We asked you to vote for the hotel pools that won your heart, for the Smith Hotel Awards 2014, and you dived right in… We can now commence the drum roll to announce your top 10 spots to soak – and maybe sneak a skinny-dipping session – in, with the shortlist for our new category, Best Hotel Pool. So, read on to find photogenic poolsides, infinity edges overlooking gasp-eliciting views and waterside waiters who are quick on the draw…
Foster + Partners – the architectural genies behind the ‘Gherkin’ – conjured up Capella Singapore’s infinity-edged pools, which cascade over three tiers. Set on peaceful Sentosa Island, overlooking the South China Sea, the pools are lounger-lined and tree-shaded.
This castaway-chic stay’s pool overlooks the limestone pinnacles of Phang Nga bay; dip in and you’ll feel as though you’re about to swim off the edge. Gaze out at craggy islands jutting from the ocean in between laps, or from a pagoda-shaded day-bed.
Lined with aquamarine tiles and surrounded by tropical greenery, this gasp-eliciting pool has Thai pavilion islands with white curtains, removable roofs, and sunloungers, for blissful basking à deux. After sundown, lanterns illuminate the fairy-tale setting.
This hidden heated pool is set in the arbour that ignited the Profumo affair, it’s flanked by stone cherubim, pretty pavilions and sunloungers, and waiters happily whisk drinks and snacks to guests. Elegant and aristocratic, with hint of scandal – it’s a true Smith classic.
Echoing the serpentine wend of the Merse river nearby, the hotel‘s free-form freshwater infinity pool blends into its landscaped surrounds. Sunloungers and parasols surround this all-natural pool, and its bar allows sun-soaked lazing with a glass of wine.
Cap Estel’s saltwater infinity pool cleaves into the Ligurian, luring sunbathers away from the hotel’s private beach. Open from May until mid-October, with white sunloungers and an inlaid Jacuzzi, there’s no better spot to watch gazillionaires’ yachts drift by.
Tiered, slate-lined infinity pools cascade down the side of this cliffside sanctuary, which overlooks the Lombok Strait. It’s a fashion-shoot favourite, with palm-leaf-shaped parasols and thatched balé pavilions, and après-swim Bali-style afternoon tea is served.
Infinity pools are rarely more stunning than this heated high-rise. Set on a clifftop with jaw-dropping views, it resembles a length of shoreline melting into the azure Amalfi horizon. Its beach-like edge has panoramic views, stretching from Ravello to Positano.
An elegant foil to the hotel’s Gaudí-contoured villas, the infinity pool has heart-stoppingly beautiful caldera views and appears to flow straight into the Aegean. Surrounded by terraced gardens, it’s a devastatingly romantic setting to watch Oia’s sunsets.
The Presidential Villa’s 25-metre heated lap pool is our most wanted; holding its own against the glittering turquoise Bay of Islands, yet blending seamlessly into the headland. Day-beds and lanterns add a dash of romance too.
If you’re eager to find out the Smith Hotel Awards winners, all will be revealed on 7 November 2014. In the meantime, why not search for a good spot to show off your bikini (or board shorts) in our hotels with pools collection, or find retreats with private pools…