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Creative Spaces: The World's Coolest Pools

Posted: 06/19/2012 11:21 am

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year. The sun is at its maximum elevation, and that means many of us long to be poolside. Whether we use them to relax, exercise, entertain or simply recharge, pools have long been the crown jewel in home design and social status. We all clamor for fun in the sun, and a pool to cool off in.

Books by Slim Aarons Once Upon a Time, A Place in the Sun, and Poolside offer images of jet-setters and the beautiful people living the glamorous life at their favorite playgrounds -- swimming pools. Pools and everything that goes with them -- youth, summer, vacation -- are to be celebrated.

With the help of my colleague, Steven Pedigo, this edition of Creative Spaces not only highlights amazing pools at exclusive resorts that many of us can only dream of but also great pools to dip in at a neighborhood park.

From the Amalfi coast and French Riviera to the Asian mega cities, this slideshow features some of the best swimming pools the world has to offer. As the saying goes: "Meet me at the pool at midnight."

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  • Bondi Icebergs Pool, Bondi Beach Australia

    The <a href="http://icebergs.com.au/" target="_hplink">Bondi Icebergs Club</a> was founded in Australia in 1929, but the pool, rising out of the coral in Bondi Bay, is perfectly modern. Photo credit: Flickr user ryanmary

  • Astoria Park Pool, New York, New York

    The pool at <a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/AstoriaPark/facilities/pools">Astoria Park in Queens</a> is the largest of the 11 New York City pools constructed by FDR’s Works Progress Administration, measuring 330 by 165 feet. Under the shadow of the Triborough Bridge, this massive pool holds up to 6200 summertime swimmers. Photo credit: Flickr user Jenny Dariana

  • Venetian Pool, Coral Gables, Florida

    The citizens of Coral Gables have good reason for civic pride. Their <a href="http://www.coralgables.com/index.aspx?page=167" target="_hplink">public pool,</a> flanked by palm trees and a bridge seemingly plucked from the canals in Italy, is a real oasis. Photo credit: Flickr user socialBedia

  • Habita Hotel MTY, Monterrey, Mexico

    On the roof of the <a href="http://www.hotelhabitamty.com/" target="_hplink">Hotel Habita</a> in Monterrey, Mexico, two pools flank a swanky bar and provide striking views of the city below in every direction. Photo credit: Flickr user Deh Arts

  • Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    The Skypark atop the <a href="http://www.marinabaysands.com/" target="_hplink">Marina Bay Sands</a> hotel in Singapore flaunts an extended vanishing-edge pool—some 57 stories above the ground. Photo credit: Flickr user Jeff Xia

  • Thompson Hotel, Toronto, Canada

    Yes, that’s the <a href="http://www.cntower.ca/en-CA/Home.html">CN Tower</a> visible from the rooftop pool and bar at the <a href="http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/toronto/thompson-toronto" target="_hplink">Thompson Hotel</a> in Toronto. Photo credit: Flickr user ocad123

  • W Hotel, Hong Kong

    A giant mosaic sets the scene on the elevated pool deck at the <a href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1965" target="_hplink">W Hotel</a> in Hong Kong. The views of Victoria Harbor below perfect the mood. Photo credit: Flickr user W Worldwide

  • Eldorado Springs Swimming Pool, Denver, Colorado

    In the shadow of the red rocks of Eldorado Mountain, the <a href="http://www.eldoradosprings.com/index.php?action=resort" target="_hplink">pool at Eldorado Springs</a> in Colorado boasts fresh water fed by a nearby artesian spring. Photo credit: Mycoloradolife.com

  • Club 50, Miami, Florida

    <a href="http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/miami/dining_and_nightlife/club50" target="_hplink">Club 50 </a>in Miami, housed in the Viceroy Hotel, hosts weekly summertime pool parties 50 stories up. Photo credit: Flickr user robertgeffer

  • Badeschiff, Berlin Germany

    Floating in the Spree River, <a href="http://www.arena-berlin.de/badeschiff.aspx" target="_hplink">Badeschiff,</a> also known as the floating "bathing ship," is a public pool located in the heart of Berlin. Photo credit: Flickr user jerome.bailly

  • The London Hotel, West Hollywood, California

    California sunshine lights up the rooftop pool deck at <a href="http://www.thelondonwesthollywood.com/" target="_hplink">the London</a> in West Hollywood, where guests can nosh on food from celebrity chef <a href="http://www.gordonramsay.com/index2.html" target="_hplink">Gordon Ramsay.</a> Photo credit: Flickr user blog.jordanwinery.com

