Swimming pools are the perfect cool-down oasis when the summer hits, not to mention the perfect spot for entertaining. They are graceful stretches of water inviting you to cool off on a hot day and maybe even will beckon you to enjoy a cocktail or two. What’s not to love about a rooftop pool with an amazing view? And nothing will make you gasp quite like an infinity pool, trust us.
From the largest pool in the world to the most expensive to the downright unusual, we’ve traveled the world to find the most beautiful and iconic outdoor pools in the world. Trust us, just dipping your feet into some of these impressive pools is an event unto itself.
From the glittering beaches of Miami to the tropical forests of Bali these pools certainly give new meaning to the phrase “lap of luxury!”
Know of an amazing pool that’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments!
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The Raleigh Hotel Pool; Miami, Florida
Cool Fact: As one of the most beautiful pools in the world it has hosted everything from Esther William's swimming routes to the Chanel cruise collection show.
The Raleigh Hotel has been a South Beach icon since 1941, and is the epitome of the Art Deco style Miami is known for. But it is the legendary pool, with its unique shape, that is the jewel of the hotel, and will instantly take you back in time in style.
Hotel El Ganzo Pool; Los Cabos, Mexico
Cool Fact: Guests of the hotel are treated to live musical performances every night by the pool.
Perched on a marina in Cabo San Lucas's less touristy neighbor near the tip of the Baja Peninsula sits Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos, Mexico. The modern, boutique hotel is a departure from the standard cookie-cutter hotels with a fresh focus on the arts. The gorgeous rooftop infinity pool is the piece de resistance, as it looks out on the Sea of Cortez as well as flawlessly serene vistas of the marina and desert landscape down the coast.
Ralph Lauren's Double RL Ranch Pool; Telluride, Colorado
Cool Fact: Ralph Lauren's 17,000 acre ranch in Colorado is actually operational, complete with cowboys and dogs herding animals. Lauren himself even enjoys riding across the scenic expanse. The freeform pool he had installed is meant to resemble a natural pond so as not to break up the natural landscape.
Lauren chose this peaceful Colorado home as a place to get away and vacation with family. Known for his themed lifestyle collections, the home and gardens are covered in his line's western inspired furnishings. Even the pool furniture is Ralph Lauren and it all fits seamlessly into the setting. The pool is perfectly situated to reflect the scenic San Juan Mountains that also provide a picturesque view for the ranch's five teepees, seen here, all built and hand-painted by local artisans.
Katikies Hotel's Pool; Santorini, Greece
Cool Fact: The hotel walls were naturally formed from a volcanic basin.
Katikies Hotel, a charming hideaway built along a cliff surface, was deliberately designed to blend into the unique landscape that surrounds it. The pure whitewashed buildings haphazardly form across the cliffs of Santorini's famous Caldera, a naturally formed volcanic basin. The one feature we can't stop ogling is the cave pool. Pocketed between walls is this stark white serenity and refreshing pool that makes this hotel worthy of countless awards and innumerable bucket-lists.
Hanging Gardens; Ubud, Bali
Cool Fact: This world-famous swimming pool was built to work with the natural habitat that surrounds it. With its organic, freeform design, the pool was meant to echo the form of the terraced rice paddies that are such an iconic feature of the Balinese landscape.
This split level infinity pool features a geometric wall of solidified volcanic ash and is suspended high over the surrounding jungle. It appears to float in its setting causing guests to feel as if they are swimming above the treetops.
The Library Pool; Koh Samui, Thailand
Cool Fact: The blood-red effect isn't from dye the water, so there's no risk of turning red after taking a dip. The mosaic tiles of orange, yellow and deep red are what create that dazzling color.
The Library's signature red swimming pool stands out amongst the dramatic scenery of Koh Samui. Although it's hard to compete with the white sandy beach just steps aways, this pool certainly gives it a run for its money.
Villa Artemis Pool; Palm Beach, Florida
Cool Fact: The pool at Villa Artemis is probably more notable than the house it belongs to. It's been on the cover of books and photographed several times by the iconic photographer and chronicler of the jet-set, Slim Aarons. This pool is where Aarons captured his most famous image featuring the author and socialite, C.Z. Guest in 1955.
Villa Artemis was built in 1917 and has been home to a long line of aristocrats and influential businessmen. The oceanfront home in Palm Beach, specifically the pool, has been the perfect place to throw glamorous parties and gatherings throughout the decades. And of course the pool would not be complete without a regal Greek temple framed by palm trees overlooking the ocean.
