Hotels

Swimming at the top of the world: 10 very high hotel and resort pools

The only thing better than a swimming pool is a swimming pool with a view. Perched atop some of the world’s tallest hotels and resorts, these pools let you swim at the top of the world – if you dare.

  • 1. Okura Prestige Bangkok

    Okura Prestige Bangkok

    The Okura Prestige Bangkok

    The 240-room Okura Prestige Bangkok, in the heart of Bangkok’s Central Business District, offers sweeping views of the city’s skyline, and perched on the 25th floor is a magnificent, 25-meter-long infinity-edge pool that makes you feel like you could dive right into the city. Positioned on the north edge of the property, the pool is largely in the shade but is kept at a comfortable temperature using recycled heat. The hotel’s fitness center overlooks the pool and has the same view, and there are plenty of spaces for lounging and eating.

  • 2. Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road

    Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road

    Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road

    Same city, one floor lower. Located in the center of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district and within walking distance of Lumphini Park, restaurants, shops and local markets, the Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road has an upscale design that combines vintage details with modern decor. Enjoy a swim in its amazing infinity pool during daylight hours or at night, when one of the most vibrant cities in the world lights up the sky.

  • 3. InterContinental Bangkok

    InterContinental Bangkok

    InterContinental Bangkok

    There’s something about Bangkok. You’ll find another large open-air pool area designed as a tropical oasis on the 36th floor at the InterContinental Bangkok. It’s walled in, but it provides views of the city through glass windows. There’s also a bar area, plenty of casual seating and lounges all around.

  • 4. Ritz-Carlton Shanghai

    Ritz-Carlton Shanghai

    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

    This pool is indoors, but the scenery is no less imposing, because it’s on the 53rd floor. The elegant, ceramic-tiled heated pool at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong is set among lavish decorative mirrors and is said to be at its most magical during evening hours. Enjoy scenes of busy Shanghai through its massive windows.

  • 5. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential

    If you’d like to test your derring-do while taking a dip, try the Marina Bay Sands Singapore, whose rooftop infinity pool is set on a massive structure designed as a ship atop three towers. Swim to the edge and have a glance at the 57-floor drop. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool is the world’s largest at this height, and it offers one of the best views to be had in all of Singapore.

  • 6. Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

    Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

    Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

    Even higher than the Singapore hotel’s pool is the 64th-floor modern infinity pool at Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis. Set in the district known as the “Abu Dhabi of Latin America,” this pool is on the top floor and offers 360-degree views of the Panama City skyline. The pool area also has stylish cabanas, a floating pool bar and a rooftop lounge.

  • 7. Hanging Gardens Ubud Resort, Bali

    Hanging Gardens Ubud Resort, Bali

    Brown + Hudson

    Swim high above the jungle – over treetops, valleys and lush tropical greenery – at the Hanging Gardens Ubud Resort pool in Bali. One of the most photographed pools in the world, the split-level infinity pool is lined with stone and features a giant wall of volcanic ash. On the bottom level is a stone bench where you can sit in the path of a waterfall from the level above. The pool’s design makes it appear to float over the jungle and is reminiscent of the area’s terraced rice paddies.

  • 8. Holiday Inn Shanghai

    Holiday Inn Shanghai

    Brown + Hudson

    You don’t just see the city over the edge, but underneath you, as well, through the glass bottom of the pool at the Holiday Inn in Shanghai. The cantilever indoor pool lets you swim more than 300 feet above Shanghai with nothing but glass between you and the people (and the pavement!) below.

  • 9. Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

    Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

    Traders Hotel Kuala Lampur

    Known as a party spot, the rooftop infinity pool on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has some of the best views of the Petronas Twin Towers and the city skyline. Not only can you swim there, you can also enjoy a sauna, a steam bath and a cocktail. The area is part of the hotel’s SkyBar, a popular bar serving a variety of drinks. The hotel is also close to KLCC Park, perfect for a morning jog or an evening stroll.

  • 10. Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

    Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

    Kodiak Greenwood, Post Ranch Inn

    You can swim 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Calif. Heated to 104 degrees, its two infinity pools are set above private coastal cliffs and offer the feeling of swimming among the clouds, with the sea just beyond. With only 39 rooms, the inn is a quiet escape with a gourmet restaurant, yoga classes, a full-service spa and stargazing through the inn’s telescope.

  • Lyn Mettler is an Indianapolis, Ind.-based travel writer. She is the author of The Step-by-Step Guide to Earning Your Southwest Companion Pass. You can find her at www.GotoTravelGal.com or on Twitter at @GotoTravelGal.