  • Hotel Du Cap, Eden Roc, Cap D'Antibes, France

    Just down the beach from Cannes, the <a href="http://www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com/eng/welcome/" target="_hplink">Hotel Du Cap</a>, Eden Roc’s pool is carved into the cliffs along the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel has served vacationing royalty, businessmen, and movie stars since 1870. Photo credit: Flickr user ChrisGoldNY

  • Windhoek Public Pool, Windhoek, Namibia

    One of two public pools in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windhoek" target="_hplink">Windhoek,</a> the Windhoek Public Pool is olympic size, featuring a lush green lawn for onlookers and residents to enjoy. Photo credit: www.richard-reed.com

  • Hotel Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy

    The <a href="http://www.villacimbrone.com/" target="_hplink">Hotel Villa Cimbrone</a>’s pool is a standout feature of this 11th-century compound. Set along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the view merges green grass with the blue of the Tyrrenhian Sea. Photo credit: Flickr user Margit2003

  • Fasano Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    At the <a href="http://www.fasano.com.br/" target="_hplink">Hotel Fasano</a> in Rio de Janeiro, rooftop pool guests can catch the breathtaking view of Ipanema beach below and grand mountains beyond. Photo credit: Flickr user pab912

  • Gellert Therman Baths, Budapest, Hungary

    <a href="http://www.gellertbath.com/" target="_hplink">Gellert Thermal Baths and Swimming Pool </a>at the Gellert Hotel is heated and filled with water from nearby mineral hot springs. Every Sunday the pool is open to the public for family day. Photo credit: continentaltravel.hu

  • Sky Bar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Guests at <a href="http://www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur/traders/dining/" target="_hplink">Sky Bar</a> at Traders Hotel relax high above the bustle of Kuala Lumpur. On top of the world, they can unwind with drinks, swimming, and music. Photo credit: Flickr user dazstudio

  • Hotel Gansevoort, New York, New York

    The Hotel Gansevoort is one of <a href="www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/nyregion/01ritual.html">Manhattan’s hottest spots</a>, and the rooftop pool is a summer landing spot for New York’s flashy set. Underwater speakers add to the vibe. Photo credit: Flickr user Esthr

  • Sanctuary, Scottsdale, Arizona

    In the shadow of craggy <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelback_Mountain" target="_hplink">Camelback Mountain</a>, the pool at this Arizona <a href="http://www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com/index.html" target="_hplink">hotel </a>is brilliantly blue. It all feels a world away from nearby Scottsdale. Photo credit: Four Seasons

  • The Viceroy, Palm Springs, California

    The <a href="http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/palmsprings" target="_hplink">Viceroy Palm Springs</a> is a splendid oasis in the desert: the pool’s striking cabanas and nighttime hours make for a relaxing time. Photo credit: enemyoftheaverage.com

  • Hotel Cala di Volpe, Porto Cervo, Italy

    At the <a href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/luxury/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=59" target="_hplink">Hotel Cala di Volpe</a> (“Fox Cove,” in English), the Olympic-sized saltwater pool is a year-round attraction on this Italian isle. Photo credit: Flickr user Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts

  • Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado

    Aspen is typically known for its <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Aspen_Mountain.jpg">skiing</a>, but the pool at the<a href="http://www.thelittlenell.com/" target="_hplink"> Little Nell</a> hotel makes a convincing case for a summertime visit. The rooftop patio and pool offer gorgeous views of the surrounding, often snowy mountains. Photo credit: Little Nell

  • Villa d’Este Hotel, Lake Como, Italy

    The <a href="http://www.villadeste.com/" target="_hplink">Villa D’Este</a> is built along the banks of <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2157810/George-Clooney-shows-Lake-Como-villa-time-girlfriend-Stacy-Keibler.html">famous Lake Como</a> in Italy. The gorgeous pool, literally floating in the lake, provides breathtaking views of the scenery. It’s as close as you can get to Lake Como without getting in. Photo credit: Villa d’Este Hotel

  • Krapfenwaldbad Park, Vienna, Austria

    <a href="http://www.wien-konkret.at/sport/schwimmbad/krapfenwaldlbad/" target="_hplink">Krapfenwaldbad Park</a> features four heated swimming pools and sweeping views of Vienna's urban landscape. Photo credit: cristian.livadaru.net

 

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