Life is cool by the pool

Some of the most beautiful hotel pools are waiting for us when the health emergency is over

The Philippines is one of the countries that have had the longest ongoing lockdown all over the world. The more we suppress ourselves from travel, the more we yearn for it. The best we could do right now is to continue our abstinence from unnecessary outside trips, follow safety protocols 24/7, hope for the better that the pandemic mellows down, and maybe plan our next destinations for when the situation gets better and restrictions are lifted.

In the US, pool demand surged during the health crisis, even in the Midwest where the weather is far from warm. With what Ishmael said in the introduction of Moby Dick, “meditation and water are wedded forever,” we can surmise that our stress and deprivation have us wanting to take a good ol’ dip.

Haven’t been swimming on summer, ooh
Got the swimming pool blues
With one hand underwater
So lost and confused.
—Miniature Tigers, ‘Swimming Pool Blues’

Regardless of a hotel’s location, the swimming pool is always among the guests’ favorite facilities. They are among the best treats of a hotel stay or a staycation.

When COVID-19 becomes more manageable, here are six beautiful hotel pools all over the globe worth getting to know and paying a visit. From modern architectural feats to scenic skylines, these hotels are sure to ignite some wanderlust.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore

The most expensive hotel ever built, Marina Bay Sands has three 55-story towers, 2,560 rooms, and luxury suites. It features one of the most stunning infinity pools in the world, spanning 150 meters. Imagine taking a dip in the world's largest rooftop infinity pool with the best view of the city skyline from 57 stories above. After a relaxing swim, visit the nearby Art Science Museum, which in itself is an architectural marvel with its unique palm shape, or enjoy the wide range of shopping, food, and entertainment in the heart of the city.

Grace Santorini Hotel, Santorini, Greece

Digital travel platform, Agoda’s data reveals that Greece is the most searched international destination among Israelis in 2021. Perched above the Aegean Sea, Grace Santorini is an exclusive boutique hotel offering breathtaking views of the famous Caledera. The infinity pool is the largest of its kind in the Imerovigli village. Guests can enjoy the view comfortably with cocktail and dining service at the poolside bar. The experience is made complete with sunrise and sunset yoga sessions with an unobstructed sea view, as well as experiences such as a picnic of Greek cheeses and delicatessen selections at the top of Skaros Rock.

Shangri-La Boracay, Philippines

Another plush property, Shangri-La, is located in the northern part of Boracay Island, approximately 315 kilometers south of Manila. Apart from the luxurious blend of nature and comfort, this resort also boasts of amenities decked out in ethnic décor, including one of the country’s largest naturalistic swimming pools, set amid lush, landscaped gardens, and water fountains. Its secluded yet cozy location makes it possible for guests to enjoy the goodness of an indulgent escape from the busy metro made better with well-preserved flora and fauna.

Of course, if one seeks a closer dip with nature, travelers can always enjoy 350 meters of beach on Boracay Island, reveling in panoramic and breathtaking views.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

Standing on the shores of the picturesque Bosphorus, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus boasts of late-Ottoman-era architecture and elegant palace-like rooms. Spend an afternoon relaxing in one of the hotel’s traditional hammams (Turkish bath) or lounging at the stunning indoor pool while soaking up the warm sun streaming through the soaring skylights. There is also an outdoor pool and waterfront dining where you can enjoy Turkish flavors with a view. While there, don’t miss out on a cruise along the Bosphorus to sail between two continents

Keemala Phuket Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand

This luxury resort has an exceptional architecture that creates a sense of “wonderland” with its 38 villas designed for guests looking to experience a rustic yet deluxe getaway. There are four accommodation options, each featuring a different theme and a private pool: clay pool cottage, tent pool villa, wooden pool house, and birds nest pool villa. These are inspired by the true “four tribes” of ancient Phuket. Keemala Phuket Resort & Spa is also SHA Plus certified, making it a suitable stay if you’re traveling under the Phuket Sandbox program.

Lefay Resort & Spa Lago Di Garda, Gargnano, Italy

If you are fantasizing about lying in a pool in the middle of nature, surrounded by lakes and mountains, the infinity pool at Lefay Resort & Spa on Lake Garda is a charming and recommended gem. The pool is the star of the hotel surrounded by natural terraces, forests, and olive groves. The hotel blends in with the luxurious Italian countryside and features 93 spacious suites, all of which offer stunning views of Lake Garda. In the day, take a boat trip to discover the picturesque port of Gargnano, visit the nearby local markets, or take a hike into the heart of Upper Garda Park.

These and other hotels can be found and booked on