Marina Bay Sands Hotel’s pool is 650 feet off the ground. // © 2016 Marina Bay Sands
Feature image (above): Get up-close to elephants at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. // © 2016 Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
Summer is right around the corner, and what better way to spend those long, hot days than by taking a dip? But, instead of lounging in just any body of water, we’ve set our sights on some of the most unique options the world has to offer. From swimming alongside elephants in Africa to idling by a pool made with real gold in Tibet, these over-the-top luxury swimming options are anything but basic.
Amangiri in Utah
Surrounded by 600 acres of undeveloped land in the high desert of Utah, the 50-foot-long infinity pool at Amangiri, a luxury resort, wraps around an expansive stone jutting out from the landscape. The view of the grand Circle Region, which comprises the largest concentration of natural parks and monuments in the U.S., is especially beautiful during a swim at dusk, when the pool is lit up from beneath the water’s surface.
Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Bask in the lap of luxury at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a beachside resort modeled after the mythical city of Atlantis. Guests enjoy unobstructed views of Dubai’s cityscape and The Palm while lounging next to the Royal Pool, an architectural masterpiece with direct access to the white sands of Royal Beach.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania
At Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania, guests can swim next to elephants in their natural habitat. A free-form infinity-edge pool that stretches 82 feet overlooks the stunning Serengeti plains, showcasing front-row views of a local watering hole where herds of elephants spend lazy afternoons. Relaxing sunbeds and poolside bar service complete the experience.
Hanging Gardens of Bali in Ubud
Guests can immerse themselves in nature at Hanging Gardens of Bali in Ubud, located in the heart of the Indonesian jungle. The hotel’s twin-tiered cascading infinity pool, which looks out over acres of lush rainforest on all sides, was named one of the “Best Swimming Pools in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler last year. Guests can book a “dinner at the pool” experience and eat their meal on a private floating water bale (Balinese pavilion).
Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza in Spain
At Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza in Spain, there are multiple pools from which to choose. The Eden Pool, for example, is a large freshwater pool with underwater sunbeds that were originally designed to make guests feel as if they’re swimming in the nearby sea. The Outdoor Pool, on the other hand, is located in the main stage area and includes water jets, a children’s area, an adult section with above-water fountains in the shape of a swan’s neck and lavish parties featuring acrobatic performances. There are also three river-style swim-up pools with direct access to hotel suites.
Laucala Island Resort in Fiji
At Laucala Island Resort in Fiji, one of the big attractions is the unique lagoon-style pool located in the center of the property. Flanked by palm trees and tropical, man-made islands, the pool contains an 82-foot-long glass cube for swimming laps. As for cocktails, guests can swim up to the Pool Bar, which was built to resemble a giant shell.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore
Measuring nearly 500 feet long and located 650 feet from the ground, the swimming pool on the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is the world’s largest outdoor pool at that height. Guests enjoy panoramic views of the entire city while relaxing in the infinity-edge pool, which is three times the length of an Olympic-size pool.
The Joule Hotel in Dallas
The Joule Hotel’s rooftop pool, created by renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, extends 8 feet beyond the building so that guests feel as if they’re swimming right off the edge. Heated year-round and flanked by elegant lounge chairs, the pool is outfitted with a plexiglass window that offers guests incredible views of downtown Dallas while they swim underwater.
The Library in Thailand
Known as The Red Pool, the swimming pool at The Library in Thailand features orange, yellow and deep-red mosaic tiles that reflect underneath the water’s surface. The pool is also just steps away from Koh Samui’s world-class beaches and entertainment.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur in India
At The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur in India, one of the hotel’s swimming pools is only accessible from the property’s private luxury hotel suites. Guests can step out onto their private terrace and dive into the water while taking in the majestic views of Lake Pichola and Aravalli Range.
The Raleigh Miami Beach
Named “the most beautiful pool in America” by Life magazine in 1947, The Raleigh Miami Beach’s pool reached iconic status after being featured in films starring American swimmer and actress Esther Williams. The Pool Bar is especially popular with guests, who sip on the hotel’s signature cocktails while receiving poolside massages and spa services in comfy oceanfront cabanas.
The St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet
The indoor Gold Energy Pool at The St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet is lined with thousands of tiles plated in real gold. Heated at about 82 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the pool contains therapeutic saltwater and provides guests stunning vistas of the resort’s lake.