Photo credit: Simon Rae / Unsplash (cropped)
Splash into the Coolest Pools Around the World
May 6, 2019
Nothing screams summer quite like a day at the pool. Whether you’re the next Michael Phelps or more of the “nap in a lounge chair” type, there’s something supremely relaxing and refreshing about cool blue water, hot sun, a good book, and a cold drink. If you’re looking for some next-level pool vibes to kick your summer into high gear, we’ve got you covered. Grab your bathing suit, towel, and sunglasses—we’re going on a tour of eight incredible pools around the world!
Barton Springs Pool
We’ll kick off our list with a laid-back neighborhood pool that has some truly remarkable features. Located in Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is an Austin landmark. For a very reasonable $9 admission fee, you can splash into three acres of pristine pool fed by natural underground springs, which keep the water at a temperate 68-70 degrees year-round. Bring along a blanket and a book to lounge on the surrounding lawn with Austin locals. A word of warning for out-of-towners: the pool is closed every Thursday from 9AM to 7PM for cleaning.
Park Hyatt Sky Pool
Tokyo’s luxe Park Hyatt hotel is best known for its starring role in Lost in Translation, but this five-star property is also home to a sky-high pool with unreal city views. Located on the hotel’s 47th floor, the 65-foot pool is surrounded by enormous glass windows that make the most of its lofty location. Pull up a deck chair, grab a cocktail, and take in views of the Tokyo skyline—and its Technicolor lights after dark. On a clear day, you can even spot Mt. Fuji’s snowy peak in the distance.
A Sydney landmark for nearly a century, the Bondi Baths are an essential stop on any trip Down Under. The saltwater pool, which juts out dramatically into the crashing surf of Bondi Beach, is open to the public at an admission price of just $8, which is a steal considering the world-class views you’ll find as you peek over the edge. Along with the 50-meter lap pool, there’s a smaller pool for kids and a sauna to enjoy before or after a swim. Fun fact: the Bondi Baths were established in 1929 by the Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club, which still calls the pool home today.
One&Only Reethi Rah
Picture this: a hot tub, inside an infinity pool, in the ocean. Mind blown? You can experience this pool for yourself at One&Only Reethi Rah, a super-luxe tropical resort in the remote Maldives. The resort’s “Serenity” pool offers up panoramic views of the crystalline Indian Ocean—and when you’re ready, you can dive right in! P.S. The other amenities at Reethi Rah, like private oceanfront villas, pristine beaches, and a world-class spa, aren’t so shabby, either.
If you’re looking for the hottest pool experience in the world, then the Blue Lagoon might be your dream destination. This geothermal spa has gained a reputation as an essential stop on any trip to Iceland thanks to its warm, healing waters. (The temperature stays at a comfortable 99-102 degrees year round.) The water gets its unusual, opaque blue color from an abundance of minerals and algae, which are derived from the lava beds below the lagoon. While you’re splashing around, treat yourself to DIY spa treatment with the lagoon’s silica-rich white mud, which is great for soothing and exfoliating the skin. Looking for a more exclusive experience? Check into the recently opened Retreat Hotel, which offers minimalist suites with private lagoon access.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The title of “Most Unexpected Pool View in the World” might just go to the Four Seasons Safari Lodge, located in the heart of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Why? Because the resort’s pristine infinity pool boasts up-close and personal glimpses of Africa’s most incredible wildlife. The pool overlooks an active watering hole where elephants regularly congregate for a drink. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few other members of Africa’s iconic “big five,” like leopards, lions, buffalo, and rhinoceros. If you’re ever inclined to leave your front-row seat at the pool, this luxurious resort also offers game drives and hot air balloon rides so you can soar over the Serengeti.
Havasu Falls Natural Pool
If you brave the desert heat to visit Havasu Falls Natural Pool, you’ll certainly earn a swim in its dazzling turquoise waters. Framed by red rocks and fed by a waterfall, this incredible swimming hole tucked inside the Grand Canyon is accessible by permit only. Arizona’s Havasupai tribe, who call the falls and surrounding lands home, grants a limited number of permits to visitors each year. A permit costs around $100, but that price gets you a once-in-a-lifetime swim in almost total seclusion. The pool at the base of the falls is around four to five feet deep in most places, and stays at a refreshing 70 degrees during even the hottest weather. Before or after your hike to the falls, drop by the tiny town of Supai and send a postcard—it’s home to the only post office in the United States that still delivers mail via horse!
The Cambrian Hotel
Last on our list is a European pool with breathtaking views—and an altitude to match! Located in the Swiss village of Adelboden, The Cambrian Hotel boasts a gorgeous infinity pool perched at 4,429 feet in the heart of the Swiss Alps. While the summertime views of lush Alpine meadows are stunning, we think the best season to visit the pool is winter. It’s heated for year-round comfort, so you can swim out and look over the surrounding snow-capped peaks after a day of skiing on the nearby slopes.
Whether you’re headed to one of these incredible destinations or planning to post up at your backyard pool this summer, snap a splashy shot wearing your favorite shades and tag it with #SUMMERKNOCKS for a chance to be featured in our feed.
Written by Caroline Lees for Knockaround.