Travel

The World's Most Spectacular Rooftop Pools, Because Summer Feels So Far Away

Take the Plunge

By AnnaMarie Houlis ·
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Soon enough, we swear, probably, summer will show itself. And at that time, with a deep, abiding chill in your bones, you're going to get horizontal on a breezy rooftop, preferably beneath windswept palms with some variation of a slaking libation in hand. Even better: swimming in a pool on a rooftop, beneath windswept palms, with a cold cocktail in hand. This pool should have panoramic views of the vistas engulfing it—expansive skylines and colossal mountains and uncharted jungles and majestic seas. In other words, it should be on of these rooftop pools—the most beautiful in the world...

What: THE FACE Suites
Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The DL: Set on the 51st floor of the THE FACE Suites, this 125-foot long, borderless swimming pool cascades over Kuala Lumpur. Just over that non-existent border are the soaring Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower, iconic landmarks of the capital city that are in unobstructed view from the deck.

What: Marina Bay Sands
Where: Singapore, Singapore
The DL: Floating in the Marina Bay Sands’ rooftop infinity pool is widely known as “swimming on top of the world.” Original: no. Apt: yes. It’s the largest rooftop infinity pool in the world at 57 stories up in the Sands SkyPark, designed by architect Moshe Safdie. The pool is surrounded by 250 different species of trees and several hundred species of tropical plants. Just about all of the city is beneath you.
 

What: Hotel Unique
Where: Sao Paulo, Brazil
The DL: Hotel Unique has a rather, well, unique pool. It’s shaped like a boat, and complete with an underwater sound system and, at night, it turns crimson red—because that’s what architect Ruy Ohtake decided he felt like designing.

What: The Joule Hotel
Where: Dallas, Texas
The DL: The glass, cantilevered pool atop the Joule Hotel jets out eight feet from the edge of the building, 10 stories high. The only thing separating swimmers from the streets below is a single pane of glass. This answers that most common of tourist questions, "where do I go to be both serene and terrified in Dallas?"

What: The Park Hyatt Sydney
Where: Sydney, Australia
The DL: Syndey’s Park Hyatt is situated between the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. From in the pool or lazing in a shade-shrouded cabana, guests can be told by their signifiant others to stop Instagramming the iconic harbor skyline and start enjoying it IRL in total comfort. 

What: Hanging Gardens Ubud Hotel
Where: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The DL: OK, this one’s not necessarily a "rooftop" pool, but it is elevated among the village of bungalows and, also, there are monkeys. Engulfed in greenery, guests can swim right up the edge of the jungle. If you're looking for tranquility in Bali, the Hanging Gardens, a largely Buddhist haven renowned for its air of peace, offer that in great abundance. 

What: The Cambrian Adelboden
Where: Adelboden, Switzerland
The DL: Switzerland isn’t only a winter ski destination. It’s also a verdant retreat for the warmer months. Guests paddle around encircled by the snow-tinged Swiss Alps and cow-flecked meadows of the surrounding hillsides. That's right— mountains and hillsides. And cows. 

What: Udai Kothi
Where: Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
The DL: Looking for more of a "swimming in a palace" vibe? Udai Kothi’s opulent rooftop pool in the heart of Udaipur provides that very vibe. The lakeside pool—the only one of its kind in Udaipur—is framed by romantic, whitewashed archways and ornate spires.

What: The SIXTY LES Hotel
Where: New York, New York
The DL: The SIXTY LES Hotel is so dedicated to the eclectic Lower East Side’s roaring art scene, Andy Warhol’s visage titivates the 1,890-square-foot, saltwater pool floor. Swimmers and sunbathers can also treat themselves to a full beverage service and small plates by Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya to get a real taste of the vibrant neighborhood.

WhatGrand Hotel Central
Where: Barcelona, Spain
The DL: From a bird’s eye view, the Skybar at the Grand Hotel Central must look like a stark contrast amid the long-standing rooftops in Barcelona’s gothic Born district. Visitors can watch the pink sun sink into the water over the edge of the pool each evening. It's what people are getting at when they say, "you have to visit Spain."

AnnaMarie Houlis excels in sleeping in middle seats, occupying shared armrests and asking strangers questions to which they have no answers because they're not watching her airplane movie.

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