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10 of the most spectacular urban swimming pools

Soho House Amsterdam

Fantasizing about soaking up views of the best city skylines? KATIE BERRINGTON rounds up the urban hotel pools to dip your toes in

Lifestyle

SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands

Rooftop pools are a Soho House signature, as are the striped sun loungers that surround them, and they make for an idyllic, laid-back location from which to admire the city backdrop. At its Amsterdam property, housed in the impressive Bungehuis building on the Spuistraat, the central canal-side setting is best enjoyed from the roof, cocktail in hand.

Soho House Amsterdam

THE SAVOY, Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon is one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia, and The Savoy provides a serene oasis within its electrifying bustle. In the shuttered rooms with whirring overhead fans, time seems to slow down, measured out by the calming chimes of one of the many antique clocks in the hotel. The swimming pool is in the elevated courtyard garden, overlooked by two restaurants and shaded by jasmine bowers and magnolia. Traditional lacquered bamboo sun parasols protect against the sun, making it the perfect spot to cool off or relax for a sundowner.

The Savoy, Yangon

THE BARCELONA EDITION, Spain

Where city meets sea and mountains, the Catalan outpost of The Edition is positioned on the edge of Barcelona’s El Born district – perfectly situated for the beach, shopping and cultural hotspots. But the best location in the hotel is right beside the rooftop saltwater pool, which may be relatively small in size, but is major in terms of the city’s vibrant social scene.

The Edition, Barcelona

THE BETSY, Miami, US

The rooftop pool at this beloved South Beach institution is a feat of architectural imagination, seemingly floating mid-air like a bridge across the linked buildings that make up this Art Deco hotel on the beach. With its traditional clapboard-and-shutters design, honeypot buzz and intimate vibe, The Betsy feels both like a retreat and a hub. The pool, strung with bistro lights, taps into the unique glamour of Ocean Drive, with sweeping 360-degree views of the downtown skyline, great cocktails and a varied menu. And, on the adjacent Ocean Front Deck, the spa offers holistic treatments in private cabanas.

The Betsy, Miami

1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE, New York, US

With its driftwood design and textured glamour, 1 Hotel is among Brooklyn’s hippest stays – and that’s before you reach the plunge pool with views stretching over the East River and Manhattan’s glittering skyline. The Dumbo ferry terminal is beside the hotel’s main doors if you want to make a grand entrance by private yacht; either way, it’s good to remind yourself that Manhattan is an urban jungle built around water. There is invariably a pool party happening on the roof – legendary events that attract hotel and non-hotel guests alike – with a Bamford spa offering feel-good eco treatments to detox the morning after.

1 Hotel, New York

THE NED, London, UK

There aren’t many rooftop pools that boast as much history as The Ned’s. Sitting 11 storeys high in a Grade I-listed building, the old Midland Bank has been transformed into a 252-room hotel by Soho House & Co and the Sydell Group. Its panoramic vista overlooks the city skyline, complete with a close-up of St Paul’s Cathedral – and the view takes on more allure as the sun goes down. The two converted domes of the roof have outdoor terraces ideal for alfresco dining and drinking, as well as a bar with a retractable roof so it can be enjoyed year-round.

The Ned, London

THE NORMAN, Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv is a thrilling city for art seekers, foodies, party animals and lounge lizards, and the hotel concierge at The Norman – which is housed in a historic building in the White City area – can map it all out for you. But with its own art collection, resident DJ and rooftop party scene, you may not want to step away from the boutique hotel at all. The infinity pool itself offers uninterrupted views of the city center and sea in the distance.

The Norman, Tel Aviv

AMAN TOKYO, Japan

There is much to marvel at Aman Tokyo, an urban sanctuary high above the city’s Otemachi district. Not least is its expansive spa, where treatments and therapies are based around Japanese natural ingredients and philosophies; there are vast hot baths, multiple steam rooms and a world-class fitness center. But the standout feature is the 30-meter pool with dramatic views stretching across the capital, surrounded by sleek daybeds – the most serene spot from where to take in the skyline.

Aman Tokyo

THE SILO, Cape Town, South Africa

Soaring above the V&A Waterfront of Cape Town, occupying six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the geometric glass-fronted structure of The Silo is a sight to behold. But, then, so are the breathtaking sights you can take in from the hotel’s high-up, outdoor swimming pool, which cascades with views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, the harbor, the ocean and the city itself.

The Silo, Cape Town

MEMMO ALFAMA, Lisbon, Portugal

The design-led Memmo hotel is set in the heart of Lisbon, in the revamped building of a former shoe-polish factory. Taking inspiration from the traditional red roofs of Alfama, its terraced pool is bold and distinctive, lined with iridescent red tiles. There couldn’t be a more stylish vantage point to look out over the River Tagus.

Memmo Alfama, Lisbon