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TOP 21 OF THE BEST POOLS

No matter what corner of the globe you’re headed to, the heart of the resort is always the swimming pool. So we’ve travelled to infinity edges and beyond to bring you 21 of the world’s most fabulous five star family pools.


WORDS Brooke Montgomery

W’ve immersed ourselves in the world’s best and most luxurious kid-friendly pools to fi nd the most stylish, the most elegant and the most extraordinary. We also fi nd aquatic wonderlands that are large enough to get lost in, splash-tastic options in the city, pools that let little ones get back-to-nature and those that are just sheer, unadulterated fun. Pick a category that suits your family and jump in.

VERANDA RESORT PATTAYA MGALLERY BY SOFITEL
WHERE PATTAYA, THAILAND
BEST FOR STYLE

Just metres from the Thai Gulf, the expansive free-form infi nity pool of this East Coast resort delights guests with its azure water, artifi cial beach and water curtain features. In a much-loved design venture, the sun loungers are actually set into the shallows and off er spectacular views over the coastline. To keep your little ones out of the sun, cabanas set on the water’s edge impart both privacy and direct access to this exquisite lagoon.


www.accorhotels.com

LAUCALA ISLAND
WHERE FIJI
BEST FOR STYLE

This exclusive tropical hideaway is the epitome of a picture-perfect private island. While every villa comes with an infinity pool, the massive lagoonstyle pool at the resort’s heart is a beauty in itself, with manicured gardens, manmade islands and sparkling fresh water – but when you see the lap pool you will be lost for words. This 25-metre-long ‘pool within a pool’ is contained by a clear glass cube in a design like no other


www.laucala.com

MARINA BAY SANDS
WHERE SINGAPORE
BEST FOR CITY SPLASHING

Just imagine floating along in crystal-clear water as you take a leisurely swim to the edge of the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands’ SkyPark and look out over the bustling city of Singapore from more than 200 metres above the ground. All three hotel towers come together to create the ultimate innercity hotel pool and dining precinct. The 150-metre-long infinity-edged oasis offers a stunning view of the glittering city skyline from a whopping 57 floors up and we think it’s the perfect place to take your next family photo.


www.marinabaysands.com

ONE&ONLY HAYMAN ISLAND
WHERE WHITSUNDAYS, QUEENSLAND
BEST FOR BIG ENOUGH TO EXPLORE

Hidden away in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, One&Only Hayman Island features two spectacular resort pools which will have your family smiling in no time. The Hayman Pool is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – so large, in fact, that they had space to build a bar in the centre. Surrounded by beach beds and four cabanas, it is the perfect place to relax while the little ones splash about. Not to be outdone, though, is the Aquazure Pool with its infinity design and views out over the coral-encrusted sea. The daybeds surround the pool while a few lucky guests get to chill out in one of eight cabanas which stretch out into the glittering water.


www.oneandonlyresorts.com

SOFITEL FIJI RESORT AND SPA
WHERE DENARAU ISLAND, FIJI
BEST FOR BIG ENOUGH TO EXPLORE

If the five star Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa’s beachfront location weren’t enticing enough, wait till you see the beautiful resort pool. One of the largest lagoon-style swimming pools in the South Pacific, it is the perfect spot to stretch out on the comfy beach chairs, icy drink in hand, and relax in the shade of the towering palm trees. Although, if splashing around is more your thing there’s definitely plenty of space for it! The crystal-clear lagoon stretches the length of the main resort building and has so many channels to explore.


www.sofitel.com

ATLANTIS, THE PALM & ATLANTIS, PARADISE ISLAND
WHERE DUBAI & BAHAMAS
BEST FOR SHEER FUN

Atlantis Resorts are renowned for their spectacular Aquaventure Waterparks, and for good reason. With a stay at one of these exclusive resorts, guests are granted access to the rides and slides, thrills and spills and the unrivalled adrenaline rush that comes with these inhouse splash parks. Take on the Tower of Neptune and Poseidon in Dubai or the Mayan Temple in the beautiful Bahamas for your share of heart-stopping thrills and fantastic family fun. If you’re feeling particularly daring, take a leap of faith down the nine-storey mega-slide where you’ll end by shooting through a clear tube through the Shark Lagoon.


