You’ll get wet. That’s about the only commonality between a regular swimming hole and these wonderfully wacky pools. Get ready to dive into the surreal with strange shapes, bizarre colored water and unorthodox locales. From Las Vegas to Lhasa, swimming never looked so strangely sublime as it does with these weird hotel pools:
1. Hotel Unique, São Paulo, Brazil
Zoom down the water slide into the multi-hued water at Hotel Unique. You’re greeted with underwater music, video-projections on the wall and bubbling underwater chaises. But most miss this indoor pool due to the crazy rooftop pool. While taking in panoramic views of São Paulo and lounging in blood red water that’s created by the sun reflecting off red tiles, it’s – as they say in Brazil – legal.
2. Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, Nevada
If you can avoid letting the JAWS soundtrack play in your head, this is one of the coolest swims. If you can’t, a swim along a giant shark tank is one of the scariest swims. To up the fear factor even more, slide down the Golden Nugget Casino’s three-story high waterslide that runs through the center of the shark tank.
3. Reiters Supremehotel, Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria
Need to channel your feminine energy or boost your testosterone? The Bad Tatzmannsdorf’s Yin and Yang pool is a true gender bender. Shaped like the Chinese yin-yang symbol, there’s warm thermal water in the yin side and cool fresh water in the yang pool. Bonus: All this energy balancing can be done in the buff.
4. The Yeatman Hotel, Porto, Portugal
The Yeatman’s wine cellar has the largest collection of Portuguese wines in the world. So, of course, the decanter-shaped pool fits the bill. Plus, the views from the infinity pool – overlooking Porto’s Old Town and Douro River are definitely something to toast to.
5. St. Regis, Lhasa, Tibet
In the land of monks and spirituality, it’s not all a life of austerity. In fact, all that glitters is definitely golden inside the Iridium Room at the St. Regis Lhasa. Lined with gold leaf tiles that transform the water into a canary yellow color, the Golden Energy Pool is the ultimate in the art of bedazzling.
6. San Alfonso del Mar, Algarrobo, Chile
It’s go big, really big, or go home. As the world’s largest pool, check out these head-swimming stats: more than a half-mile long (equal to 20 Olympic-size swimming pools!), contains 66 million gallons of water, cost more than a $1 billion to build and is 115-feet at its deepest. Thankfully, it’s not a total water suck as it draws its water from the Pacific Ocean.
7. Huvafen Fushi by Per AQUUM, Maldives
If you’ve never swam with glowing dinoflagellates, here’s your mock-chance as Huvafen Fushi pioneered pool fiber optics. Illuminated by more than 1,000 little lights, it’s like swimming in the night sky full of stars or a bioluminescent bay. If that’s not impressive enough, check out the underwater spa.
8. The Library, Koh Samui, Thailand
Like something out of a horror movie, The Library’s blood-red pool comes from its orange, red and yellow mosaic glass tiles that reflect the sun. At night, it’s even more spooky-beautiful from underwater light.
9. Badeschiff, Berlin, Germany
Badeschiff (German for bathing ship) is not a ship at all. Opened in 2004 as an art project, it’s actually a shipping container. The public pool, giving Berliners an alternative to taking a dip in the polluted waters of Spree River, turns into a jamming summer party after the sun sets with concerts and screenings.
10. Holiday Inn Puding Kangqiai, Shanghia, China
It’s sky swimming at Shangia’s Holiday Inn. Jutting out from the hotel’s 24th story, it’s nothing but a glass pane and pool water that separates you from a free fall. Chilling thought, but if you’re not afraid of heights, the views are crazy amazing.
All photos courtesy of hotel or pool.