From the Himalayas to elephants in Kenya: The world's best pools with a view

It's not enough for a hotel to have a pool these days; it's all about the pool with a view. Here are some of the best

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The Independent Travel

Infinity pool? So 2006. These days, any self-respecting luxury hotel needs a pool with a stonking view. You'll find them all around the world, overlooking some of the planet’s most spectacular landscapes – here are some of our all-time favourites.

Hotel Hubertus, South Tyrol

What’s more spectacular, the view or the pool? It’s a close call at Hotel Hubertus, where the “sky pool” is cantilevered 40ft above ground and includes a glass “window” for those brave enough to look down at the South Tyrol’s mountainous landscape below. It’s twice as long as it is high, is accompanied by a sun terrace, and faces the Dolomites head on.

Doubles from €284 (£242), half board (plus afternoon buffet).

Hotel Arts, Barcelona

One for the art fanatics – the Arts’ pool overlooks Frank Gehry’s El Peix, a 52-metre sculpture of a golden fish, commissioned for the Barcelona seafront for the 1992 Olympics. Who said poolside lounging can’t be intellectual?

Doubles from €270, or packages from £897 per person for three nights' B&B, with flights and transfers via Classic Collection.

Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice

A pool is already unusual for Venice, but a rooftop pool overlooking the city in all its glory was practically unheard of when Hilton converted this former flour mill into a hotel. Looking out from the tip of Giudecca, the city unfurls in front of you – it’s one of the best views of the city.

Doubles from €280, room only.

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Marina Bay Sands sets the standard for city infinity pools

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

A byword for pools with views, the Marina Bay Sands has a bird’s eye view of the Lion City, overlooking skyscrapers, the Singapore River, the financial district and historical parts. Be warned: this is an infinity pool on the 57th floor. It’s not for the fainthearted.

Doubles from S$492 (£178), room only, via Hotels Combined.

Lalit Temple View Khajuraho, India

They’re best known as the “kama sutra temples” for their erotic sculptures, but don’t let that detract from the beauty of the Khajuraho temple complex in Madhya Pradesh. The pool at the Lalit Hotel looks directly towards the western temples of Khajuraho.

Doubles from 8,900 Indian rupees (£105), B&B.

Loisaba Tented Camp, Kenya

Perched on top of a 600ft escarpment looking across the Loisaba wildlife conservancy in northern Kenya, you can see as far as Mount Kenya from this pool – though you may be more absorbed in the foreground, known as one of the country’s most important elephant corridors. Even better, money from your stay goes towards local conservation.

Doubles from US$300 (£240) per person, full board.

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Loisaba’s pool overlooks one of Kenya’s most important elephant corridors

Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas, India

These aren’t just any mountains; they’re the Himalayas. Here in Shimla (the summer capital of the British Raj), you can see them from the infinity whirlpool – and if that isn’t enough, you’ll be immersed in the surrounding 20 acres of cedar forest, scenting the air as you relax in the bubbles.

Doubles from 35,000 Indian rupees (£415) per person, room only, or try the two-week Indian Sojourn package from Corinthian Travel from £1,995 per person.

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Swim in the driest landscape on earth at Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama, Chile

Spectacular in its simplicity, this pool at the Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa sits plum in the Atacama Desert, with the Andes peaking in the distance. Who wants to go exploring the driest place on earth when you can be replenishing your water levels via osmosis? Alternatively, soak it up at night, under the stars.

Doubles from £1,195, full board, including open bar, airport transfers and two half-day excursions.

Portavadie, Argyll, Scotland

From Scotland’s largest outdoor infinity pool and piping hot spa pools, you have a prime view of Loch Fyne and the mountains around it. And as a destination hotel – it’s known for its spa – there’s not much guilt in staying in instead of venturing out to explore. 

Doubles from £133, B&B.

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The pool at Oman’s Alila Jabal Akhdar has views of canyons and gorges

Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman

Located in the Al Hajar mountain range, 2,500 metres above sea level, this is a land of canyons and gorges – and the Alila’s infinity pool is right in the middle of it. Plenty of guests make an active holiday of it – there’s a climbing route and biking trails – but doing a few lengths in this pool should be almost as immersive.

Doubles from US$491, B&B.

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