www.atlantisthepalm.com | www.atlantisbahamas.com

CHONGWE RIVER HOUSE
WHERE ZAMBIA
BEST FOR WILD AT HEART

Set upon the banks of the Chongwe River near the Zimbabwe border, this private rental is the ultimate escape for the wild at heart. Open from April through to November, it features award-winning safari design, though some of the most amazing scenes can be seen from the pool. The area is known for the elephants which call Chongwe home and, with their favourite river just metres from the pool deck, your family will have uninterrupted views of them splashing about. Elephants, however, are not the only neighbours you might run into – here, Africa comes to you.


www.chongweriverhouse.com

GRAND WAILEA, A WALDORF ASTORIA RESORT
WHERE ZAMBIA
BEST FOR WILD AT HEART

Situated on the southwest shore of the island of Maui, Grand Wailea is a five star family paradise. With nine sparkling resort pools, it caters for a luxury-loving family’s every whim – whether it be soaking up the sun in a cabana by the Hibiscus Pool, sipping mojitos in the Jacuzzi for a bit of parent time, or splashing about in the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool, which consists of several individual pools on six different levels, all connected by a river that carries your family along thrilling whitewater rapids and soothing gentle currents for the perfect day in the pool.


www.grandwailea.com

PHULAY BAY, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE
WHERE KRABI ISLAND, THAILAND
BEST FOR ELEGANCE

The Andaman Sea is always stunning, but there’s no better way to experience the view than from the cool waters of a five star pool, and the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve property gives your family just that. The infinity edge blurs the boundary between the sparkling resort pool and the sapphire sea beyond. If it were not for the towering mountain backdrop, you’d be forgiven for thinking you could swim right out into Phang Nga Bay. The award-winning Ritz Kidz club ensures little ones are well looked after.


www.ritzcarlton.com

THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS
WHERE UDAIPUR, INDIA
BEST FOR SHEER FUN

This sprawling palatial estate in Rajasthan has been given the title of ‘Best Hotel in The World’ and although the architecture is stunning, we think the gorgeous pools definitely played their part. The checkered cobalt tiles create a beautiful contrast with the intricately carved sandstone columns and the glittering water complements the scene perfectly. The regal resort carries this beautiful design through to the amazing swimming pool moat which surrounds the palace, accessed directly from select rooms – it is the best way to take in the opulent architecture, the gardens and the view of Lake Pichola.


www.oberoihotels.com

ALILA VILLAS ULUWATU
WHERE BALI, INDONESIA
BEST FOR TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

Perched on a clifftop plateau along Bali’s southern coastline, Alila Villas offers a picture-perfect view from almost anywhere in the resort – especially the pool. This 50-metre masterpiece sits right on the edge of the limestone cliffs and offers guests breathtaking coastal views over the glittering Indian Ocean. A five star paradise nestled in the hills of Bali, larger villas with private pools are perfect for families, especially since there is a butler on hand to organise private activities for your family.


www.alilahotels.com/uluwatu

SAN ALFONSO DEL MAR
WHERE ALGARROBO, CHILE
BEST FOR MOST EXTRAORDINARY

As the world record-holder for the world’s largest crystalline water pool for nine years, this resort pool is definitely extraordinary. The glittering lagoon spans more than a kilometre in length and holds over 250 million litres of water kept to a perfect 26 degrees Celsius, warmer than the South Pacific Ocean just metres away. The turquoise water of the saltwater lagoon is an amazing spot for swimming, sailing, kayaking and the huge inflatable slides will have your kids grinning from ear to ear.


