By Diana Gerstacker

The typical hotel pool might bring to mind images of rowdy kids, tiny towels and water all over the floor. Not exactly a relaxing experience -- and swimming laps? Good luck.

It can be tough and expensive to find a hotel that will guarantee a quality swim, but avoiding the crowds (and that awful chlorine smell) is worth the research -- and might even be worth the extra money. Hotel amenities are often a traveler's afterthought rather than a determining factor in booking, but there are a few hotels that offer pools so stunning and unbelievable that they might just be the main attraction.

From tropical Infinity pools with exceptional views to rooftop plunges that will take you over the edge of city streets, these 13 hotel pools blow all other competition out of the water. Take a tour of the world’s most incredible hotel pools and start saving for your overnight stay.

World's Most Incredible Hotel Pools


Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao, China

The view from this pool is unprecedented but that’s not its only breathtaking feature. Set 24 stories up -- more than 320 feet above the ground—the totally enclosed pool gives swimmers quite the adrenaline rush.


Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

Home to two freshwater infinity pools and a lagoonarium, a guest of the Intercontinental Tahiti might wonder why they would need a beach. Travelers can watch tropical fish feeding and snorkel in the lagoonarium or they can enjoy the cool water and cascades of the enormous 13,000-square-foot Te Tiare pool. As if one could ask for more, the other freshwater pool features a sand floor and a swim-up bar.


Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii

This Four Seasons Resort on the Big Island features seven pools -- each more stunning and unique than the one before. King's Pond (pictured) is a 1.8-million gallon aquarium-pool carved out of natural lava rock and features a fusion of freshwater and saltwater, from subterranean channels. Home to more than 3,000 tropical fish (75+ species); King's Pond is full of color and open to guests. The hotel has snorkel gear available -- and that includes waterproof fish ID cards.


The Omni Grove Park Inn, North Carolina

Asheville's Grove Park Inn features both an indoor and outdoor pool open to all guests free of charge but you'll find the real aquatic gem within the cavernous walls of their award winning spa. Open to Spa guests only, the rock-lined grotto features 10 mineral-based pools, complete with underwater music, waterfalls and 6,500 fiber-optic stars lining the ceiling.


Banyan Tree Seychelles

Dark blue tile and the warm water of the main infinity pool serves as a perfect perch for daydreaming with palm trees swaying overhead. Take in the panoramic view of white sand meeting the Indian Ocean and sailboats drifting along while you sip on an island-inspired cocktail.


Amangani, Wyoming

This all-season mountain resort sits 7,000 feet above the Snake River Valley in Jackson Hole with the Grand Tetons as a remarkable backdrop. Regardless of the season, the 115-foot long outdoor pool is kept at 80 degrees and the whirlpool attached to the pool is even warmer, making Amangani the perfect escape after a long day in the mountains.


The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

Set in Udaipur on the bank of Lake Pichola, this palatial resort affords every guest the chance to live like a king. The 50-acre property features a wildlife sanctuary, pristine gardens and only 87 total rooms and suites. Each of the outdoor pools has fantastic views, temperate water and a relaxing atmosphere.


Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Private pools aren/t hard to come by and stunning views are a common feature at high-end resorts but Jade Mountain combines these features seamlessly and the experience is jaw-dropping. Each of the 25 open-air suites leads out into a secluded infinity pool with unparalleled views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. Each suite is completely private and was designed as its own work of art.


Villa D’Este, Italy

Built in the 16th century, on the shore of Lake Como, Villa D’Este ranks among the finest resorts in Italy. The resort maintains three pools, the most remarkable of which floats on the lake, supported by a pontoon. The floating pool is only open in the summer, but features a Jacuzzi and one-of-a-kind 360-degree views.


Hanging Gardens Ubud, Bali

Twin level cascading infinity pools suspended above a tropical rainforest are just the beginning at this award-winning resort -- each of the 38 private villas and suites features its own granite-lined infinity pool, as well. Despite the abundance of private pools, the main pool is still popular among photographers and is often used for wedding ceremonies. After the ceremony couples can make their way through the jungle for a blessing at the ancient temple, which is visible from the main pool.

previous next

For the complete list of the World's Most Incredible Hotel Pools, go to

More From The Active Times:
-- Get Fit Getaways: The Best Health and Wellness Vacations for 2015
-- Fit to Fly -- Airports Where You Can Get a Workout on Your Layover
-- The World's Most Secluded Beaches
-- The Most Beautiful Remote Destinations Worth the Trek