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A pool with a view

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There’s swimming, and there’s swimming. A few laps in the pool at your local recreation center versus this. A perfectly glassy pool with a view you can watch for hours. A place to relax in ’til your toes start to wrinkle. Possibly longer.

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This is the pool at Verana, nestled in the Mexican jungle, near Yelapa. It’s not the biggest pool in the world, nor is it the flashiest. But the view from inside it is just stunning.

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Like the pool at Strawberry Hill in Jamaica, which overlooks what seems like the whole of the island. Jamaica isn’t a quiet place, but Strawberry Hill is, watching over all the hustle and bustle from a mountaintop.

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The pool at Strawberry Hill is high up in the Blue Mountains and blends beautifully with the landscape, without trying to replicate a palace from a bygone era.

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The pool at the Perivolas Hotel in Santorini, Greece, is similar. It’s appeared on many a magazine cover, and you can see why. The hotel itself is literally carved out of the volcanic hillside, and overlooks the ancient caldera of this magical island.

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Other perfect pools include the one at the COMO Shambhala Estate spa in Ubud, Bali. No Corinthian columns, no dragon-headed fountains, no water slides. Just trees and solitude.

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Not to say that flashy can’t be cool. If you’ve seen Lost in Translation, you’ll have seen Scarlett Johansson jump into the breathtaking pool at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. It’s the length of the hotel and high above the city, offering views of the twinkling lights.

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The same goes for the pool at the Altira Macau Hotel on Taipa Island in Macau. Sleek and cool, it spans almost an entire floor, sweeps right up to the panoramic windows, as if it’s about to fall out over the unfeasibly huge view.

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Meanwhile in Dallas, here’s a funky little pool that knows no boundaries. It lives on top of The Joule hotel, but cantilevers out over Main Street. You can swim right up to its edge and peer down at life passing by on the street below.

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And on that quirky note, let’s end with the Ritz Carlton in Beijing. Not the most striking hotel pool in the world, perhaps, except for the fact it has a movie screen at one end of it. A wholy different kind of view. – Roshan McArthur

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