We love a swimming pool, we love an infinity pool, we adore a rooftop and travel is our favourite thing, so put it all together and you’ve got a rooftop infinity pool in the sun. So grab your goggles, we’re going on a whistle stop tour of the globe’s finest rooftop pools.
A feat of engineering, instantly recognisable and a constant source of head-scratching – is it a brilliant piece of modern architecture, or a the opening scene of a post-apocalyptic film? Who cares? There’s a full-length infinity pool along the entire interlinking deck and perched 57 floors above Singapore’s Marina.
The extraordinary pool is nearly as iconic as the hotel itself, offering one of the world’s most unique swimming experiences.
Northanger Abbey would have been over a dozen chapters quicker if Catherine Morland had just met Mr Tilney in Bath’s Thermae Spa. The romance of one of Britain’s most beautiful cities can only be heightened when you’re at height and yet underwater. Tapping into Bath’s famous naturally warm spa water (hence the city being called Bath, durrr), the Thermae Spa is a day spa like no other.
The infinity pool at The Joule in downtown Dallas literally leans precariously out across the busy street many floors below. The exclusive hotel, packed with art and character is one of our favourites in the US and the perfect staging post for a few days taking in the city. The sophisticated hotel is completed by the extraordinary pool, with its glass end offering underwater views out into the Dallas street. That and nightmares…
Trust Mandarin Oriental to sport one of the smartest pools on the planet. Their five star Barcelona hotel sits on Passeig de Gràcia and overlooks its own gardens and the modernist landmark Case Batlló, and of course these are best viewed from poolside on the hotel’s roof. The hotel also offers guests a rather splendid 12m indoor pool, an enticement that seems unnecessary when you’ve got such a stunner a few floors above, but whatever floats your lounger…
Think of Venice and the first thing that comes to mind is water, and the last thing that occurs to you is getting in it. But eight storeys above the polluted canals there’s another option, and needless to say it’s on a rooftop. The pool at the Molino Stucky Hilton very loosely resembles a Venetian gondola, and with commanding views across this aquatic city you won’t be disappointed.
The hotel is a little way from the centre, you catch a river taxi to Piazza San Marco, which is a pain, but it’s the perfect place to relax after a day’s exploring. When they said water levels are rising in Venice, you didn’t think they meant this high…
When a hotel has to tell you it’s good in the name, it’s often not (looking at you, Premier Inn). Bangkok’s Okura Prestige is the exception, not least because someone decided to bolt a pool to the side. We can argue about it’s qualifications as a rooftop pool (it’s not on top of anything), the cantilevered pool is special not only for it’s novel design but the view and luxury that come with being in one of the Thai Capital’s smartest hotels.
That the 240 room hotel also features a Michelin Star restaurant is often overshadowed in marketing by the 25 metre pool speaks volumes.
Set within rapidly gentrifying Chippendale (no link to the chipmunk, furniture or the strippers) in Sydney, the recently opened Old Clare Hotel takes two industrial buildings and smashes them into one five star hotel. But away from all the exposed brick and millennial essentials like customised hire bicycles it’s the rooftop pool that we’ve come for, and it delivers.
How can you improve a rooftop infinity pool, looking out across the city. Make sure that city’s Tel Aviv. The Norman Hotel, a boutique luxury hotel noted for its restaurants, style and refined luxury, is well placed for the key attractions of the city, but in our book the main attraction has to be on the roof of the hotel itself! The infinity pool offers views to the sea, order a glass of Champagne and watch the sun set over this wondrous city.
The giant iconic structure of this former grain elevator towers above Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, transformed into a just 28 room boutique hotel by British designer Thomas Heatherwick (famous for the 2012 Olympic cauldron, the new Routemaster and London’s ill-fated Garden Bridge). The design is striking and includes a rooftop pool with genuinely breathtaking views toward the sea or Table Mountain. It’s difficult to chose which is more beautiful, the brutalist building or the Victorian city and incredible countryside beyond.
Soho House appear to be competing with Greggs in their efforts to open branches literally everywhere, but their two New York outposts both sport rooftop pools. The Manhattan branch is a NYC must in summer, with all the cool kids following London’s lead and hitting Soho House’s rooftop. However, you can only get in if you’re a member, or staying in one of their 44 rooms. Rates at this Meatpacking District hotspot aren’t cheap, but what do you expect? Let your wallet sweat while you stay cool on the poolside loungers.