World's most beautiful hotel pools
(Photo: Courtesy of Katikies)
Regardless of location—a city center, a dunes-blanketed desert, or a private tropical isle—the heart of a hotel is often its swimming pool. It serves as a social ground zero, where guests can see and be seen, mingle, and relax and recharge: essential pursuits, especially in these post-holiday wintry months
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Built in the traditional Cycladic style, with white-clay walls and a maze of staircases, wood bridges, and terraces, this picturesque Greek resort sits atop a cliff overlooking an extinct volcanic caldera. Despite its intimate size, the 27-room boutique property actually boasts two pools—a small cold-water option inside a cave, as well an extraordinary cobalt blue infinity pool featuring sweeping views of the azure waters of the Aegean Sea.
(Photo: Courtesy of Ubud Hanging Gardens)
Ubud Hanging Gardens
Perched on a steep embankment next to terraced rice fields that overlook the lush Ayung river gorge, this Orient Express hotel consists of 38 Balinese-style villas that appear to float down the hillside. Just as dramatic is its split-level infinity pool, designed by the French architect Gordon Shaw. Lined with Batu Chandi volcanic stone and consisting of geometric walls of solidified volcanic ash, the striking bi-level pool is suspended over a dense rainforest, with an undulating shape that echoes the surrounding terrain.
(Photo: Courtesy of Qasr Al Sarab Resort)
Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Water is a recurring theme throughout this sprawling 206-room desert resort, from the terra-cotta jars outside the entrance (traditionally provided by locals for travelers to quench their thirst) to the tranquil stream running through the arid grounds. Not surprisingly, then, the swirling free-form pool is one of the hotel’s defining features—set among towering palm trees and otherworldly sand dunes, it is a true oasis.