Coolest New Hotel Pools
The Villa by Barton G.
10. The Joule, Dallas
Splash Factor: Amazing Cantilevered Pool
Those feeling especially exhibitionist can go for a dip in the chic Joule's outdoor rooftop pool, which was added to the Dallas skyline in 2008. This is definitely the pool to perfect your front crawl. The striking cantilevered pool sticks out over the end of the building's roof deck, giving swimmers a seabird's eye view of the streets below through the pool's Plexiglas sides-and giving shoppers below something to talk about. It's the perfect place to plan your itinerary for the day as you look out at the sights of downtown Dallas.
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9. La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco
Splash Factor: Lush Garden Pool in the Desert
The legendary La Mamounia -- called the most beautiful place in the world by Winston Churchill -- reopened in 2009 after an extensive renovation with a spectacular pool set in the hotel's famed gardens. Designed as a tribute to Marrakech's fabled Menara basin, the ozone-heated outdoor pool is surrounded by pristine white loungers, a scatter of cocoon-like cabanas, and majestic palms. The Mamounia's luxurious oasis is set among 20 lush acres of Barbary figs, fruit trees, bougainvillea, Madagascar periwinkles, amaranths, and olive groves.
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8. Thompson Toronto, Toronto
Splash Factor: Best City Views
It's not the largest on this list for sure, but this rooftop infinity pool makes up for its small size with incredible views. Set in downtown's stylish King Village, the pool looks out at the city skyline, the retracting dome of the Rogers Centre baseball and football stadium, and the CN Tower. At night, guests can simultaneously swim and watch the nightly light show from the iconic 1,815-feet high spike. It's not just the view beyond the pool that matters, either. Toronto's movers and shakers descended on the Thompson as soon as it opened in June 2010 to mingle with visiting A-listers in and around the pool.
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7. W Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
Splash Factor: Most Dramatic Entrance
If you want your vacation to go through the roof, literally, then book a ticket for Fort Lauderdale. The hot W Hotel, which opened in 2009, has an oceanfront pool deck with a glass-enclosed stairway that leads up and actually through the swimming pool. Make an entrance by rising up out of the water and sauntering onto the roof of the 23-story hotel. There are also skylights (or, more accurately, pool-lights) in the living room below, which offer glimpses of swimmers splashing about above.
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6. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, Hawaii
Splash Factor: A Totally Wired Pool
The watery wonder in Wailea is not about switching off on vacation. In fact, the Serenity Pool at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, which opened in 2009, is quite the opposite. This switched on, technologically superior swimming scene is for people who want to lounge poolside, but don't want to miss a beat. With an underwater music system, wireless Internet access, and six cabanas with flat screen HDTVs and wireless headsets, the Serenity Pool is something of a misnomer. If you can't instant message an order for a Blue Hawaii, you can always do it the old school way and sidle over to the swim-up bar.
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5. The Olsen, Melbourne, Australia
Splash Factor: World's Largest Glass-Bottomed Pool
This Melbourne hotel -- named for famed Australian painter Dr. John Olsen -- opened in April 2010. Yes, it's filled with art and is right on the Chapel Street shopping strip, but for us it's all about the pool. More specifically: The world's largest glass-bottomed pool. Take a dip in the intense blue water that is part of large enclosed sundeck on the second floor of the boutique hotel.
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4. Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat, Muttrah, Oman
Splash Factor: Ultimate Luxury with Pool Butlers
Re-opened in late 2009 after an 18-month renovation, the deliciously decadent Al Bustan is back with an impressive pool upgrade. Pool butlers roam round a 164-foot-long infinity pool set between two colonnades of towering palms, seeming to disappear into the Gulf beyond. And this is merely one of five pools on property. Catering to your every need, whether your towels require plumping or your spritzer could use a re-spritzing, the roving butlers keep a professional eye on proceedings. The service is impeccable at this luxurious oasis nestled between the rugged Hajar Mountains and the glistening Gulf of Oman and the water is always fine -- the pool temperature is set at a perfect 84 degrees.
Book This Hotel | Muscat Travel Deals
3. Gansevoort Park Avenue, New York
Splash Factor: Indoor-Outdoor Pool That is Quite a Scene
Plunge, the rooftop pool bar at this hotel's sister property in the Meatpacking District, has long been packing in the pretty people. Now it's Plunge Park Avenue's turn to get in on the act. The 249-room Gansevoort unveiled its rooftop playground twenty stories up in July 2010 and it's set to be perhaps the coolest pool scene in Manhattan. The cheeky design features a mosaic of a 1940s pin-up on the floor of the pool (who is more covered up than most of the guests). Open to the public at night, the 40-foot indoor-outdoor rooftop is the perfect place for lolling on a lounger, scanning for stars and paparazzi, while devouring lobster rolls and cool comfort food like PB&J ice-cream sandwiches.
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2. The Villa by Barton G., Miami
Splash Factor: A Pool Paved with 24-Carat Gold
The 10-room Villa by Barton G., aka Casa Casuarina, aka the Versace Mansion, opened in March 2010 after a more than $1 million renovation. Gianni Versace's opulent Ocean Drive palazzo is the place to stay when you want to dip your toes into decadence: The Thousand Mosaic Pool is inlaid with 24-carat gold. Staying at this Rococo roost, with its marble floors, lush gardens, towering frescoes, and splashy fountains, will really have your credit card going off the deep end, though. Rooms start at $2,100 a night.
Book This Hotel | Miami Travel Deals
1. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Splash Factor: Highest Pool
The highest, most precarious-looking pool of them all is the infinity pool on top of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort and casino, which opened in June 2010. Said to have been inspired by Asia's terraced rice paddies, the edgy SkyPark pool brims a heady 55 stories above the city. It stretches 500 feet (three times the length of an Olympic pool) across the span of the hotel's three towers and seems to spill waterfall-like all the way down to the streets 200 feet below. The hotel's incredible rooftop park is also home to restaurants, lounges, 250 types of trees, and 650 types of plants. Day passes are available if you want to check out the observation deck, but if you want to take a dip in the pool it's strictly guests only.
Book This Hotel | Singapore Travel Deals
Photo Credits: Marina Sands SkyPark - Marina Sands; The Joule - Chasqui, flickr; La Mamounia - La Mamounia; Thompson Toronto - HotelChatter; W Hotel - W Hotel; Four Season Maui at Wilea; Four Seasons; The Olsen - The Olsen; Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat - InterContinental; Gansevoort Park Avenue - Gansevoort Park; The Villa By Barton G. - The Villa by Barton G.
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