The 13 Coolest Hotel Pools in the World

These hotel pools around the globe are worth building a trip around.

Aerial view of Capella Ubud's main pool, with palm trees around it

The Capella Ubud’s main pool is tucked away in the rainforest.

Courtesy of Capella Ubud

For many people, just imagining the sparkling turquoise waters of a swimming pool can evoke memories of summer and freedom. But nothing beats a hotel swimming pool, where taking dips and doing laps can happen anytime between superlative meals and luxurious sleeps. As our team of well-traveled editors and writers can attest, not every hotel pool is made equally. The best of them stand out for many reasons—be it for their handsome design, their sublime setting, or sometimes their ability to bring us even closer to nature. With travel inspiration in mind, we’ve created a list of top hotel pools for swimmers, floaters, and bathers of every age.

The Silo Hotel

The rooftop pool at the Silo Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, with views of Table Mountain and Lion's Head peak

The rooftop pool at the Silo Hotel in Cape Town offers views out over Table Mountain and Lion’s Head peak.

Courtesy of the Silo Hotel

  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Book now

In 2017, when a century-old grain silo on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront reemerged from a renovation as the Silo Hotel, it immediately became one of the city’s most coveted luxury retreats. The team that transformed it: British architect Thomas Heatherwick and South African designer Liz Biden, owner of the Royal Portfolio, a collection of South African hotels and lodges to which the Silo belongs. The design-forward boutique hotel features 28 individually designed suites with gilt mirrors, contemporary African artwork, and crystal chandeliers that hover over freestanding bathtubs. The renovation included the addition of a saltwater pool, 184 feet above the city on the 11th floor. The panoramas from the T-shaped, glass-sided pool encompass Table Mountain, Lion’s Head peak, and the harbor. It’s hard to imagine a more scenic spot in the Mother City, especially on warm summer days while floating on a stylish striped float pillow.

Como Laucala Island

Laucala Island features both a lagoon pool and a raised pool with glass walls; palm trees surround both.

Laucala Island features both a lagoon pool and a raised pool with glass walls.

Courtesy of Laucala Island

The 25 villas of Como Laucala Island, scattered on sand, hilltops, and over water on a private island in Fiji, are private sanctuaries that feature furniture made from natural rattan, thatch, and wood and their own private swimming pools. The spot most likely to lure guests out of their beyond-luxurious accommodations is the resort’s 82-foot lap pool. Long and linear, the raised pool has a glass wall at one end that offers views of green vegetation on the resort grounds and the ocean beyond it. The daybeds and cabanas, plus a pool bar with island cocktails and healthy juices, are an enticing setup that will beckon guests to linger there all day.

Capella Ubud

Capella Ubud's main pool is surrounded by the green Balinese jungle.

Capella Ubud’s main pool is surrounded by the green Balinese jungle.

Courtesy of Capella Ubud

Located north of Ubud in the village of Keliki, Capella Ubud was designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, who aimed to protect the surrounding forest by designing stilted tents to minimize the resort’s footprint. Each accommodation is fitted with floral and graphical Indonesian textiles, antiques from Southeast Asia, and trunk-style minibars. That eco-sensitive, high-design ethos continues in the saltwater Cistern pool, a 62-by-21-foot behemoth fashioned out of marine-grade steel plates featuring a striking zigzag motif. And each of the 23 accommodations also has its own private pool for when you get tired of seeing other guests. On the rain forest–facing wooden pool deck, the Mortar and Pestle Bar uses its namesake tool with a manual ice crusher to create Bali-inspired cocktails.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

An infinity pool surrounded by windows with the tops of tall buildings outside

From the 57th floor, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the Philly skyline.

Christian Horan Photography

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Book now

Philadelphia has been in the midst of a years-long creative and culinary renaissance. We didn’t need another reason to adore the City of Brotherly Love, but it came in the form of this splashy luxury property, which opened in 2019. The Four Seasons Philadelphia occupies the top 12 floors of the Comcast Technology Center—the city’s tallest building, at 1,121 feet. The best view in the house might be from the 57th-floor infinity-edge pool, which looks out over the skyline and shares the space with a sauna, a steam room, and an ice fountain. Launchign this summer is a program called Swim Under the Stars, which lets groups rent out the pool from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., and champagne, caviar, blinis, face masks, pool floats, and twinkling LED candles are included. With the rest of the city lights beneath you, it almost feels like you’re floating over the city skyline.

Jack’s Camp

A swimming pool under a tent with the savanna outside

From the lounge chairs around the tented pool at Jack’s Camp, you can often see migrating zebras and wildebeests.

