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Lounging poolside takes on a different dimension when the swimming spot in question is lined with gold or hangs over the edge of a 55-storey building.
These nine spectacular hotel pools give a whole new meaning to the term “water feature".
The hotel world was aflutter when news emerged that flamboyant fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was to be involved in the outfitting of the Sofitel Singapore.
Could the quirkily dressed German raise the stakes on his previous foray into the hospitality world: a French hotel room made entirely of chocolate?
Well, his rooftop infinity pool at the Singapore hotel, which opened this year, is not only lined with gold-leaf-coated tiles but surrounded by glittering skyscrapers – so half the population of the city state can watch you doing laps in luxury.
sofitel.com; book hotels in Singapore
t’s the ornate roof that sets the top-floor swimming pool in this desert-city hotel apart.
Traditional Arabic architecture inspired the team behind the canopy’s latticework-like design.
A word of warning: pick your sun lounger carefully if you don’t want to end up with the canopy pattern tanned on to your skin. Oh, well: at least people will know where you’ve been staying.
viceroyhotelsandresorts.com; book hotels in Abu Dhabi
If you like the idea of open-water swimming but don’t like mud, weeds and things nibbling at your toes, this pool on gorgeous Lake Como looks like an ideal solution.
The so-called Wateronwater pool is exactly that: a wooden-deck-bounded rectangle of sparkling pool water floating within the much vaster – and unfiltered – Italian lake.
grandhoteltremezzo.com; book hotels on Lake Como
The Tropical Sea pool at this German resort justifies its name. At 140 metres at its longest point and a surface area of 4,400 square metres, it’s definitely more like a sea than your average tidgy suburban British swimming pool. It even has a sandy beach.
One of the world’s largest indoor pools is, predictably enough, housed in the world’s biggest freestanding structure – a former aircraft hangar – which also contains the world’s vastest indoor forest.
tropical-islands.de/en/; find flights to Germany
Reopening earlier this year as a deluxe hotel, this former mansion belonging to the late Gianni Versace includes a pool crafted by the designer that goes a little further than Karl Lagerfeld’s efforts above. The 16-metre-long creation within the grounds of the 10-suite villa is lined with 24-carat gold tiles.
And no, it’s not called the “Bling Bath”. It’s the Thousand Mosaic Pool.
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This 150-metre-long pool is located 55 storeys, or 198 metres, above ground level, at the top of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands resort.
Spanning the building’s three towers, the world’s largest elevated pool contains 376,000 gallons of water.
The pool, and the Skypark surrounding it, were hoisted into space, piece by piece, with cranes normally used for bridge construction.
marinabaysands.com; find hotels in Singapore
Threadbare bikinis and faded swimming trunks have no place at this New York hotel, where the swimming pool – located between the hotel’s north and south towers – has transparent sections allowing swimmers to gaze down into the lobby below and others to peer at the guests gliding through the waters above.
dreamhotels.com; find hotels in New York
Another pool that gives swimmers a bird’s eye view – if that’s the right description – of life below is the Holiday Inn’s glass-bottomed pool in Shanghai.
The difference here is that the 30-metre-long pool protrudes out from the building, overhanging the street.
Never fear, though: it’s on the 24th floor, so any gawkers will be too far away to critique your swimsuit choice.
ihg.com/holidayinn; find hotels in Shanghai
Swim-up bars? Passé!
This tranquil pool, with 360-degree views of the surrounding Thai islands, is actually wrapped around the beanbag-bedecked bar known as Baba Nest.
Head here for a sunset cocktail and unbeatable views over the Andaman sea.
sripanwa.com; find hotels in Thailand