If Buzz Lightyear got one thing right, it was his love of amazing hotel swimming pools. The Handbook has taken his ‘To infinity and beyond!” (geddit now?) catchphrase and run with it to produce a list of our favourite infinity pools from around the world. Hours of back-breaking research later (note from the wise: don’t Google ‘Swimming pool porn’ on your work computer) and I’ve basically planned my entire lifetime of holidays now. So here they are, the best infinity pools… in the world.
Grace Santorini, Greece
Perched above the world-famous Caldera in the southern Aegean Sea, Grace Santorini, is an exclusive boutique hotel with views to die for. The white minimalist hotel is spread over levels as it climbs the cliff-face. Topped by a yoga and wellness suite, this might be one of the best downward dogging spots in the world, or chuck it all in and enjoy Chef Spyros’s signature dishes at the restaurant just below the incredible infinity pool.
The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden, Switzerland
Why climb the mountains when you can swim them? The spa at the Cambrian Hotel includes this incredible heated pool,looking out across multiple Alps and we can’t imagine a more perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Or why not just sack off the skiing and just head straight to the pool? The restaurant, serving “New Alpine” cuisine is on-hand to replenish the calories apres ski, or simply sit in the Finnish sauna.
Shangri La, Shard, London
London has one of the best skylines around, and where better to gaze at St Pauls or The Gherkin from than fully submerged on the 52nd floor? Officially the highest pool in Europe and with one of the capital’s best hotels tagged on. The Shard, one of London’s most iconic buildings is located within a stone’s throw of London’s financial district, but don’t go here for work – this hotel is made for relaxation!
One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Somewhat confusingly there are a handful of One & Only resorts, and they’re all incredible. Check out this pool at their Maldives resort, sitting on a private island accessible only by speedboat. The resort’s water villas are perched on sticks, many with their own pools, while beachside villas look out across the ocean. String up a hammock and lie back.
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Ubud, Bali
Seemingly suspended above the forest, the Hanging Gardens of Bali are close to the cultural capital of Ubud and clings to the steep mountainside. Set across 44 private villas the the destination combines contemporary luxury with Balinese décor and textiles. The hotel is connected to the gorge below by a unique funicular railway, making The Hanging Gardens of Bali is the pinnacle of luxury, as well as the hillside.
The Norman, Tel Aviv
There’s little as exhilarating as a rooftop infinity pool, looking out across the city. Especially when that city is Tel Aviv. The Norman Hotel is a boutique luxury hotel noted for its restaurants, style and refined luxury. Well placed for the key attractions of the city, the main attraction actually 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 Oberoi Udaivilas, India
Swim like a maharaja at the Oberoi Udaivilas, regularly voted as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The rooms are swim-up thanks to the 240 ft pool, and the palatial surroundings mean that the luxury doesn’t stop there. Located on the bank of Lake Pichola The Oberoi Udaivilas is not so much as merely a gem in Rajasthan’s crown, it’s the Koh-i-Noor!
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Back to Bali, this time the cantilevered Alila Villas, set above the rugged limestone cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula. The jaw dropping panoramic views are matched only by the striking pool. Designed by an award-winning architectural team, the low-rise buildings blend into the natural environment and the hotel flows seamlessly between inside and out.
Kurà Design Villas, Costa Rica
The salt water infinity pool at Kurà Design Villas with views of either the jungle-covered mountains or the endless ocean, wins the prize of place we’d most like to watch the sunset from. The Costa Rican hotel aims to be environmentally aware and emphasises sustainability while still maximising the luxury.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania
All the pools in this guide come with a view, but none perhaps as breath-taking as a Serengeti watering hole. Doggy paddle up to the edge of the pool and watch lions, leopards and elephants just a few yards away. The hotel is, obviously, ideal for anyone on a safari, but the facilities, bar and restaurant aren’t negatively affected by the bush setting.
