Outdoor pools are fantastic — until it’s too cold to take a dip. Fortunately, many hotels around the world embrace a guest’s desire to swim no matter the weather. These aren’t your cookie-cutter pools, however. Think columns, fine art and walls of windows framing a killer view. From North Carolina to Tibet, here are 11 hotels with indoor pools that are worth staying at — even just for a swim.
1. Club Med Quebec — Quebec, Canada
In December this ski resort debuted at the foot of the Massif in the charming Charlevoix region – which only means its prized mountains are in full view from the pool, thanks to its all-glass enclosure. Hammocks are poolside as is an art installation of hand-painted canoe paddles. For a steamy plunge, step outside to the elevated hot tub for an even better view.
2. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah — Dubai
Guests at the hotel, with its iconic skyscraper design, can easily seek respite from the desert heat at the infinity-edge pool, featuring floor-to-ceiling tile, gold sconces, walls of windows and views of the Arabian Gulf that are hard to find, even in this destination already rich with towering buildings also boasting bird’s-eye views.
3. Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s Paris — Paris, France
Right on the Champs-Élysées, one of the city’s most luxurious hotels spares no luxury, even at its basement-level Diane Barriere spa where reproductions of fine art—trust us, they’re not cheesy or cheap—are hung on the walls. Black columns woven into the pool’s architecture are a refreshing departure from typical lighter hues and waterfalls on the pool’s edge are a playful touch.
4. Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo — Monte Carlo, Monaco
Flaunting serious fashion cred, the “Odyssey” pool area at this hotel was designed by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. It sports a celestial feel as the crystal chandelier reflects on the water’s surface. Black-and-white wall-size screens depict seaside life nearby and sliding-glass doors open to a garden.
5. La Sultana Marrakech — Marrakech, Morocco
Vaulted ceilings, marble arches and Moroccan-style lanterns at the hotel’s Sultana Spa create an elegant Old World design. Another architectural anchor here is a hammam, which is a steam bath popular in Muslim cultures but dates back to the Romans.
6. Hotel 1898 — Barcelona, Spain
In the heart of bustling Barcelona, Hotel 1898‘s pool at the spa is in a location with serious roots. Before it was a spa, the spot served as the Philippines Tobacco Company’s chambers and, before that, a coal bunker. Exposed-brick walls and shimmery green and blue waters (due to soft backlighting) make the spa a hidden historical wonder.
7. 7132 Hotel — Vals Valley, Switzerland
The thermal spa’s indoor pool is entirely clad in slabs of Vals quartzite, creating a very modern-design immersion at the hands of Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, a Pritzker Prize winner in 2009. The ESPA-brand spa at this hotel is home to eight thermal baths, including a fire pool, ice pool and spring grotto.
8. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort — Tibet, Chengguan
The hotel’s gold-tiled pool — fittingly called the Gold Energy Pool — is about as luxe as it gets. And while views of the surrounding Himalayas are stunning, so is the pool area’s architectural design. Dark-wood tones; art on the walls; and a cathedral ceiling crafted from wood planks cultivate a cozy environment.
9. Room Mate Grace — New York City, US
Just like The City That Never Sleeps, this hotel snug in Times Square, the pool on the ground floor, where a lobby normally might be, stays open late (until 9:00 PM). There’s also a pool bar, sauna and gym adjacent. But what sells the space is the colorful backlighting, including pinks and purples, for a jazzy vibe.
10. The g Hotel — Galway, Ireland
Emerald-green back-lighting is just one of many design details courtesy of famed Irish milliner Philip Tracey in the pool area of ESPA at this Galway hotel. With 12 treatment rooms and spanning two stories, it’s also considered the area’s most luxurious spa.
11. Omni Grove Park Inn — Asheville, North Carolina
Taking a dip in the 18,000-square-foot spa’s pool feels very subterranean, thanks to rock sculptures in the shape of towering columns. A definite spot to linger, the resort’s spa also features a café, treatment rooms, sauna and a steam room infused with eucalyptus.