FROM rooftop swimming pools crowning luxury Hong Kong hotels to geothermal ponds in a classic English settlement, these venues provide perfect places to make a splash.
1. Mataranka – the Northern Territory hamlet an 80-minute drive from Katherine – is home to hot springs feeding a string of thermal ponds (below) that are surrounded by palm forests and filled water that bubbles to the surface at a rejuvenating 34C.
2. Hong Kong is packed with spectacular hotel pools – try the InterContinental and W Hotel for legendary infinity versions – but the best is the cantilevered rooftop lanes at Hotel Indigo, which feature a glass bottom so swimmers can peer down 29 floors below.
3. Bath in England has long been a fashionable destination to “take the water’’ and the Thermae Bath Spa (below), a modern building in the town centre, now boasts two spots to soak in the therapeutic 34C liquid with the indoor Minerva Bath and rooftop pool open all day and late into the night.
4. Designed to mimic the nearby rice terraces, and let guests feel like they’re floating above the trees, the tiered structure at Hanging Gardens Ubud in Bali is one of the world’s most photographed resort swimming pools.
5. Thailand’s traditional fishing villages inspired the layout of Let’s Sea Hua Hin Resort (below), with the 40 guestrooms built around a 120m swimming pool designed to look like a canal and letting ground-floor guests slip into the blue from private pier-like verandas.
6. San Alfonso del Mar, a holiday resort on the central Chilean coast, is home to the world’s largest swimming pool with this man-made “lake’’ that holds 250 million litres of seawater stretching more than a kilometre.
7. The swimming pool at Ol Tukai Lodge (below), in the heart of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, lets guests indulge in a cooling drip after a dusty day on safari while peering at zebras and elephants grazing across the garden fence to the cloud-covered peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro nearby.
8. When the weather warms up in Berlin locals retreat to the Badeschiff (below), a public pool set inside the hull of an old ship that floats on the River Spree.
9. Visit the London Aquatic Centre – one of the venues in the English capital’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – and do a few laps of “fitness swimming’’ in the same lanes that athletes won gold back in 2012.
10. When it comes to Sydney’s best public options, it’s the North Sydney Olympic Pool in the shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Andrew “Boy’’ Charlton Pool on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens that top the list.
11. The rooftop swimming space at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (below) is the world’s most famous infinity pool with this 150m feature stretching across the Sands Skypark – a bridge-like structure topping the hotel’s three towers – presenting a view of the Lion City skyline.
12. Vancouver’s alfresco Kitsilano Pool (below) – or, simply, the Kits Pool – is only open during the warmer months and sits beside a suburban beach to offer ocean, mountain and city vistas.