSol Tiara Cap Cana, in Punta Canta. Just wear your swimsuit, and plunge right into the pool or ocean from the lower-level suites. If you're into boating, book a suite in front of Marina Cap Cana and watch the yachts cruise by.