Jade Mountain, St Lucia
Not only is there an incredible wraparound infinity pool, but of the 29 suites at Jade Mountain 24 come with their own private infinity pools. And look at the view! Built with a distinct philosophy of working at harmony with nature, the Jade Mountain resort rises above the pristine Caribbean beaches.
Marina Bay Hotel, Singapore
A photo can’t convey the sheer drama of the pool at the Marina Bay Hotel. Running the length of the observation deck of the Sinagpore’s hotel, the structure itself is perched on top of three soaring tower blocks and is one of the architectural marvels of the world.
Caesar Augustus Hotel, Italy
The stunning island of Capri is the perfect holiday destination, and never more so than at the Caesar Augustus Hotel with its breathtaking views of the of the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Famous since Roman times, when the Emperors made it their home, Capri hadn’t known such extravagance until the Caesar Augustus Hotel arrived!
The Joule, Dallas
The infinity pool at The Joule in downtown Dallas literally leans out across the busy street floors below. The exclusive hotel, packed with art and character is one of our favourites in the US and the perfect staging post for spending time in the city. The sophisticated hotel is completed by the extraordinary pool, with its glass end offering underwater views out into the Dallas street.
Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, Anguilla
With 54 ocean-view rooms, the sea is never that far away at the luxurious Zemi Beach House in Anguilla, but the infinity pool here gives the distinct impression that it’s quite literally connected. The resort, set over six acres on the stunning Caribbean island balances style and seclusion.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy
From the Orient Express to incredible safari hotels, Belmond never undeliver. This 11th century former palace on the Amalfi Coast above the hilltop village of Ravello is truly special, and the infinity pool tops it off in true Belmond style.
Robinson Club Noonu, Maldives
Wasn’t Noonu the hoover in the Teletubbies? Either way, it’s also the latest opening from Robinson Club, a private island on the Noonu Atoll, Maldives. And of course all the club’s bungalow rooms (on sticks in the sea) come with their own infinity pools. Of course that’s not the only swimming option, you can dive around the reefs, famous for their rich sealife including sharks! (maybe better off sticking in the pool after all…)
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
A by-word in luxury, the great and the good have been flocking to Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc for over a century. The perfect place to stay on the Côte d’Azure and, of course, with an infinity pool to match.
St Regis Princeville, Hawaii
Aloha St Regis Princeville! The sprawling Hawaii resort boasts a huge infinity pool overlooking the island of Kauai’s stunning Napali Coast.
Banyan Tree, Seychelles
The tropical paradise of The Seychelles plays host to The Banyan Tree, nestled in the hillside overlooking the Indian Ocean. Set over a number of individual villas, some with their own pools, the level of luxury is surpassed by the views.
The Resort at Pedregal, Mexico
While most of the hotels listed here soar high above the sea, The Resort at Pedregal brings things down to sea-level. The hotel, built into the cliff rising out of the Pacific Ocean, can only be accessed by a private tunnel through the mountain.
The Chedi Muscat, Oman
Oman, often overlooked because of it’s noisy, brash neighbours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a cultural destination as well as a luxurious one. The Chedi’s 158 Omani influenced guestrooms and villas share an infinity pool at the junction between sea and mountain.
Voavah is a tiny private island resort from 4 Seasons that’s so exclusive that there are only seven guestrooms, accessed by seaplane and with a beachside infinity pool to die for. The island comes with a 62 ft luxury yacht, allowing guests to explore the UNESCO ocean territory. Swim with turtles and reef sharks thanks to on-site PADI diving instructors, or just relax on the beach being waited on hand-and-foot. Why not (in this parallel world where money isn’t an object) take the entire island and turn it into a party paradise?
It wasn’t long ago that simply having a pool set a hotel apart, nowadays it’s not only regarded as a necessity but you’ve got to have an Instagram-worthy infinity pool to even compete. Thankfully for us, all the above hotels have not only risen to the challenge, more importantly they’ve given us a welcome retreat from the dreary British weather for the last five minutes!