There are swimming pools, and then there are swimming pools – some are undeniably more inviting than others. Gone are the days when the pool was just another hotel facility; it has become an outlet of a hotel’s creative expression. Lucky for us folks in this part of the world, there are a number of extraordinary pools a few hours’ flight away in Southeast Asia. Here are five that might make you spend the entire day relaxing by the water’s edge once you have checked in.
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
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During the day, you can admire the city’s Petronas Twin Towers while swimming in the hotel’s indoor lap pool 33 floors above. The excitement doesn’t stop there though, as the entire floor transforms into the hip and cool SkyBar, one of the most popular lounges in the city, come sundown. We can see why anyone would stay put in this particular section of the property the entire day.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Marina Bay Sands, commonly referred to as MBS, is one of the country’s iconic landmarks, having transformed its skyline since 2010. Sitting atop the 57th floor of this spectacular building is a palm tree-dotted urban pool that boasts the best panoramic view of the cityscape. Touted as the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, it should come as no surprise that Diplo, Katy Perry, Jessie J and Chiara Ferragni have been spotted hanging out by the pool. The best way to enjoy this celebrated spot? Soak in the water for as long as you like, then relax on one of the poolside lounge beds and bask in the sun before enjoying the glorious golden sunset with some bubbly.
PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore
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With its award-winning green “hotel-in-a-garden” design, this architectural wonder has established itself as the address of choice for many eco-conscious travellers. You can find an equally stylish outdoor infinity pool amid the lush greenery on the fifth level of the hotel. We recommend a dip in the shallow end before retreating to one of the colourful birdcage-inspired lounge pods with a good read.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
A list of Instagram-worthy pools wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the 50-metre cliff-edge pool in this slice of paradise. The resort is designed to blend in with the surrounding natural environment thanks to award-winning Singapore architectural firm WOHA, including an infinity pool that blurs the line between ocean and pool as well as the suspended sunset cabana by its side. The majestic view of the Indian Ocean, a glass of martini and your favourite swimsuit are all you need to take the perfect snap to immortalise your island holiday on social media.
Hanging Gardens of Bali
Being the world’s first 7-star boutique hotel isn’t the only impressive feature of this estate at the heart of Island of the Gods. Standing on the edge of a valley near a village north of Ubud facing the Ayung River and an ancient temple, this stunning property is also home to one of the world’s most remarkable – and photographed – twin-tiered cascading swimming pools. Designed to resemble the rice terraces that Ubud is famous for, the overhanging water formation that is surrounded by verdant rainforest will give you an inimitable feeling of floating above the treetops.