Although they all have one thing in common—they contain enough water to submerge oneself—swimming pools can vary vastly in how they present themselves and the emotions they evoke in the user. From generating pure, blissful relaxation to creating the utmost fear, the pools that topped our list have it all. We searched deep and wide (and, in some cases, extremely high) to bring you the best of the world’s most amazing swimming pools.
At 3,323 feet long, 115 feet deep at its maximum depth, and filled with 66 million gallons of water, the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile is easily the world’s largest swimming pool. The creator of this enormous pool, Fernando Fischmann, claims it is six times larger than the Casablanca pool, the Orthlieb. Some people even have to use boats to get from one end to the other. Water is pumped in straight from the Pacific Ocean, filtered and pumped back into the ocean, meaning very little chlorine or even electricity is required to keep it sparkling clean. The San Alfonso Del Mar pool is certainly a long-distance swimmer’s paradise.
Known as Cascadas Suspendidas, the pool at Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena in Spain is a tri-level therapy circuit. The three pools overlook the cliffs of Na Xemana, so whether you are swimming in the pools of heated seawater or taking advantage of the relaxing jets, the view is amazing. Each of the pools is connected by a waterfall, adding to their unique beauty.
3: Hanging Gardens Ubud Hotel in Bali, Indonesia
This Indonesian pool is one of the most jaw-dropping hotel pools in the world. Swimmers appear to be suspended above the jungle and have a breathtaking view of the surrounding treetops. This infinity pool has two levels—entering the upper deck of the pool via the bar—and is lined with Batu Candi stone. The solidified volcanic ash wall and the trees virtually hide the lower deck from view and give the swimmers privacy. The resort owners intended for the hotel’s design to mimic the land, and like the rest of the hotel, the pool has a free-form design similar to the Ubud rice paddies.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo is host to the world famous Floating Lake Pool. The pool is self-contained, but from inside the pool it appears that the swimming water is part of the lake. This is a family-friendly pool with lots of activities for children and a spectacular view of the lake from inside the swimming pool.
Hotel Chocolat is best known for its Britain-based chocolate company, so it only makes sense the resort would be all about the sweet treat. Being that cocao and chocolate is incorporated into most of what this resort has to offer, it’s no surprise the quartz-lined infinity swimming pool appears to be filled with liquid fudge. The pool overlooks cocoa plantations and Piton Mountains. Cocoa-infused cocktails and snacks are served poolside. Being able to gaze at the amazing view alone is enough reason for guests to visit the pool.
6: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Perched atop the 57th floor resort complex in Singapore, this 492-foot swimming pool is the world’s highest and largest infinity pool. Although it may seem like swimmers can fall off the edge, it is, of course, very safe. From the pool, swimmers get a spectacular view of the Singapore financial district. Access to the pool is restricted to resort guests, however people who are not staying at the hotel can purchase tickets to view Singapore from the observation deck.
The eco-friendly infinity pool at Sanctuary Swala allows guests to watch the animals visit their own waterhole from above. The pool overlooks the spot closest to the resort where big cats and elephants go to drink or bathe. Going for a swim is a great way to relax after a long day of viewing the game at the sanctuary.
If you are fascinated by large reptiles, crocodiles in particular, you’ll enjoy Crocosaurus Cove. Adults and teens over 15 get into the body of water with a huge crocodile; the humans are surrounded by a 1.5 inch thick acrylic enclosure, of course. Children and adults that are more cautious can swim in a separate pool alongside the juvenile crocodile tank. The theme park opened in 2008 on unused land and houses crocodiles ranging from 3 months to 80 years old. The park has many other attractions and even allows guests to feed young crocodiles. Stay at one of Australia’s top hotels on your visit.
9: LeCrans Hotel and Spa pool in Crans Montana, Switzerland
Located in Switzerland, this is one of the world’s premier outdoor winter pools. The pool is heated so it can be used year-round by guests who travel to the region for skiing, as well as by their family members who would rather swim for exercise than hit the slopes. Swimmers enjoy a spectacular view of the snowy Alps, something not usually taken in from a pool.
The pool is arguably the most unique pool in Europe. Badeschiff literally translates to “bathing ship” and that’s just what this pool is. Located in Berlin, the Badeschiff is a refurbished cargo ship turned into a floating swimming pool and positioned inside the River Spree. Because the River is too polluted for swimming, the pool provides a safe, clean place for Berlin residents and tourists to cool off or get some exercise.