Elite Escapes

Laps of luxury: 17 jaw-dropping pools around the world

Chris Dwyer, CNNUpdated 10th October 2017
(CNN) — Diving in at the deep end has never been more enjoyable than in these jaw-dropping pools.
From private villas to Japanese onsen, luxury resorts to boutique lodges, these are some of the world's most memorable, luxurious and expensive places to take a dip:

1. Ski Portillo, Chile

Up in the Chilean Andes sits Ski Portillo, one of South America's most historic ski resorts, which is also home to a rather special pool.
You'll be glad to know it's heated, thanks to the mountains' geothermal energy, making it perfect to gently relax weary limbs after a day on the slopes. Watching the sunset over the Laguna del Inca lake below caps off a distinctive swim.
The pool is free to hotel guests, while ski season runs from June through October. A week's accommodation in a valley view room with lift passes and four meals daily runs from $3,750.
Ski Portillo, Ruta 60 420, Los Andes, Región de Valparaíso, Chile +1.800.829.5325 www.skiportillo.com

2. Kohanaiki, Hawaii

Nighttime brings amazing overhead views at Kohanaiki.
From Kohanaiki Clubhouse
Another impressive mountain backdrop comes on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the 25-meter infinity pool at Kohanaiki sits close to the lava flows from the adjacent Mount Kilauea volcano. It's especially pretty at night, with the starry skies above.
NBA great Stephen Curry may be swimming in the lane next to you as Kohanaiki is a private club with membership costing a cool $150,000 upfront, even before $25,000 annual dues.
If you feel like splashing the cash on a residence, $650,000 gets you 45 nights per year.
Kohanaiki, 73-2055 Ala Kohanaiki, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 +1 (808) 329-6200 kohanaiki.com

3. Il Sereno, Lake Como, Italy

While Lake Como in Italy itself is the perfect spot for a dip, another slightly warmer option comes at Il Sereno, which overlooks it. It's the newest hotel and the first built in decades in the always-fashionable destination.
The 20-meter lakefront infinity pool is filled with heated freshwater, while the surrounding sun deck and bar is perfect for sipping a cocktail or people watching. The pool is for guests only, with nightly room rates starting from $825.
Il Sereno Hotel, Via Torrazza 10, 22020 Torno CO, Italy +39 031-5477-800 serenohotels.com/property/il-sereno

4. Temple House, Chengdu, China

The ancient capital city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China, is home to a sleek hotel with an Instagram-worthy pool thanks to the sculptured skylights above. The 25-meter indoor pool catches reflections from the lights that are designed to resemble the sloping tea terraces that dot the Sichuan landscape.
A mix of bamboo, timber and stone complete the soothing interiors. It's only open to hotel guests who can stay in a double room from $290 upward per night.
The Temple House 81, Jinjiang, Chengdu, China +86 28 6636 9999 thetemplehousehotel.com

5. Four Seasons Serengeti, Tanzania

You're not the only ones frolicking outdoors at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
As pools with a view go, it's tough to beat the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, where families of elephants are your frequent companions below. The watering hole that it overlooks features other visitors such as zebras and the occasional lion, but thankfully you're kept at a safe distance.
The pool is open from sunrise to sunset, but even thereafter you can keep an eye on the action through a dedicated TV channel with an infrared camera. Rates at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti start from $1,315 per night, inclusive of all meals.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. +255 768 982 100 www.fourseasons.com/serengeti

6. The Chedi Muscat, Oman

The Long Pool at The Chedi Muscat in Oman more than lives up to its name. It's the longest pool in the Arabian Peninsula, stretching to a vast 103 meters (338 feet). You'd be forgiven for doing fewer laps than normal. Lined by palm trees, it combines local style with contemporary design, while you can also pretty much guarantee you won't be short of a double sun lounger.
Open only to hotel guests, rates start from $520 per night for a Superior Room.
The Chedi Muscat, North Ghubra 32, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, +968 24 52 44 00 ghmhotels.com/en/muscat

7. St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Maldives

While the azure waters of the Indian Ocean surrounding the Maldives already look like a pool, there are no shortage of luxury contenders when it comes to splurging on accommodation with swimming included.
One of the largest villas in the Maldives is the John Jacob Astor Estate at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. The three-bedroom suite has its own 92-square-meter infinity pool, yours for a cool $25,800 per night.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort Vommuli Island, Dhaalu Atoll, Vommuli, Maldives +9606766333 stregismaldives.com

8. Casa Chameleon, Costa Rica

The adults-only resort Casa Chameleon is a hilltop boutique property in Costa Rica with a zero-edge infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean and tropical dry forest below. After hiking and biking local trails, kayaking or beach lounging, there are few better ways to cool down, while sunsets are particularly spectacular.
Overnight rates start from $450 per night, or you can visit as a day guest with a minimum spend of $75 on food and beverages.
Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas, Playa Danta, Guanacaste, Costa Rica +(506) 2103 1200 casachameleonhotels.com/las-catalinas

9. Cliveden, England

Swim surrounded by stately architecture at Cliveden House.
From CLIVEDEN HOUSE
The Profumo pool at the elegant estate of Cliveden House west of London is the only historically listed swimming pool in the country.
That's largely thanks to its role in the infamous 1960s Profumo scandal, involving the Secretary of State for War and a suspected Russian spy. The incident shook the British Parliament.
The pool dates even further back as it was originally built by the American billionaire Waldorf Astor as a way to discourage his wife, Nancy, from swimming in the river. Today it's part of a newly opened spa, available to guests paying nightly room rates starting from $595.
Cliveden House, Cliveden Road, Taplow, Berkshire, England, SL6 0JF + 44 1628 668561 clivedenhouse.co.uk

