Here is a list of some the world’s most impressive swimming pools, designed, with great detail, to bring pleasure and joy, relaxation and wonder, and in some cases, an air of otherworldly fantasy. Some belong to private homes or resorts; others are always open to the general public. But they all share a high degree of uniqueness, excellence and magnificence.
Gellert Thermal Baths
Gellert Thermal Baths are the world’s most famous public baths open to the public. Located in Budapest, one of the most beautiful and historical cities of eastern Europe, these hot springs were inaugurated in 1918 inside the legendary Gellert Hotel. Considered a landmark and part of the rich Hungarian cultural heritage, they are cared for with the utmost attention and still work perfectly after all these years. The baths were built in glorious art nouveau style in the midst of the Belle Époque. Over 100 hot water springs feed this pool of enormous proportions. The supply of hot mineral water, rich in calcium, hydrogen, sodium and fluoride ions, comes from underground springs running through the Gellert hill.
Zodiac Pool at the Umaid Bhawan Palace
When the Umaid Bhawan Palace was completed in 1943, it became the world’s largest private residence with 347 rooms. Years later, a section of the palace was converted into a luxury hotel, where guests can live like royalty. A mansion of such magnitude and beauty had to have a pool worthy of its elegance. Engineers and designers set out to build a sumptuous wonder in the heart of the Zodiac building, next to the Taj Jiva Spa. The circular art deco pool features glittering golden tiles with the twelve signs of the zodiac painted on the bottom. This beautiful pond is a unique haven of peace and serenity.
The Infinity Pool at SkyPark
Marina Bay Sands Resort, Singapore
Swimming on top of the world is possible in one of the most amazing pools built by man. It extends over three towers, 57 floors above the most luxurious hotel in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, and it is considered the largest infinity pool in the world. The renowned Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie designed this engineering marvel, which offers breathtaking views of the city and its skyscrapers from the hotel’s exclusive rooftop, 820 feet above the city. This infinity pool has a capacity of 317,000 gallons of water and a 500-foot invisible edge. Surrounded by a beautiful garden and palm trees, it feels like an oasis reaching towards the sky.
San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
The most ambitious, innovative and successful real estate project in Chile features, as its main attraction, an artificial lake that holds the Guinness record as the world’s largest crystalline water pool. The artificial lake at San Alfonso del Mar is a mile long with an area of 861,000 square feet and capacity for 66 million gallons of water. In addition to its large size, the lagoon is equipped with advanced technology that allows it to draw water from the ocean and keep it in perfect condition: transparent and with the intense turquoise color of tropical seas. But this is not all; the pool keeps a pleasant summer temperature of 78 degrees, nine degrees warmer than the temperature of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. This amazing pool has turned San Alfonso del Mar into a landmark holiday destination, where guests are able to achieve what seemed to be impossible: swimming in the warm waters of the Caribbean while vacationing on the central coast of Chile.
Pool at the Hotel Ubud Hanging Gardens
The Ubud Hanging Gardens Hotel literally hangs above a glorious valley in the middle of a tropical jungle, in the central part of the beautiful island of Bali, about 20 minutes from the charming Balinese village of Ubud. Guests of this exclusive resort can opt for either of the two exotic pools located around the lush rainforest gardens. They can take a walk trough the valley and swim in the top pool, with beautiful vistas that extend towards the horizon, or take a dip in the striking lower pool, located among eye-catching gardens and terraces. Both experiences promise to be unique and magical. ■