Dive In: The Best Swimming Pools In The World

by SUSANNAH LONG · July 21, 2010

Luxury Real Estate brings us a round up of some of the wildest, wackiest, wettest swimming facilities in the world. Looking for ideas for your own backyard oasis? Look no further.

Precarious Pools

Of course, you could take inspiration from our own backyard and copy Manhattan's rooftop pool stylin's . . .

On the right: the pool at Soho House The pool at the Gansvoort [photo courtesy of Hotel Gansvoort]

If you're up for something a little more exotic, you can look to the Villa Dall’Ava rooftop pool in Saint-Cloud, Paris. The swimming spot sits above a private residence consisting of two apartments. It's got official cred too; the building won the 1991 Winner Prix d'architecture du Moniteur.

Or you could take notes on Bali's Four Seasons Resort, where the pool hovers 50 feet above the jungle floor. Don't drink too many Pina Coladas while floating in your innertube in this one.

But you know what? You might as well stop trying - your penthouse project'll never come close to the all-natural Devil's Pool atop Victoria Falls. Right, that Victoria Falls. The one that's part of the Seven Wonders of the World. If you visit, it may take you the better part of an hour to hike to the site, where strong currents carry you right up to the underwater rock barrier that forms the boundary of the pool.  The internet says it's safe, but sometimes the internet lies.

Fancy Pools

You might copy the pools at the legendary Hearst Castle near San Simeon. The outdoor Neptune Pool was rebuilt three times before William Randolph Hearst was satisfied with it. Throughout the building process, only the centerpiece - the front of an ancient Roman temple that Hearst had shipped from Europe to California - remained constant.

[Photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

Oh yeah, and the castle's indoor pool is pretty ornate as well.

Like many of us, when you think "fancy pool," the term "suggestively-shaped pool" probably comes to mind. Don't fight the impulse. We're not sure who built the pool below, but clearly they were building from the heart.

Big, Big Pools.

When in doubt about how to best contain your waters, go on the assumption that bigger is better. You can copy the Nemo 33 Diving Pool in Belgium! The Nemo 33 is the deepest swimming pool in the world, a place where avid divers can swim to depths of 35 meters in warm, unchlorinated 30˚C water. In addition to the deep diving, swimmers can explore underwater "caves" and, afterward, chow down in the facility's gourmet restaurant.

If you're lacking in vertical space but are a real estate mogul, horizontally speaking, consider building a swim spot like that at the San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Algarrobo Chile. The resort boasts a lagoon that covers about 20 acres and can be traversed in small boats.

While the San Alfonso del Mar pool is the biggest in the world, the pool/wonderland at the Phoenix SeaGaia Resort in Miyazaki,  Japan is the biggest indoor waterpark. Whatever the weather, swimmers can frolic in the  300 x 100 x 38 meter pool, pretend-tan under palm trees, zip down water slides, enjoy the wave machine (which is powerful enough to change surf-levels for the pool), marvel at the flame-spitting volcano, and loll on the crushed white marble sand. Real sand is for poor people. Bonus: the roof is actually retractable.

Quirky Pools

If you happen to own a river and/or barge, you can take a cue from the Badschiff on the Spree, a pool built into a barge that floats down Germany's Spree River in Summer. Grab your sunscreen and wurst, swimmers, it's going to be a bumpy, delightful ride!

Good luck, future pool owners of America.

[Unless otherwise noted, photos are courtesy of Luxury Real Estate, via CaryRandolph.com]