Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
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This venerable hotel on the French Riviera was a mansion owned by the fantastically named Hippolyte de Villemessant, founder of Le Figaro newspaper, before it opened as a hotel in 1870. Lost Generation writers such as Ernest Hemingway made it their French headquarters, while F. Scott Fitzgerald immortalised it as the Hôtel des Étrangers in Tender Is the Night. The arresting infinity-edge pool was created in 1914, carved into a cliff overlooking Cannes Bay and the Lérins Islands.
Amangiri, Utah, United States
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Among the endless canyons of America’s Southwest, Amangiri’s pool makes the most of the resort’s dramatic setting: 328 hectares of millennia-old rock formations. After a day of horseriding in Monument Valley or viewing the rugged beauty of the region by small plane, the gorgeous pool is heaven-sent.
The Bellagio, Las Vegas, United States
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Las Vegas’s luxurious casino hotel was modelled on the grand Italian town of Bellagio by Lake Como. While Vegas isn’t exactly known for its elegance, this hotel – with its Michelin-starred restaurants, botanic garden and fountain show – is certainly arresting. Italianate stone fountains and citrus trees surround the opulent pool area, while the cabanas by the two mosaic-tiled lap pools and three smaller pools are attended by roaming massage therapists.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
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The infinity pool at this island idyll really does seem to go on forever, blending into the Indian Ocean and reflecting the wispy white clouds. From the 500-metre bridge that connects the two islands that make up the resort, visitors can view manta rays dancing in the clear sea below. Better yet, one island is family-friendly with a pool just for kids. The other has a lounge bar next to the infinity pool, a designated “quiet zone”.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia
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Each villa has its own private pool and a sunny terrace that melds the indoor and outdoor spaces. Guests can pad from the bed to the pool and slip into its delicious coolness at any time of day.
Grace Santorini, Greece
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Eschew the crowds watching the sunset in Fira and instead watch the spectacle from the beautiful rooftop pool at Grace Santorini. In shades of white and blue, the pool – the largest infinity pool on the island – echoes the whitewashed houses and azure-domed churches of Santorini. The views of the Aegean offer yet more blue.
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Ubud, Indonesia
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Hidden among rice paddies and tiny villages in the hills of Ubud, this resort has the most unique pool in Bali. A split-level design means that one part overlooks the other and both have views of the lush, dense jungle surrounds – so you feel as if you’re swimming above the treetops.
Hyatt Zilara Cancún, Mexico
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Located between the hotel and beach, the pool at Hyatt Zilara Cancún is divided by a footbridge. Thanks to the swim-up bar, there’s no need to leave the pool’s cool caress for a Margarita – at least until your fingers start pruning. At the surrounding cabanas, waiters make their rounds, offering useful services such as sunglass polishing and reading materials.
Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol, Austria
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Even if your visit to this glamorous hotel happens to fall in the dead of an icy Austrian winter, don’t neglect to pack your swimmers. Submerged in the heated water with steam swirling in the air, swimmers can admire the stunning snow-capped alpine surrounds.
Jumeirah Living World Trade Centre Residence, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Like most things in Dubai, the pool at Jumeirah is big, bold and up high. The best part? You can glimpse the twinkling lights of the city skyline between laps.
L’Horizon Palm Springs, United States
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Minutes from downtown Palm Springs, this boutique resort offers cool, Mid-century Modern surrounds. White pavilions and sunlounges flank the asymmetric pool, which was built in 1952 at the same time as the rest of the hotel. Wandering therapists administer complimentary foot and shoulder massages.
Laucala Island, Fiji
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At the no-shoes bar beside the tranquil, 2000-square-metre lagoon-style swimming pool, the staff make guests fresh coconut water, fruit juices and vitamin shots. The meandering pool is dotted with islands and extends all the way down to the beach.
Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy
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High in the cliffs of Positano, shaded by lemon trees and watched over by two mosaic mermaids, the pool at this family-owned boutique hotel is surely one of the world’s prettiest.
Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan
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This elaborate hotel has an equally opulent 20-metre pool, with a beautifully tiled bottom, plus luxurious cabanas and shaded sunbeds in which to relax.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
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The Skypark observation deck atop the three towers that make up the gargantuan Marina Bay Sands hotel is home to the world’s largest infinity pool. Drape your arms over the edge and take in the city’s skyline, partake in one of 20 dining options or catch some rays from the rows of sunbeds among the palm trees.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
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A former maharana’s palace set within a wildlife sanctuary, this hotel reflects the history of Udaipur, a city rich with forts, temples and historic bazaars. Suites open onto the pool, with its reflective blue tiles, and the private terraces are shrouded in bougainvillea for sunbathing.
Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia
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With sweeping views of Circular Quay, the Park Hyatt’s rooftop pool is an oasis of quiet in the bustling city. The heated outdoor pool overlooks the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with a private sundeck, cabanas and spa.
Shangri-La, At The Shard, London, United Kingdom
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Thanks to the Shangri-La’s extraordinary location – from the 34th to the 52nd floor of The Shard in London’s Southwark – the hotel didn’t have to do much to make its pool spectacular. It stands 183 metres above the city, making it the highest pool in Western Europe, and has views of the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster
Sri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand
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The Forest Waterfall Pool is actually a sprawling garden of pools, waterfalls and grottoes interspersed with patches of lush vegetation. The Baba Nest pool bar, set on a wooden platform, makes the most of its infinity-pool surrounds.
Soneva Jani, The Maldives
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The Water Retreat villas have their own spectacular private pools with a deck for sunbathing, an outdoor shower and – get this – some have a slide that delivers guests from the top floor to the cool waters below.
The Peninsula Hong Kong
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The elegant indoor pool at The Peninsula takes as its inspiration ancient Roman baths. It’s surrounded by columns, friezes and statues, with an adjoining terrace for sunny days.
Up Next: The World’s 21 Most Iconic Beaches
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Most Australians can pick Bondi Beach out of a line-up – how many of these other iconic beaches can you recognise?