Beaches are one thing, but the blissful serenity of a perfect pool is quite another.
Surrounded by mountains, oceans, deserts, and lakes, here are 44 pools worth diving into — and gazing out from.
Between an underground grotto in Italy, a three-tiered pool off the white sands of the British Virgin Islands, and an ocean-water pool carved from lava rock in Hawaii, you’ll find somewhere aquatic to spark your fancy. Taking a dip never looked so good.
Earlier versions of this post were written by Talia Avakian and Sara Bower.
Swimmers lounging in the three tiered infinity-edge pools at Sandos Cancun resort are served by in-pool bartenders, making it hard to leave.
The Hotel Haciende Na Xamena resort in Ibiza, Spain, is suspended 180 meters in the air at the top of a cliff to offer amazing panoramic mountain and sea views.
The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India, has a gorgeous pool that guests can swim in directly from their private rooms.
On Key West's largest private beach, the historic Casa Marina resort pool offers guests palm-filled vistas and sweeping Atlantic panoramas.
Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Cambrian hotel offers a pool with awe-inspiring views of the Alps.
Head to the rooftop infinity pool on the 57th floor of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Hotel for stunning skyline views.
At Oil Nut Bay in Virgin Gorda of the British Virgin Islands, three recycled-glass pools are steps from the white sand beaches. Divided for different generations, the 'adult' pool has a swim-up bar.
Every suite at Jade Mountain, in St. Lucia, has its own infinity pool with views of St. Lucia's mountains.
Anguilla's Zemi Beach House sits right on Shoal Bay East, one of the world's best. The geometric infinity pool at the boutique hotel has an underwater window cut out to look directly into the ocean at its edge.
In the Dominican Republic you can find Sanctuary Cap Cana by Al Sol, where secluded pools on private oceanfront villa terraces overlook turquoise Caribbean waters. For the top experience, the Castle Island Suite has its own private island with not one but three plunge pools.
Rio de Janeiro's Hotel Fasano has a rooftop deck that overlooks the Two Brothers Mountain and Ipanema beach.
The St. Regis Lhasa Resort's Gold Energy Pool, in Tibet, makes you feel like you're swimming in luxury with its gold-plated tiles.
Arizona's Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa sits high in the Sonoran desert foothills. The five-pool oasis is surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Santa Catalina mountains.
The Neptune Pool sits in the historic Hearst Castle in San Simeone, California. Designed by architect Julia Morgan in 1924, the pool's centrepiece includes part of the facade of an actual Ancient Roman temple purchased in Europe by media magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Take a dip in one of the multilayered infinity pools at the Hanging Gardens in Ubud, Indonesia, while being surrounded by a lush and tranquil jungle.
Tucked off the coast of Puerto Rico, the infinity pool at the W Retreat and Spa at Vieques Island has an underwater sound system that streams a custom mix through the water, while Puerto Rico and Culebra Island appear on the horizon.
Berlin's Arena Badeschiff floats inside the Spree River and offers panoramic views of the city, food, drinks, music, and lounge chairs for relaxing.
The four pools at Miami's five-star Acqualina Resort & Spa are situated right on Miami Beach, with no boardwalk separating them from the sands. Stately, symmetrical design and signature red lounge chairs evoke the vibe of a Mediterranean villa.
See photos of Andy Warhol beneath you as you swim through the ultra-chic SIXTY LES in New York City.
The San Alfonso del Mar resort in the Valparaiso region of Chile has the biggest pool in the world, with around 66 million gallons of water collected from the ocean through special technology. You can even navigate through the pool in small boats.
At the W South Beach, the two penthouse suites come with perks: each has its own ocean-view pool on a private terrace, complete with lounge area and outdoor kitchen.
The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando is a grown-up retreat from nearby Disney. Two golf-course-adjacent pools at the Waldorf and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek make for sweet spot to take a dip -- and, in the evening, even enjoy Epcot's nightly fireworks display from a quiet distance.
Laucala Island Resort in Fiji has an epic pool within a pool, with an above-ground glass lap pool embedded inside the larger, more natural-looking pool.
The pool at The Library in Koh Samui, Thailand, is lined with blood-red tiles to make for a stunning visual effect.
The Amangiri resort in Utah sits on 600 acres inside Canyon Point, and its unique pool offers magnificent views of the surrounding canyons and plateaus.
The Sacred Pool in Pamukkale, Turkey, has submerged pieces of original marble columns from the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The water is said to be rich in minerals that provide natural restorative powers.
For a breathtaking evening swim, go to the Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives where the pool is covered in coloured lights that twinkle beneath the surface.
Located in the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India, the Zodiac Pool is situated underground and covered in gold tiles finished with engravings of the zodiac. The Umaid Bhawan Palace was the largest private residence in the world in 1943, but today it is a hotel.
Enjoy great views of the Dallas skyline at The Joule Hotel, where the pool expands eight feet out from the edge of the building.
The indoor pool at the Room Mate Grace hotel in New York City hosts a 1,000-square-foot bar area that you can swim to, stadium seating, and mood lighting. You can also rent out the 1,600-square-foot pool area for private parties.
See the waves of the Tasman Sea crash against you at the Olympic-sized Bondi Icebergs in Australia, a popular public pool for wintertime swimming.
Swim with sharks and dozens of different types of fish in The Tank, an aquarium pool at the Golden Nugget hotel in Las Vegas.
The Perivolas Hotel in Greece has the one of the most beautiful infinity pools, with blue water that seems to spill out right into the Mediterranean.
The pool at the Domus Civita, in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, is hidden in a cave underneath a private house you can rent.
The King's Pond, at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is an ocean-water pool carved out of natural lava rocks where you'll find 1.8 million gallons of water, manta rays, and over 3,000 tropical fish.
Get an up-close view of guests through the glass staircase that sits in the middle of the pool at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
The Hayman Island Resort in Australia has a pool complex that is so big, the resort constructed four bridges over the water's surface. You can swim in the main saltwater pool, the heated freshwater pool, and the Hayman Pool Bar.
Located in Knightsbridge, above great city stops like Harrods and Harvey Nichols, The Berkeley Hotel London offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle below.
The Piscine Molitor is a public pool in Paris's Molitor Hotel, known for its Art Deco designs and for being where Louis Réard introduced the bikini in 1946.
The Y-40 pool, located inside the Hotel Terme Millepini in Padua, Italy, is the world's deepest swimming pool, sinking 42.14 meters.
The cave pool at the Katikies Hotel in Santorini, Greece, offers a breathtaking Mediterranean hideaway.
The pool at Hacienda Uayamon, a hotel in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, was created when the ruins of the original estate were flooded back in 1700.
At the Chongwe River House in Zambia, you can relax at the pool while watching animals come to bathe and drink in the nearby Chongwe River.
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