Marina Sands Bay Resort Pool; Singapore
Cool Fact: The resort this pool is housed in is the most expensive building in the world coming in at a staggering $6 billion dollars to complete.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel is an architectural marvel all its own. The luxury resort is compromised of over 2,000 rooms and suites, restaurants, a nightclub, a shopping mall, casinos, a museum, and more. The luxury resort's most impressive addition though has to be its infinity edge swimming pool in the Skypark resting on the top floor. The enormous pool may not be ideal for those afraid of heights, but the incredible view of the city skyline makes it worth a visit.
Oberoi Udaivilas Pool; Udaipur, India
Cool Fact: The pool acts as a moat to the palace and a semi-private pool for each room.
Found in the heart of Rajasthan, India is a city of majestic palaces and lakes. Built to resemble a traditional moated Indian palace, the Oberoi Udaivilas captures the romance and splendor of a royal era. The hotel's jaw-dropping pool is certainly built for a king.
Cynthia Rowley's Manhattan Townhouse Pool; New York, New York
Cool Fact: It's rare to have a backyard in Manhattan, let alone a modern lap pool.
This elongated pool allows for designer Cynthia Rowley to still have plenty of space in the backyard of her Manhattan townhouse. Known for her whimsical-yet-sophisticated style, she decorated the backyard with midcentury chaise lounges and hydrangeas to surround the minimalistic pool. It's a perfect retreat for those balmy New York City summers right at home.
Amangiri Resort Pool; Canyon Point, Utah
Cool Fact: Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt love the seclusion of this desert resort and it pool.
Instead of fighting the landscape, the architects behind this resort used the setting to their advantage, curving the pool around a dramatic rock escarpment. The resort, Amangiri, meaning "peaceful mountain", fully lives up to its name in the great expanse of the desert. While lounging on one of the king-size daybeds by the pool guests can feel "away from everything" while being treated to indescribable views of the southwest everywhere they look
Bondi Icebergs Pool; Sydney, Australia
Cool Fact: This private club owes its origins to the desire of a band of dedicated local lifesavers in 1929 who wanted to maintain their fitness during the winter months.
The Tasman Sea waves have crashed against—and into—the Bondi Baths for over a century. Because of its solid concrete construction the pool is always slightly colder than the ocean, even though it uses the same water. The Olympic-sized pool is accessible all year round and for casual visitors who favor summertime dips, when the water is warmer. Upon emerging from the striking shoreside pool, bathers enjoy the amenities of its modernist, beachy clubhouse that includes a gourmet bistro, two bars, fitness facilities, and a sun deck.
San Alfonso del Mar Resort Pool; Algarrobo, Chile
Cool Fact: Covering an area of 20 acres, the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort currently holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's largest pool.
San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort west of Santiago. With so much space, the pool features several amentities including a climate controlled beach and an outdoor spa. Guests can even take out a kayak or take sailing lessons right in the pool. Apart from its large size, the pool is also made up of ocean water with the help of a new filtration technology, so the pool still has the transparency and intense turquoise color of the seas.
Dhara Devi Chiang Mai Pool; Chiang Mai, Thailand
Cool Fact: This luxury resort is actually a recreated Thai kingdom. It draws heavily on the architectural and cultural influences of the historic Lanna kingdom in a beautiful setting (pool included).
The Dhara Devi Chiang Mai gives guests a traditional northern Thai experience in the picturesque and secluded countryside of Thailand. The highlight of the resort is undoubtedly the large Colonial Pool, made with patterened mosaic tiles and housed beneath carved pagoda-like Burmese chedis.
Ohla Hotel Pool; Barcelona, Spain
Cool Fact: The hotel is located on the former site of the palace of the first Count of Barcelona, and the pool sits pretty on the roof.
Overlooking the heart of Barcelona, the most emblematic sights of the city can be seen from this rooftop pool. Just steps from the Gothic quarter, the quirky-chic hotel opened as an alternative to the old Catalan accommodations typical of the ancient city. The avant-garde design of the pool contrasts with the neoclassical facade of the building and those surrounding it.
Hearst Castle's Neptune Pool; San Simeon, California
Cool Fact: Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and other legendary figures have splashed in the outdoor Neptune Pool, where a special ramp was installed to allow easy access for the pet dachshund of Hearst's lover, Marion Davies.
The newspaper magnate who inspired "Citizen Kane," William Randolph Hearst, built two spectacular Roman-inspired pools at his fairytale castle along the hills of the Pacific coast. Today the Neptune pool is a highlight of tours around the property—though swimming is only allowed on special occassions.
Franca Sozzani's Pool; Marrakech, Morocco
Cool Fact: This pool belongs to the high priestess of fashion, Franca Sozzani, the Editor of Italian Vogue.
