New York, NY (PRWEB) September 12, 2012
Make a splash in the best pools around the world with Leading Hotels. From Thailand to Turkey, LHW offers pools with panache.
The heart of bustling Bangkok may seem an odd place for a truly spectacular swimming pool, but that is just where one of the newest hotels in town has unveiled a magnificent one. Cantilevered from the side of the building on the 25th floor, The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s 25-meter swimming pool makes a dramatic impression high above the city streets. As a striking architectural statement, the pool area also provides the perfect atmosphere to unwind for both sunbathers and stargazers. The hotel is part of Bangkok's Park Ventures Ecoplex, Thailand's first full-scale green building, LEED Platinum-certified, and a veritable tour de force of ultramodern architecture. Occupying 34 floors of this skyscraper, the Okura Prestige Bangkok blends contemporary, sustainable design with traditional Asian elegance.
In sharp contrast to this very 21st-century feat of engineering, there is the underground pool at the Hotel Brufani Palace in Perugia, Italy. Sheltered amid medieval vaulting beneath the hotel, the Sirenuse Club Spa boasts as its centerpiece a glass-bottomed swimming pool – built atop Etruscan ruins and the remains of the 16th-century Rocca Paolina fortress built by Pope Paul III, which were discovered during a renovation program in the late 1980s. Guests need do nothing more strenuous than take a dip to get close to the ancient history of this culturally rich city and region.
Summer and winter guests alike can take advantage of another similarly well-kept urban secret, hidden beneath The Greenwich Hotel in Manhattan’s Tribeca. A 250-year-old bamboo Kyoto farmhouse was meticulously dismantled and reconstructed by skilled Japanese craftsmen to surround and cover the hotel’s serene and dramatically lit subterranean azure-blue pool. Settling into a lounge chair in the lantern-lit area surrounding the pool, one could easily forget that the non-stop hustle and bustle of New York City is just upstairs and outside.
Grace Bay Club, one of the Caribbean’s premier resorts, takes swimming serenity a step further with its adults-only, glass-edge, infinity pool and bar experience. Conceived and created by Miami-based design firm Siskind, Carlson Partners, the recent renovation of the resort’s signature pool area has brought guests an enchanting and private sanctuary with the added flair of contemporary art and design. More than twice the size of the original pool, the new resort focal point is anchored by a twelve-foot glass wall facing the turquoise water of Grace Bay, creating an almost aquarium-type experience. Its modern design features only a sleek translucent glass barrier between guests and the resort’s 1,100-foot view of beach frontage. The poolside enhancements also included an expansion and connection to the resort’s Infiniti Bar, the longest in the Caribbean.
Lush palms define the borders of the signature Orchid pool at Halekulani. The heated 46-by-82 foot fresh-water pool overlooking Waikiki Beach is one of the hotel’s most talked-about landmarks. On the bottom of the pool is a stunning mosaic of a Cattleya orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported South African glass tiles. This museum-caliber work-of-art pool is just one more example of how Halekulani always goes the extra mile. After your swim, relax in a lounge chair on the spacious deck. Should you require anything else, personal attendants are on duty - ready, as always, to deliver the finest personal service you've ever experienced, including cold towels, magazines and a selection of CD's.
There aren’t many hotels in the world where you can lounge by a pool on one continent and gaze across an expanse of water upon the shores of another, but that is just what guests at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul can do. Incorporating a former royal residence of the Ottoman sultans, the hotel enjoys a spectacular setting on the European edge of the Bosphorus Strait. And from the infinity pool on the broad terrace, swimmers can look across to Asia and watch ships plying their way between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. In winter, the pool’s water and the surrounding cabanas are comfortably heated; and in summer, the pool butlers offer pre-cooled towels to keep guests refreshed.
As if a summer holiday on Lake Como isn’t dreamy enough, the legendary Villa d’Este takes the idea of “floating away on happiness” one step further. Surrounded by a magnificent wooden deck built into a pontoon that floats on the 28-mile lake, the hotel’s spectacular pool is the centerpiece of a stunning watercourse. The backdrop of cloud-topped mountains, with flowing streams and grottoes along the lake’s shores, completes the romantic setting. When the weather turns cool, the indoor pool at the sporting club welcomes off-season swimmers.
Set in a brass-trimmed teak deck, surrounded by wood-framed glass panels, the rooftop pool at Hotel Le Bristol in Paris gives guests the impression that they are sailing aboard a handsome 19th-century yacht into the harbor at Cap d’Antibes. Classic ocean-liner-style deck chairs and a trompe l’oeil painting on the wall at one end of the enclosed area add to the pleasant illusion. However, swimmers need only glance left and right out the windows, to vistas of the Eiffel Tower and Sacré Coeur atop the hill of Montmartre to know they are right in the heart of the City of Light, and not on the Mediterranean.
Located along the pristine coast of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers visitors very individualized swimming experiences. All of the 132 accommodations at this all-villa resort feature private pools measuring at least 323 square feet, as well as outdoor heated jet-pools or sunken baths, massage beds, and steam rooms. Guests wanting to venture outside of their private accommodations can dive in to the large freeform pool at the center of the resort, which also features a children’s pool area. For a swim with a view, they can head down to the Beach Club, which features an infinity pool looking out over the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Continuing the resort’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the lush environment within which it is located, the property uses only ecologically friendly products with which to filter and test the water for all of its pools.
Karl Lagerfeld has been redesigning the outside areas of Hotel Métropole Monte-Carlo, including the pool, terrace, gardens and new, third Joel Robuchon restaurant. A key feature of the project, set to be unveiled this fall, is a stunning fresco-style installation created exclusively for the hotel by Mr. Lagerfeld, made up of 15 impressive glass panels depicting the journey of Ulysses’s journey around the Mediterranean. The site-specific installation for the pool and restaurant areas will consist of etched, backlit glass panels bearing Mr. Lagerfeld’s images.
For reservations, visit http://www.LHW.com. In the USA & Canada please call 1-800-223-6800 or contact a travel professional.
About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
When extraordinary and one-of-a-kind intersect, you have likely found a Leading Hotel. As the largest luxury hotel collection, with more than 430 of the world’s greatest properties in over 80 countries, we seek out the exceptional. From grand palaces to intimate city hideaways, from ancient castles to sumptuous safari tent villages, from tropical aeries to mystical paradises, all are utterly unique and boldly independent. Each celebrates the culture of its destination, rather than trying to mask it with corporate-mandated sameness. Established in 1928 by several influential and forward-thinking European hoteliers, it started with 38 initial members. With our eight-decade-long commitment to providing unforgettable, authentic travel experiences, LHW selects only hotels that meet our high standards for quality and distinctiveness. To us, hospitality is not an industry, it’s an art…and our passion.