Why are rooftop pools so special? It isn’t only the great views and the cooling breeze, in a rooftop pool we defy gravity in not one, but two ways. Not only are we lifted far from the ground, but we are float up there, closer to the sky than to terra firma.
Here are some of our favorite, uplifting, rooftop swimming experiences around the world.
You may not think rooftop pools and Canada go hand in hand, but they most certainly do at the chic Thompson Hotel in Toronto, when weather permits. The gorgeous 40-foot infinity pool offers 360-degree views of the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario.
The Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona has a slim, perfectly formed rooftop pool alongside a stunning restaurant and lounge. Grab a cocktail after your swim and feast your eyes on the magnificent views of Barcelona’s world famous architecture.
Rio’s Hotel Fasano is a popular pick for many celebrities, from Yoko Ono to Madonna. With views of the gorgeous Rio scenery, it’s easy to understand why Phillipe Stark’s first hotel architecture project continues to impress. From the mountains to Ipanema Beach, the Fasano infinity pool is the best place to soak up the unique Rio vibe.
W Hotel Hong Kong makes claim to the world’s highest rooftop pool, at 76 floors up. The WET® pool is 211 meters above the hustle and bustle of West Kowloon and is a true oasis in the sky, with a cool jacuzzi and drinks and snack available at poolside.
Head to romantic Udaipur, India, for a rooftop swimming experience like none other. You’ll feel like the scion of royalty, surrounded by the perfect water, intricately designed alcoves and the piercing blue Indian sky. The perfect counterpoint to tranquil boat rides on the lake, fantastical palaces and narrow streets, all set against the backdrop of the luminous Aravalli Hills.
At the Hotel Joule in Dallas the rectangular pool actually comes out from the rooftop and hangs over the street with just some glass between you, the open air and the ground 10 floors below. Your floating vantage point is the perfect place from which to peer into the art gallery across the street.
You’ll find a multitude of rooftop swimming pools in New York City, but you’ll definitely want to give this one a try first. Located in the Meatpacking District, this rooftop pool atop the Dream Downtown hotel is 4,800 square feet and heated, with a glass bottom. In addition, the adjacent “beach” is filled with imported white sand.
Head to the 15th floor of the W Miami for a spectacular view of Biscayne Bay. However, this rooftop terrace’s views aren’t the only thing drawing guests to swim. The infinity pool is 300 feet long, making it almost large enough to fit two entire Olympic swimming pools. That’s a lot of space to swim, lounge and goof off with your travel companions while enjoying the blissful water and perfect Miami weather.
In Hong Kong, you’ll find an amazing rooftop pool right outside one of the hotel’s most illustrious suites. It overlooks Victoria Harbor, with views across the water at Hong Kong’s skyline. Instead of just being one rooftop pool, however, there are three — each with its own temperature, ranging from piping hot to icy cold.
The Marina Bay Sands is truly one of the most breathtaking swimming spots in the world. Set atop the 55th floor, it towers over the rest of the city, where you can swim right up to the edge to gaze out across this exotic destination. The hotel claims its rooftop pool is the largest in the world, and it stretches across the tops of three skyscrapers. When humanity builds a more outrageously ambitious rooftop pool, we’ll let you know.
Shwimmer: The Pools of the World in the Palm of your Hand