From infinity pools that merge seamlessly with the ocean to luxurious desert oases, dive into some of the most spectacular swimming pools on earth.
Teetering above Funchal Harbor on the “Island of Eternal Spring,” the Belmond Reid’s Palace has drawn illustrious clients for more than a century, among them Winston Churchill, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Gregory Peck. Historically, the palace is best known for its afternoon tea on the terrace, which is an ideal treat before or after a dip in one of its three pools—two filled with salt water and one with fresh water.
Teetering on a limestone cliff above the white caps of Uluwatu Beach, this hotel’s centerpiece is the 50-meter pool designed to integrate seamlessly with the beauty of its natural surroundings. It makes for an unforgettable experience, whether you’re swimming, easing into asanas at a morning yoga class, or watching the sun dip into the Indian Ocean, cocktail in hand.
An iconic feature of the hotel since it opened in 1889, this saltwater swimming pool is carved out of natural basalt rock on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean. Today, this palace hotel is a part of the Oetker Collection, the hotelier group that bought the legendary property from its founder—and it’s set to reopen for the season in April 2019.
South Ari Atoll, Maldives
The Conrad on Rangali Island has two infinity pools—one a quiet zone for adults, the other for families with children. At the former, open-air tent lounges overlook the lagoon. At the latter, the expansive sweep of an anvil-shaped pool fans out onto a pristine white beach.
Embraced by black-lava landscapes, this waterfront resort on the North Kona coast counts seven pools. The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s serene Ocean Pool combines a surf sensibility with the feel of a swimming pool; carved from lava rock, it features a natural breakwater that is also home to many honu, or sea turtles. Nearby, the family-friendly Sea Shell infinity pool seems to blend right into the ocean.
Canouan Island, St. Vincent and The Grenadines
Surrounded by the area’s largest coral reefs, the Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, is one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive resorts. Everywhere you look, white sand and an ocean view awaits—from inside the infinity pool, only the parasols and water sports offer a visual cue for where the sea begins.