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Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Sure, Jade Mountain has a James Beard Award-winning chef and a beautiful private beach, but that’s not why this resort wins so many awards (or why the only common complaint among guests is that they don’t want to leave). No, it’s all about the pools here. All 29 suites are open where a fourth wall would ordinarily be, and all but five have private, roomy infinity pools (450-900 square feet) that look out over the Caribbean and the two volcanic peaks of the Pitons, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Acrophobics, this infinity pool is not for you. But for everyone else, the 360-degree views from the 57th floor are nothing short of breathtaking. At 492 feet long, this watery wonder set the length record for an elevated pool; that means there’s plenty of space to spread out, do a little backstroke, or relax on one of the pool’s in-water chaise longues. Then stake out some space along the edge for the obligatory selfie, where you’ll appear to be mere inches from tumbling over into the Singapore skyline.
One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
This gets our vote as arguably the best lap pool anywhere. If you feel you must put in the effort, it might as well be here, because your reward for all that admirable exercise is nothing but azure skies and cerulean Indian Ocean for as far as you can see. The pool was thoughtfully designed with a sitting area in the middle, just in case you need a breather — or a mai-tai.
This is the place to, quite literally, see and be seen. Four floors up, the end of the InterContinental's 25-meter pool extends past the building to form an overhang with a curved bottom that’s clear on all sides — including the bottom. That means you can see through the water to onlookers below (and they can get a good view of you, too). If you need a little liquid courage first, grab a drink from the pool bar.
Grotta Giusti, Italy
The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi called this place, tucked into a serene Tuscan hillside, the “eighth wonder of the world”; we call it the best pool anywhere to take the cure. The mineral-rich water flows at a constant 95 degrees from the property’s underground grotto, where you can descend for a steam treatment. Within the 8,000-square-foot main pool, relax in any one of the four spiral “mini-pools,” each with a unique water-jet configuration.