www.sanalfonso.cl

BELMOND HOTEL CARUSO
WHERE RAVELLO, ITALY
BEST FOR TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

What better way to take in the beauty of the Amalfi Coast than from the edge of an infinity pool set into the cliff edge 350 metres above the Mediterranean Sea? Touted as one of Italy’s most luxurious hotels, it is the perfect location for a five star family to float under the azure-blue sky taking in the stunning vista, sipping ice-cold refreshments brought by the concierge. Little ones will love lounging by the pool and feeling like they are on top of the world.


www.belmond.com

BEACHES OCHO RIOS RESORT
WHERE JAMAICA
BEST FOR SHEER FUN

On the North Coast of sunny Jamaica lies an amazing resort haven perfect for five star families and their water-babies. With not just one but 3 resort pools, plus an eight square kilometre waterpark right along the ocean’s edge, your kids will have the time of their lives in an adrenalin inducing experience like no other. Perfect for children of all ages, the Pirates Island Waterpark features a Treasure Isle play area and a kids’ zone for those little ones who aren’t quite ready to take on the fast-flying super-charged waterslides. There’s even a heated spa, perfect for when mum and dad need a little bit of relaxation while still keeping a watchful eye on those little pirates.


www.beaches.com

SHANGRI-LA AT THE SHARD
WHERE LONDON
BEST FOR CITY SPLASHING

Rain, hail or shine the sky pool at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard will provide your family with spectacular views over the London cityscape and prove to be one experience your family will never forget. Looking out the floor to ceiling windows nearly 200m above the city you’ll be treated to uninterrupted views of Westminster, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. The tranquil décor ensures that all guest have the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate during their stay and while kids are only allowed between nine and 11am, and three to five pm they are also the times when the light is just right for that memorable family snap.


www.shangri-la.com

GLENWOOD HOT SPRINGS LODGE
WHERE COLORADO
BEST FOR NATURE AWAITS

Set between Aspen and Vail in beautiful Colorado, you’ll find the soothing mineral waters of the Glenwood Hot Springs - the largest mineral hot springs in the world. With a warmer therapy pool offering benches and coin-operated bubble chairs it is the perfect place to chill out and soak. Meanwhile, the larger pool includes a huge area for wading, playing with your little ones and socializing with other families and with the pool as warm as bathwater, who wouldn’t take advantage of that! There are even two water slides which operate during the summer months, and a separate kiddie pool so those little ones have a safe place to paddle.


www.hotspringspool.com

AMANGIRI
WHERE UTAH
BEST FOR NATURE AWAITS

Nestled within the towering canyons of Southwest America, Amangiri - the name literally means ‘peaceful mountain’. It’s a four and a half hour drive from Las Vegas, but the beautiful pool itself is worth the trip. It’s as if the lagoon was literally carved out of the stone valley floor with the canyon wall extending far out into the turquoise waters in a design feature like you’ve never seen before. The pure white daybeds lining the pool provide the perfect place to soak up some sun and while the massive umbrella’s create a stark contrast to the sparkling turquoise water, they are the best place to shade your little ones from the desert sun.


www.aman.com

UBUD HANGING GARDENS
WHERE BALI
BEST FOR TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

Overlooking the ancient Dalem Segara temple and surrounded by lush rainforest, The Hanging Gardens of Ubud is a luxurious jungle sanctuary your family will adore. The award-winning pool will captivate you with its unique split level design, and the view is absolutely stunning. There’s just something magical about gazing out over the jungle from the piano shaped aqua retreat, and with the pool itself suspended above the rainforest canopy it gives guests the sensation that they are floating above the treetops.


www.hanginggardensofbali.com

AL BUSTAN PALACE
WHERE OMAN
BEST FOR ELEGANCE

If you’re looking for the unrivalled luxury of an Arabian beachfront, then the Al Bustan Palace on the North coast of Oman should be your first stop. The longest private beach in Muscat offers complete access to the glittering Sea of Oman but it is the stunning resort pool which draws in guests time and time again. The 50-metre long infinity pool offers unforgettable views over the ocean and the magnificent palm trees lining the pool provide guests with that tropical ambiance as they float about.


www.ritzcarlton.com

This article appeared in volume 8 of Five Star Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.


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