Look at Franca Sozzani's Marrakesh pool, and its clear this woman knows a thing or two about style. This courtyard pool is really something else with tiles placed in a an exotic, psychadelic pattern. Her hideaway in Marrakech is truly a feast for the eyes and the imagination. Now if only we would be invited over for a dip.
Glenwood Hot Springs; Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Cool Fact: The hot springs were first used by Native Americans who discovered their healing waters. By the early 19th century it became the world's largest hot springs swimming pool and remains so today.
The mountain destination, located between Aspen and Vail, is one of Colorado's most popular attractions. Its coveted springs treat aggravated joints and dehydrated skin with all-natural, therapeutic minerals. While soothing their muscles in the warm waters, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the Rockies.
Casa Casuarina's Pool; Miami Beach, Florida
Cool Fact: Casa Casuarina or as it was formerly known, The Versace Mansion, was home to the late Gianni Versace. The elaborate home and gardens are still decorated as the fashion designer had envisioned them.
Casa Casuarina sits on the waterfront on Ocean Drive in bustling Miami Beach. After becoming a luxury hotel, tourists and celebrities alike have been flocking to the mansion in awe of its grandeur. Versace treated his home as a piece of art and the gardens were no exception. The mosaic garden features the Versace symbol, or the head of Medusa. The pool itself is also decorated with mosaic tiling and lined with 24 karat gold.
Calvin Klein's Home Pool; Miami, Florida
Cool Fact: Once he retired from his namesake label, Calvin Klein was able to put most of his efforts towards renovating his home on prime Miami real estate.
Klein's name is synonymous with minimalist chic and his style is certainly reflected in his Miami retreat. Similar to his designs, the fashion icon kept the pool simple yet sophisticated. Its organic feel provides harmony with the surroundings. Shaded by bamboo trees and overlooking the bay, this is truly a cooling escape from Miami's fierce sun and humidity.
The Blue Lagoon; Grindavik, Iceland
Cool Fact: The warm waters of this geothermal spa located in a lava field are rich in minerals and have a healing effect on the skin. The Lagoon is reputed to help some people with skin diseases such as psoriasis.
This man-made lagoon is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, which isn't exactly surprising considering the healing waters and incredible landscape. In addition the lagoon boasts spa treatments, a swim up bar, and several restuarants.
Cal-Neva Resort Pool; Lake Tahoe, California
Cool Fact: Hollywood royalty like Marilyn Monroe and co-owner of the lodge Frank Sinatra socialized under the umbrellas of this pool.
Nestled on the rocky north shore of Lake Tahoe, the Cal-Neva Resort was best known as a mobster and celebrity getaway in the 1950s. Today, it has been reopened as a resort and spa. Stories and memorabilia are the only things remaining of the lodge's notorious past. Another cool fact is that the pool sits directly on top of the Nevada and California border, giving the hotel it's name. The clever pool design lets so you know which state you're swimming over at any given moment.
Disney's All-Star Music Resort Pool; Orlando, Florida
Cool Fact: The Calypso pool at Disney's All-Star Music Resort is one of the very few guitar-shaped pools in the world. The resort also has a piano-shaped pool on the property.
Disney's All-Star Music Resort pays homage to some of the world's most popular music genres. At the Calypso pool, fans of the Disney classic "Three Caballeros" will recognize Jose, Panchito and of course, Donald Duck, on the fountain in the center of the pool. The three characters playfully shoot water at guests as they swim by. Giant bongos and maracas line the pool to add to the charming musical theme. And Disney movies are screened there nightly.
John Sowden House Pool; Los Angeles, California
Cool Fact: The home and gardens were designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of one of America's greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lloyd Wright built this house for his friend and photographer John Sowden in 1926, who had a love for the theatrical. The dramatic mansion's architecture pays homage to the pyramids of ancient Mayan temples. The pool and jacuzzi were updated during a recent renovation of the house giving it a sleek, modern edge. After the renovation the pool became a favored location spot for films and TV such as Martin Scorcese's "Aviator" and episodes of "America's Next Top Model."
Thaddaeus Ropac's Villa Emslieb Pool; Salzburg, Austria
Cool Fact: This may be the one pool on our list that can also double as a modern art museum. The pool was designed by the Swiss contemporary pop artist, Sylvie Fleury. The bottom tiles spell out her trademark slogan "Be Amazing," commenting on commercial industry mottos targeted at women.
At the end of this pool stands a white bronze "Miffy Fountain" by Tom Sachs looking over Sylvie Fleury's black granite swimming pool. Thaddaeus Ropac himself is an acclaimed Austrian art dealer and owns several galleries in Europe. When he bought this Baroque 17th-century Austrian manor he knew it would make the perfect backdrop for his modern art collection.