Take the plunge: our best pools around the world
From a rooftop in New York to a historic courtyard in Tel Aviv, these are our favourite spots to cool off in
Tuesday 12 April 2022 By Soho House
Swimming pools are like theatres: they’re places of relaxation, romance, and somewhere you can strip off and show your abs without getting funny looks. You find all life there, from the committed athlete to the poolside lounge lizard. No wonder so many artists have found inspiration in their watery depths. Hockney, we’re looking at you.
We’re certainly pretty inspired by our House swimming pools. So, pull up a lounger and explore the heavenly bodies of water that follow. From DUMBO House in Brooklyn to White City House in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, these pools always make a splash.
Oh, Soho House Barcelona, let us count the ways we love you, with your panoramic views of Marina Port Vell, tapas-filled menu, and elegant swimming pool that crowns your enormous roof terrace. Spend a day exploring the winding, narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter and then retreat to the deep comfort of a poolside lounger and some freshly cut Iberian ham. Viva España, indeed.
Our Middle Eastern outpost might be housed in a former convent, but it has definitely thrown off any asceticism. While short on nuns, it’s big on amenities – no more so than when it comes to the pool. Descend the steps from reception into the sunken courtyard and you’ll be rewarded with a view of one of the best pools in the city. Just be sure to arrive early if you want to bag a lounger, this place draws punters like moths to a flame.
If there’s a better pool in Brooklyn, we’d like to know about it. Housed in the top section of the historic Empire Stores building, it has panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and allows you to get up close and personal with Brooklyn Bridge. It’s so New York it almost hurts. Head there at the weekend, take a morning dip, then brunch to your heart’s content on seafood and Mimosas. You won’t be disappointed.
There are many things we like about our House in Hong Kong: the enormous gym, for instance, and the private screening room to name two, but nothing compares to the pool. To say that it’s stunning is an understatement. Green plants sprawl from the rattan furniture and frame a gorgeous blue tiled pool with views across Sheung Wan and Victoria Harbour. There’s even a swim-up bar, so you’ll never need to leave its pristine waters.
The former BBC television centre has been the site of many triumphs over the years, and its latest incarnation still tops the ratings. No more so than when it comes to its pool. It’s a little slice of heaven in west London – if, that is, heaven consists of getting Lady A delivered to the 1960s-style sunloungers that crowd the glistening pool. It certainly sounds good to us…
The problem with the pool at Soho House Amsterdam is that it is so nice; once you’ve taken a dip, you won’t want to get out. It’s the jewel in the crown of this mini Art Deco palace. Swimmers here get a 360-degree eyeful of the Dutch capital. It’s long enough to do lengths in, too, but if you’re anything like us you might just find yourself perched on the side with a Negroni.
New York can really take its toll: it’s so big, so loud, and so endless. Sometimes you just need a breather from it, to take the load off and relax. That’s where the pool at our Manhattan House comes in. It’s a little oasis of calm in a mad city. So, take a seat, order your Picante and salmon tartare, and luxuriate in a bit of R&R – you deserve it.
Watch the sun make its inching progress into the waters of Paraga Beach from the comfort of a poolside hammock and you’ll know true contentment. Soho Roc House is like a beautiful daydream: it’s all pared-back rattan furniture, muted colours, and beautiful views. The pool is at the very heart of the operation, shimmering in the Greek sun. It’s the type of pool that would tempt Narcissus.
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