Courtesy of Jack’s Camp

  • Location: Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
  • Book now

One of the most dramatic camps in Botswana, this member of Natural Selection safaris takes its visual cues from the 1940s campaign style, with all spaces—from suites to dining areas and a natural history museum—housed under elegant bedouin-style tents. Recently renovated in 2021, Jack’s Camp sits at the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remnants of an ancient lake that was larger than Switzerland. Here, you can encounter not only the usual suspects (like zebras and ostriches) but also elusive brown hyenas, aardvarks, and even habituated meerkats, which have been known to climb on visitors’ heads to get a better vantage point. Each of the nine tents comes with a private veranda and a plunge pool, but the most relaxing spot in the camp—especially after you get back from a dusty game drive, quad bike ride, or bushman walk—is the tented pool pavilion, the only one of its kind in Africa. Under billowing red fabric, from the water or the surrounding cushioned loungers, you can often get a front-row view of the second-largest zebra and wildebeest migration in the world.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

A group of people wading in Four Seasons Resort Hualalai's swimmable King's Pond, which is also a marine reserve

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s swimmable King’s Pond is also a marine reserve.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

  • Location: Island of Hawai‘i, USA
  • Book now

On the Kona-Kohala coast of the Island of Hawai‘i, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is a sprawling 800-acre resort with 249 rooms and suites with beds fashioned out of Hawaiian textiles and bamboo, dark wood shutters, marble bathrooms, and lava-rock outdoor showers. On property, King’s Pond is so much more than a swimming pool: It doubles as marine reserve of 1.8 million gallons of brackish water with some thousand fish, plus a resident spotted eagle ray named Kainalu. Guests can swim in the semi-natural pool, which was carved out of lava rock with a sandy bottom. Those curious to learn more about the marine life at King’s Pool and beyond can tap one of the resort’s five resident marine biologists, who lead daily fish feedings, junior marine biologist experiences, family canoe rides, snorkel safaris, and more.

One&Only Mandarina

One& Only Mandarina's Alma pool is flanked by daybeds and hovers 187 feet above the ocean.

One& Only Mandarina’s Alma pool hovers 187 feet above the ocean.

Courtesy of One&Only Mandarina

  • Location: Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
  • Book now

All of the 105 wooden tree houses and villas at One&Only Mandarina, an 88-acre resort along the Pacific Ocean, feature private infinity pools surrounded by massive higuera blanca trees, silver-trunked papelillo trees, and waving palms that reflect in the water with a magical effect. Surrounded by the same rugged topography, the resort’s Alma pool hovers 187 feet above sea level and is made up of two long cantilevered lap pools positioned in a right angle—one jutting into the jungle, the other ending above the ocean. There, servers make the rounds with treats such as iced shots of ginger piñada (a spin on a piña colada), cauliflower ceviche, and fruit paletas and sorbets. Perhaps even more relaxing is the adults-only, 89-foot-long Carao pool, which sits on a secluded spot above the resort’s swimmable beach and offers ocean panoramas.

The Lafayette Hotel and Club

A rectangular pool with black-and-white tiles and pink ladders, lined with lounge chairs under palm trees and fringed umbrellas

Grab a spritz from the bar before lounging by this Johnny Weissmuller–designed swimming pool.

Photo by Haley Hill

Originally opened in 1946, this colonial-style hotel became a magnet for film icons like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Katharine Hepburn, and even its pool has an Old Hollywood connection: It was designed by Tarzan star and Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. It’s technically a few inches shy of official “Olympic-sized” qualifications, but that didn’t stop long-distance swimmer Florence Chadwick from using it to train for her journey across the English Channel. Last summer, the hotel reopened after a complete overhaul, but the pool still retains its maximalist period glamour. Expect chic black-and-white tiles, flamingo-pink ladders, and a deck with green leopard-print loungers under fringed umbrellas. Rapper-producer Swizz Beatz curated the soundtrack, and the Pool Bar—which is meant to evoke the Amalfi Coast in the 1980s—serves spritzes and tropical cocktails. Non-guests can book a full day of swimming for $20 on weekdays or $46 on weekends.


Amanera's main pool, with deck and hotel in background

The main pool at Amanera in the Dominican Republic.

Courtesy of Amanera

  • Location: Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
  • Book now

On the secluded Playa Grande Beach on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Amanera exudes calm. The resort is composed of 25 chic casitas—15 of them with private pools of their own—that abut the rain forest and Cordillera Septentrional Mountain Range. One of the best places to take it all in is at the 131-foot heated swimming pool, where a curving infinity edge seems to disappear into the sandy bay and blue Atlantic Ocean beneath it. The navy sun beds lining the pool are never crowded, making it a serene place to spend an entire day. Order a catch of the day ceviche and an Aperol-tinged La Casita and then roll right into the rum-centric bar as the sun dips low in the sky.

Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection

The cliffside pool at white Grace Hotel in Santorini, Greece, with views of the Aegean Sea

The pool at Grace Hotel in Santorini, Greece

Courtesy of Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection

It’s not uncommon to find a scenic plunge pool tucked into Santorini’s perennially popular cliffside resorts, but the 76-foot infinity pool at Grace Hotel stands apart with its striking design and thoughtful hospitality. With a long geometric shape that riffs off the angles of the whitewashed island, Grace’s main pool is the largest in Imerovigli, the tony village where it’s located. It’s heated to a pleasant 73 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an enjoyable spot from which to take in the famous Santorini caldera and the cobalt Aegean Sea. It’s serviced around the clock by the staff of 363 Bar and Varoulko Santorini; chef Lefteris Lazarou of the Michelin-starred Varoulko Seaside restaurant in Athens uses the freshest seafood and local grains and herbs. Although the stark white and aquamarine pool is the heart of the hotel, the 20 suites and one two-bedroom villa—19 have their own plunge pools—are mini oases unto themselves.

Tierra Patagonia

The glass-encased pool area at Tierra Patagonia, with snowy mountains in distance

The glass-encased pool area at Tierra Patagonia allows for easy wildlife spotting.

Courtesy of Tierra Patagonia

  • Location: Torres del Paine, Chile
  • Book now

There are views and then there are Views—and Tierra Patagonia, with its panoramic displays of the region’s snow-capped mountains and Lake Sarmiento—features the latter. Chilean architect Cazú Zegers is behind this 40-room low-rise hotel, indoor pool included. She designed it to be so in tune with the adjacent Torres del Paine National Park that wandering wildlife—pumas, guanacos, armadillos, foxes, and ostrich-like rheas—often pass by without giving the lodge much notice. You might catch some of these residents from the 49-by-10-foot indoor pool; it’s surrounded by warm wood columns and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the mountain range and the occasional flying condor. The pool is kept at a balmy 97 degrees to keep things cozy on frequently chilly days; spa-like touches include jets and water cascades at one end. For those who wish to get closer to the winds gusting in from the Great Southern Ice Field, take a dip in the outdoor hot tub next to the pool, which is protected from the elements by short panes of glass.

The Crocodile Hunter Lodge

Left: A pool at nighttime with trees in the background and a crocodile mosaic on the bottom. Right: A pool in daytime, lined with lounge chairs and umbrellas, with a crocodile mosaic at the bottom

Night or day, the Billabong pool at Crocodile Hunter Lodge is a great place to spot rescue wildlife—but beware of the mosaic crocodiles lurking below the surface.

Courtesy of Crocodile Hunter Lodge

  • Location: Beerwah, Queensland, Australia
  • Book now

For travelers of a certain generation, Australian wildlife is synonymous with the late conservationist Steve Irwin. Not far from the Australia Zoo, where he and his family built a reptilian empire, the Irwin family debuted this new lodge in 2022, and it’s filled with nods to the Crocodile Hunter’s history and mission: Public spaces, for instance, are built using upcycled timber taken from the original croc-show grandstands, while native trees and nesting boxes provide habitat for possums, bats, and kookaburras. One of the best places on the property to see wildlife is from the 82-foot infinity pool, the Billabong, which looks out over a paddock that’s home to resident emus and kangaroos, many of which were rescued during the destructive 2020 bushfires. The pool hides a fun surprise on its floor: a glass mosaic of two crocodiles, based on photographs taken by Steve’s son, Robert.

Bürgenstock Resort

An infinity pool after sunset with built-in seating and jets shooting water like faucets, with a view out over an enormous lake

There may be no better view of Lake Lucerne than from the infinity pool at Bürgenstock Resort.

Courtesy of Bürgenstock Resort

Some 1,600 feet above Lake Lucerne’s frigid waters, steam rises from an infinity pool kept at a more soak-friendly 95 degrees. Its sweeping view of the Swiss countryside commands so much attention that personal photography (and children) have been limited to two sessions per day since its 2017 debut. The rules attempt to preserve a Hollywood-caliber sense of removal, a vibe that brought Sean Connery to the resort while he filmed Goldfinger, and Audrey Hepburn for her first wedding. While a historic cherry-red funicular and the nearby Hammetschwand Lift draw sightseers to Bürgenstock daily, few vistas of the foot of the Alps can challenge the view from the pool edge.

Additional reporting by Allison Williams. This story was originally published in 2023. It was most recently updated on June 11, 2024, to include current information.

Kathryn Romeyn is a Bali-based journalist and devoted explorer of culture, nature and design, especially throughout Asia and Africa—always with her toddler in tow.
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