When choosing a hotel in wintery season and locale, you might not immediately throw “pool” into your search engine — but you should. There’s an amazing array of indoor pools around the planet at hotels both extravagant and low key. In Beijing, for instance, take a dip in a pool that’s made entirely of stainless steel, surrounded by metal walls, lit with a mix of futuristic green lights. We fell hard, too, for Sydney's most heavenly indoor pool, with a ceiling filled with actual constellations that reflect on the water. Here’s where you should be splashing indoors this winter.
1. The Allison Inn & Spa — Newberg, Oregon
Just 45 minutes outside of Portland, the Allison Inn & Spa feels plucked from the countryside of Europe. The rolling hills of the Willamette Valley are dotted with rows of curling grape vines, extending to silhouetted forests of the Pacific Northwest. The heated swimming pool is one of the best places to enjoy the scenery. The bright blue waters are flooded with daylight, thanks to a massive skylight above, and the doors open to a terrace overlooking the resort’s Meadow Garden. The hotel’s noted artistry extends here too. You’re surrounded by dramatic pieces from the Allison’s private collection.
2. The Singular — Patagonia, Chile
The staff keeps The Singular's indoor/outdoor swimming pool at a muscle-relaxing 84 degrees. Massive windows give uninterrupted views of the snowcapped Andes mountains stabbing the sky in the distance. Take a deep breath, dive, swim under the window sill. Now you’re outside, exposed to the crisp, thin, Patagonian air with mere feet between your warm waters and the bracing cold ones of the Fjord of Last Hope Sound.
3. JW Marriott Hotels & Resort — Hanoi, Vietnam
This is JW Marriott’s first opening in Vietnam, and the brand was truly focused on artistry and pushing the envelope in designing the indoor pool. It’s referred to as a "reverse skyscraper" design, created by acclaimed architecture firm Carlos Zapata Studio. The pool sits in the building's "hanging" top floor, jutting out from the structure to offer incredible panoramic views of bustling Hanoi. The designers took inspiration from one of Vietnam’s favorite symbols — the dragon — and created a modern interpretation that’s absolutely striking.
4. The Skypool at Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard — London, England
Aptly named, this pool at the Shangri-La sits 52 floors above ground level and is the highest in Western Europe. You can cool off after a day of sightseeing and gaze out onto the skeletal rooftops of merry ‘ole England. Facing west across the City, the 33-by-12-foot, heated waterscape offers stunning views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster. At night, the vibe changes from tranquil to exciting. That's when the Skypool morphs into Gŏng, London’s highest bar, with cocktails and dancing against the backdrop of the night sky.
5. The Peninsula — Hong Kong
There’s an ancient, open-air Roman bathhouse on the eighth floor of the Peninsula in Hong Kong, and you also don’t have to stay there to enjoy it — you just need to book a spa treatment. Complete with towering circular columns, friezes, statues and cornices, this indoor pool feels Mediterranean. It opens out onto a sun terrace with fantastic views of Hong Kong. The juxtaposition of the bamboo scaffolding and massive skyscrapers of this Asian metropolis and an ancient Italian vibe is quite special... especially when you partake in poolside ordering from the hotel’s five-star, award-winning kitchens.
6. The Opposite House — Beijing, China
The pool at the Opposite House is more than 60 feet long. The bottom is stainless steel, illuminated by a series of lights in the ceiling above. Modern, futuristic, and breathtaking, this pool was the work of well-known Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The surrounding walls are covered in burnished metals to reflect the dramatic lighting. You have two options for visiting it. First, book a room. Secondly, you can get one of the membership gym passes — but be warned that quantities are limited. Plan this Beijing bathing-suit activity before departure.
7. The Langham Sydney — Sydney, Australia
At most indoor pools, going for sunset would be a strange idea. But it makes perfect sense at the Langham Sydney's pool, surrounded by light, stone columns and a scattering of potted foliage. The ceiling mirrors a night sky, full of tiny stars. It’s open until 9 p.m., but around sunset, they send the room lights down and the constellations grow brighter above you, sending sparkles across the water’s surface. There might be no more heavenly place to get in a 20-lap workout.
8. The Rosewood Hotel Georgia — Vancouver
The Rosewood Hotel Georgia's dramatic, saltwater pool is more than 50 feet in length. It’s also heated and wonderful to shake off a Canadian winter outside. The pool’s floor is its own work of art (and technology) featuring angular, Art-Deco-styled shapes that change hue based on the time of day. The hotel’s design also trends Roaring Twenties. If you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby, this is the ultimate place to crack open something by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
9. The Omni Grove Park Inn — Asheville, North Carolina
The Omni Grove Park Inn's pool is another one we love, not only because it’s amazingly cool, but also because it’s accessible: Purchasing a day pass to the spa will get you right in. It’s 43,000 square feet of subterranean swimming. Colored lights puddle onto the rock walls around you and you can explore the features, from waterfalls to grotto caves tucked around corners, all while never leaving the water.
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