10. 10 Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

At St. Lucia's Jade Mountain, overlooking the iconic Pitons World Heritage Site, an en-suite infinity edge pool means that you can float in total privacy. At 900 square feet, they're big enough for a workout, while on the fun side they're illuminated at night with fiber optic lights. The best bit? Guests get to control the color.
Each of the pools has an individually designed tile color scheme, which then carries on in your bathrooms. Popular with celebrities, the resort was also the setting of a proposal in "The Bachelor." Suites run from $3,280 per night in high season.
Jade Mountain, Soufriere, St. Lucia, West Indies +758 459 4000 jademountain.com

11. Banyan Tree Seychelles

The intriguingly named Intendance Bay is the setting for the Banyan Tree Seychelles pool villas that overlook the Indian Ocean, with palm trees and rainforest below.
While at the resort in the islands, a destination especially popular with honeymooners, distractions include a spa, tennis courts, botanic gardens and an organic farm tour, while watching turtles nesting and hatching is another seasonal treat.
An ocean view pool villa runs from $1,200 per night.
Banyan Tree Seychelles, Anse Intendance, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles, +248 438 3500 banyantree.com/en/em-seychelles

12. The Yeatman, Porto, Portugal

The Yeatman is a wine hotel in the Portuguese city of Porto, a destination renowned for its talent with grapes and celebration of vines. It's no surprise then that their pool, overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city below, comes in the shape of a decanter.
The south side of the River Douro provides a great vantage point for your swim, notably with the impressive Dom Luis Bridge in the distance.
The pool is open only to guests, and double rooms start from $250, including one where the double bed sits inside a 50,000-liter antique port barrel.
The Yeatman Hotel, Rua do Choupelo, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal +351 22 013 3100, the-yeatman-hotel.com

13. Casa Naga Villa at The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama

The Westin Playa Bonita is home to a very special private villa, with an incredible 25,000 square feet and a sweeping infinity pool. Casa Naga is perched on a cliffside where you have the Pacific beneath you and off in the distance, you can glimpse ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal.
When you and your VIP guests need to cool down, there's a traditional palapa hut to provide shade, drinks and a place to sit while watching the legendary pink and purple sunsets. The villa's nightly rates start from $3,000.
Casa Naga Villa at The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama City, Panama +507 3 04 6600 westinplayabonita.com

14. InterContinental, Hong Kong

For urban pools with a killer view, few anywhere can match the skyline of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Peak as seen from the city's InterContinental Hotel Presidential Suite.
Built at a cost of $2.5 million, the one-of-a-kind, five-bedroom, 7,000 square-foot palace has its own rooftop infinity swimming pool. It sits on a 2,500 square-foot terrace alongside a Jacuzzi for arguably the ultimate in city swimming.
The Presidential Suite costs from $15,206 per night and includes 24-hour personal butler service and roundtrip airport limousine service in a Phantom VI Rolls Royce.
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong +852 2721 1211 hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/

15. Kanairo onsen, Japan

An onsen is not a swimming pool, but a natural hot spring bath -- a favored Japanese approach to bathing. The Kanairo Onsen is set in the beautiful Yabakei Valley in Oita Prefecture, on the country's southern island of Kyushu.
It's just about large enough to drift across, one of scores of the country's remarkable open-air, public baths and the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day.
And for once, the feeling of luxury doesn't cost you much. For walk-in guests it's $5 per person, or it's included in Walk Japan's Oita Hot Spring Trail, where guests hike and walk the countryside by day before relaxing in the naturally warm waters at night.
Kanairo Onsen, 584-1, Sanko Taguchi, Nakatsu-Shi, Oita, 871-0103, Japan

16. Badrutt´s Palace Hotel, Switzerland

The oval-shaped indoor pool at Badrutt's Palace in the Swiss Alps is at the heart of their Wellness Palace featuring spa and health treatments. The 25-meter pool is heated to a balmy 87 degrees, while their outdoor pool is thankfully warmer, given the altitude.
Outside sit the stunning snow-capped Swiss Alps, as well as a champagne bar with sun terrace. To the surprise of many, St. Moritz enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year, going some way to explain its popularity with the European jet-set.
For hotel guests the entrance and usage of Palace Wellness is included, with rooms starting from $600 per night, while daily entrance for adults is charged at $100.
Badrutt's Palace Hotel, Via Serlas 27, 7500 St. Moritz Switzerland +41 (0)81 837 1000 badruttspalace.com/en

17. Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, California

The show-stopping Coliseum Pool at Pelican Hill, a five-star resort in Newport Coast and 45 minutes from LAX, is one of the world's largest circular pools at 40 meters across.
It was based on the renowned Rome landmark of the same name and features no fewer than 1.1 million hand-cut blue glass tiles. At a constant 82 degrees Fahrenheit and 3 feet deep, there's often more floating and sunbathing than swimming, while the ocean and golf course below make for a stunning backdrop.
Access is only available to guests of the resort where room rates start from $495 per night.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Coast, CA 92657, +1 855-467-6833 www.pelicanhill.com
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