Any piece of luxury real estate worth it’s salt will probably have a swimming pool on the property. Inside, outside, or both perhaps. This is a guide to the most luxurious, most insane, most expensive, most photographed, largest – and even the ugliest swimming pools in the World
Although this started as a serious look at swimming pools in luxury homes, it is now just a little fun. As I began researching swimming pools I discover some pretty amazing variations. Not all these are private, luxury swimming pools, in fact, some of them are just plain scary. But they were so interesting I decided to forget about private pools and just make this a compilation of swimming pools from around the world.
Some of them are privately owned and in some of the most luxurious homes on the planet, but some of them are open to the public and a few of them are even free of charge. The pool at the top of the page is inside the Raj Palace Hotel in Jaipur, India. If you like what you read here, please feel free to submit this page to your favorite social bookmarking site.
The most-photographed/most famous pool
It could be argued that the most famous pools are the Hearst Mansion pools.
The world’s largest outdoor swimming pool
The largest outdoor swimming pool in the world is actually a man-made salt water lagoon in San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Southern Chile. Now, they might have a big pool, but I certainly hope the same engineers didn’t build their website. If this one takes a long time to load, don’t be too surprised, all their electricity is going to keeping the pool filtered. The enormous pool uses a computer- controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other. The Guinness book of records acknowledged the pool as the largest in the world – 1,013 meters in length, covering 8 hectares. Many more photos after the jump.
Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, whose Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced engineering meant his company could build “an impressive artificial paradise” even in inhospitable areas. “As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean.”
The worlds largest indoor swimming pool
This pool is in the Seagaia Resort in Japan. Capable of holding up to 10,000 people and with a Volcano that “erupts” every15 minutes. I dread to think of the noise with the roof closed.
The world’s deepest indoor swimming pool
The Nemo 33 diving pool in Belgium is, oddly enough, over 33 meters deep and heated to 33 degrees Celsius. This pool uses un-chlorinated spring water. Any one who has ever tried diving in Belgium will appreciate the luxurious comfort of being able to see further than the hand in front of their face
Most Precarious pools
Rooftop pools, pools perched precariously and infinity pools seem a popular addition to some luxury properties. The Gallery Evason hotel in Singapore has a glass-walled pool perched atop the stairwell.
The Villa Dall’Ava (Saint-Cloud, Paris) sports (sic) a pretty spectacular roof-top lap pool with a view overlooking the city of Paris. Although, if she dives in from there, I have a feeling she will bang her head on the side of the pool.
For more photos of this luxury home in Paris, pay a visit to Arte y Diseño at GXZONE.
The Four Seasons resort in Bali has a pool overlooking the jungle 50 feet off the ground. You cross a wooden bridge to get to the pool.
The Hotel Joule, Dallas, TX. Not to be outdone by the Four Seasons, the Hotel Joule in Dallas goes for something a little less precarious, but just as spectacular.
Of course, sometimes, you just squeeze one in where you can, and this rooftop pool is in Manhattan, NYC.
This next one is probably my favorite infinity pool. In Bali, Indonesia. Click on the photo to see a larger image.
This one comes a close second. Now that’s a view.
But the prize for the most precarious pool has to go to a natural pool. The Devil’s swimming pool, Victoria Falls.
Scary. And this one’s not for sale thank goodness. Photo Credit.
Oddly Shaped Swimming Pools
Coffin shaped pool
This particular swimming pool is in “Butlins” an English holiday camp. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Butlins have traditionally been named “Butlitz” in reference to the WW2 prisoner-of-war camp, Colditz. It’s a place to take your family secure in the knowledge the kids are not getting out of the compound unnacompanied. Luxury indeed!
Guitar shaped pools.
These seem pretty popular. At first I was thinking they would be unusual, but it turns out they are everywhere. In fact, the main claim to fame of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, seems to be the fact that it boasts a guitar-shaped pool and a country music festival.In fact, every third pool in Nashville, TN is legally required to be guitar shaped. Who knew?
Alabama shaped pool
The Governor’s house hotel in Montgomery, AL boasts an Alabama shaped pool.
This pool, is of course, some where in Texas.
In fact, I think it is a requirement that the governor of each state has a state-shaped swimming pool in the back yard.
This pool is in the Heartbreak Hotel, opposite Graceland.
I am not exactly sure what shape this pool in Hawaii is supposed to be, but the consensus is penis-shaped.
Most Expensive Private Swimming Pool
I would think the world’s largest pool also counts as the most expensive, but there are certainly a couple of contenders for the most expensive private swimming pool. Rarely is the swimming pool sold as an optional extra, but this pool in Israeli billionaire, Lev Leviev’s home in London, which was the most expensive new home sold in London certainly warrants consideration.
Most Impressive Public Pool
For my money, the Gellért Thermal Baths in Budapest take this one. The Gellért Baths and Swimming Pool, is one of the most beautiful and elegant baths in Budapest, built between 1912 and 1918 in the (Secession) Art Nouveau style. They were damaged during World War II, but then rebuilt. References to healing waters in this location are found from as early as the 13th century. A hospital was located on this site during the Middle Ages. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, baths were also built on this particular site.
The Gellért Baths complex includes thermal baths, which are small pools containing water from Gellért hill’s mineral hot springs. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, alkalis, chloride, sulfate, and fluoride. There are two different thermal baths, according to the signs on the walls of the baths, one is around 36°C and the other around 38°C. The thermal baths are decorated beautifully with mosaic tiles. The complex also includes saunas and plunge pools (segregated by gender), an open-air swimming pool which can create artificial waves every ten minutes and an effervescent swimming pool. Masseuse services are available. Different types of massage are available. In a half hour massage, patrons and are escorted into a room with 3 massage beds and are asked to remove all their clothing. The massages given are completely nude, with 3 massages going on in the same room at once. Gellért Baths also offer a wide range of medical services, but they must be booked ahead of time.
The indoor pool at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Rajhastan gets second place though.
Weird Swimming Pools
Some pools just defy description, or make you wonder who thought that one up. This particular pool, for instance, is actually a converted barge and floats on the Spree river in Berlin, Germany, where temperatures have been unseasonably warm this year. It’s called Badeschiff (“bathing ship”) which seems like an appropriate name.
Ice cold pool. I am not sure exactly where this pool is, but it looks “cool”
Thai Massage Pool. The Sarojin boutique resort hotel in Thailand believes in combining as many relaxing treatments as possible and lying on a bed floating in the pool looks like a great way to relax to me.
Of course, the idea of adding a swimming pool to a luxury property is not exactly new and since building began, wealthy individuals have been including pools as part of the specification of their luxury home. As far back as recorded history, there have been swimming pools as part of a luxury real estate package. This first one is Herod’s swimming pool in Israel. Nice to know he could relax after a hard day ruling.
This one is another pool in Thailand and I am leaning towards the best swimming pools in the world being in Thailand.
This next one doesn’t look quite so appealing, but after a little work I’m sure it would be fine. In Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam.
I am not sure where this one is, but if anyone knows, please leave me a comment. Stunning.
This is the 1,000 year old indoor pool at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Luxury Real Estate – Not!
Of course, not all swimming pools cut the mustard, and there are any number of failed pools that just weren’t good enough to be considered luxury real estate. This is a random selection. This first one is just plain scary.
These next three are scattered around the US I think.