The world's best pools come with bling, views, cocktails, tranquillity and wildlife, writes Eli Orzessek.
Bondi Icebergs, Sydney
Sitting at the southern end of Sydney's Bondi Beach, the Bondi Icebergs Club is an iconic international landmark. Established in 1929, members swim races in the ocean pool every Sunday throughout winter and the venue has been used for fashion parades, photo shoots, TV shows and commercials. Once you've had a swim, you can also enjoy a great meal at one of Sydney's best restaurants — the Icebergs Dining Room. Ocean pools are a bit of an institution in Australia — in Sydney, you'll find others at Curl Curl, Manly and Bronte Beach.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
If you're after a pool party, look no further than the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The Beachlife area consists of three pools surrounded by palm trees, with Tahitian-style cabanas and daybeds to relax on. One pool is reserved for hotel guests looking for a serene retreat, while another overlooks the Las Vegas strip. A third is home to the world-famous Rehab pool club, which hosts parties every Sunday during the summer months, playing the latest hip-hop and dance hits — with performances and model searches adding to the craziness.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
For a pool with a view, head to the world's largest rooftop infinity pool — all 150m of it — at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Sitting 57 levels above Singapore's glittering skyline, it's got to be the best spot for a photo opportunity in the city state. After having a dip, relax on one of the many sunloungers and sip on a glass of champagne. But if you want to experience this stunning pool, you'll need to be a guest at the hotel — it's worth it though.
Hanging Gardens, Ubud, Indonesia
One of the most famous pools in the world, Indonesia's Hanging Gardens in Ubud, features a duel-layered infinity pool that juts out over the surrounding jungle. The top level will have you eye level with the canopies of the trees, while in the lower pool you can relax on the semi-submerged seating and chill to the sound of cascading water. It's one of the world's most photographed pools for a reason — it's pure Instagram gold.
St Regis Lhasa Resort's Gold Energy Pool in Tibet
Described as the "world's most blinging pool", this offering at the St Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet is lined with thousands of gold-plated tiles. You'll truly be swimming in riches in this decadent retreat that's surrounded by the towering Himalayas. In between dips, guests can enjoy a reviving foot massage, or try specially created food at the poolside cabana seating.
Nemo 33 Pool, Brussels
This swimming spot in Brussels, Belgium, holds the record as the world's deepest indoor swimming pool — with a maximum depth of 34.5m. Naturally, it's a great place to learn to dive and the facility welcomes tourists, amateur divers and professional divers alike, with lessons on offer. The warm temperature of the water means divers can go under for extended periods without a dive suit. If you'd rather just observe, there are numerous underwater windows that allow outside visitors to peek in at various depths.
Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, Copenhagen
Do it like the locals and take a dip in Copenhagen's most famous outdoor pool, set in the harbour with the city's skyline in free view. It's a popular spot for a dip on the bike ride home from work, as well as being a great experience for tourists. There are five pools in total — with two just for kids — and a diving area in the shape of a ship's bow, with platforms at one, three and five metres. Just be aware that even during a hot summer, the water can be very cold. However, some hardy locals will even brave a swim in the middle of winter.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania
another kind of watering hole — one that's frequented by elephants — so the safari experience needn't end when you head back to the hotel. The free-form infinity pool boasts incredible views of the Serengeti plains — with sunbeds and bar service, it's the most idyllic spot to watch a glorious African sunset.
Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey
These natural pools in southwestern Turkey are made from sparkling white travertine rocks deposited by water from the hot springs within. If you visit, you'll see just why Pamukkale translates to "cotton castle" in Turkish — they look just like cotton-wool clouds. The area features hundreds of shallow warm pools of different sizes and shapes, ranging in temperature. The entry fee is only 35 Turkish lira, around $10.
Hayman Island by InterContinental, Queensland
Previously known as One&Only Hayman Island, this luxury Great Barrier Reef resort will reopen in 2019 as the Hayman Island by InterContinental, following a significant refurbishment after Cyclone Debbie. The pool wing is huge, hexagonal and instantly recognisable — it's about the equivalent size of seven Olympic pools. Rooms around the pool have swim-up access — and there's nothing like taking a dip at dawn off your own private deck.