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Top 10 Most Extraordinary Hotel and Resort Pools

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nicholas Roffey
There are pools . . . and then there are pools. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 most extraordinary hotel pools. For this list, we're looking at the hotels and resorts around the world with the most unique, astonishing and inviting freshwater and saltwater pools.
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Top 10 Most Extraordinary Hotel and Resort Pools

There are pools . . . and then there are pools. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 most extraordinary hotel pools.

For this list, we're looking at the hotels and resorts around the world with the most unique, astonishing and inviting freshwater and saltwater pools.


#10: Hotel Villa Honegg

Ennetbürgen, Switzerland

When it comes to pools, size matters, but so does the view. This pool at the boutique five star Hotel Villa Honegg isn’t the biggest on our list, but it easily boasts one of the most beautiful natural vistas. Located on the slope of a hillside near the town of Ennetbürgen, the infinity pool overlooks the placid waters of Lake Lucerne, and the majestic Swiss Prealps. It’s heated at over 90ºF so don’t worry about that crisp mountain air. Paddle out to the edge or sit back on the underwater couch to best take in the view.


#9: Ocean Castle Sol De Oriente

Costa Careyes, Mexico

Overlooking crashing waves in Costa Alegre on Mexico’s west coast, this 360-degree infinity pool features ocean views as breathtaking as the price tag. It’s the crowning glory of a sprawling private “estate resort” tucked away in dense coastal jungle, and popular with the Hollywood elite. Encircling a three-bedroom “castle”, the 10,000 square foot pool is part of a villa that also includes two bungalows and . . . wait for it . . . a seaside tower accessible by private funicular. Don’t like the color? There’s another one in green, the Sol de Occidente, just across the bay.

#8: The Edge

Bali, Indonesia

An unsuspecting swimmer here might be in for a surprise. The turquoise lagoon at The Edge Villa in Uluwatu, Bali, cantilevers 21 feet out from the cliffside - and features a glass bottom so you can enjoy the 530 foot drop below. For the price of admission at the resort’s day club, aquatic thrillseekers can jump in even without staying at the hotel. Cantilevered pools seem to be catching on; The Edge’s dizzying lagoon is one of several around the world, including those at the Joule in Dallas, Texas and at the Shanghai Holiday Inn.

#7: Dana Villas Hotel

Santorini, Greece

Imagine if you could swim in your balcony. The suites at Danas Villas boast infinity plunge pool-jacuzzi balconies that overlook the Santorini caldera. They’re basically every wonderful pool possibility all rolled into one. Some can be accessed through the bathroom, others right from the bedroom, so that you can roll out of the sheets and into the water. Set right on the edge of the cliff, they afford both privacy, and gorgeous, panoramic ocean views - the perfect place to enjoy a glass or five of Assyrtiko wine as the sun sinks into the Aegean.

#6: Belmond Hotel Caruso,

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The edge of this infinity pool seems to melt right into the ocean. Renovated from the ruins of an eleventh century palace, Belmond’s exquisite Hotel Caruso perches proud and tall on a hilltop overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Its grounds include immaculate terraced gardens, beautiful frescoed salons, and a baroque sixteenth century chapel. But the star of the show is undoubtedly the pool, positioned at the highest point on the hill to give guests unparalleled views over the Mediterranean. For a special experience, you can even enjoy a candlelit dinner on the edge.

#5: Hanging Gardens of Bali

Bali, Indonesia

Cloistered away in thick, tropical rainforest outside Ubud, the Hanging Gardens of Bali was designed to complement the resort’s rich natural setting. Even the honeymoon hideaway’s spectacular centrepiece evokes the feel of an epic jungle waterfall. Brimming with 44,000 gallons of water, and featuring a 250 foot vanishing edge, the cascading, split-level infinity pool aims to make guests feel like they’re suspended over the forest. In 2014 TripAdvisor named it “World’s Best Swimming Pool”, and given the sheer beauty of its design and jungle vista, it’s easy to see why.

#4: Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

With sweeping views over the Serengeti, this is an infinity pool with a twist. Sure, it’s a great way to cool off from the hot savannah sun. But the lodge’s free-form pool is also set on a hill over a watering hole for local wildlife - affording swimmers close-up views of elephants drinking their fill and splashing around in the water. The strategic placement means the safari doesn’t end back at the hotel, and blesses guests with stunning views of the sun settling down over the plains. Not your average pool, to say the least.

#3: Golden Nugget Hotel

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

In Vegas, extravagance is expected. Even so, the Golden Nugget’s unusual pool, "The Tank," is guaranteed to wow even the most jaded. Built around a 200,000 gallon aquarium, the $30 million complex allows visitors the chance to paddle beside fish and sharks . . . and to whiz past them in a transparent, three-story water slide that travels through the tank. Of course, the elegant waterfalls, and the infinity pool on top are nice bonuses; but it’s really the unique, integrated design of the aquarium that makes “The Tank” so extraordinary.

#2: San Alfonso del Mar Resort

Algarrobo, Chile

Once the largest in the world, San Alfonso del Mar’s seawater pool is so big you can kayak and sail on it. As far as world records go, it now plays second fiddle to the even more massive Crystal Lagoons at Citystars, Sharm El Sheikh project in Egypt. But 871,200 square feet of water is still nothing to scoff at. The private resort’s 66 million gallons of turquoise waters span a staggering 20 acres and reach depths of 115 feet - so you can even scuba dive. While its location right next to the actual sea seems to defeat the purpose a bit, the pool’s crystal clear waters remain calm and warm all year round.


#1: Marina Bay Sands,

Singapore

The superlatives don’t do it justice. It’s the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, set on the largest public cantilevered platform - a SkyPark designed to look like a ship stranded on the hotel’s soaring towers. Yet what’s really breathtaking aren’t the measurements and world records; it’s the jaw-dropping view of Singapore’s sparkling skyline. Reserved for registered guests, the pool features a 478 foot vanishing edge that gives swimmers the sensation they could just float out over the city. Unnerving, beautiful, and ambitious, it’s an extraordinary pool in an extraordinary setting, 57 levels up.
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