A waterproof library? Encounters with elephants? These pools will make you want to dive right in.
Read Underwater In Aruba
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Aruba is nicknamed One Happy Island, and while it has plenty of turquoise blue water and year-round sunshine worthy of that accolade, the hotel offerings you can find on this Caribbean island also make it one fantastic place to visit. And that includes the pool at the newly renovated Hilton Aruba, which features a collection of waterproof books—and a waterproof Kindle preloaded with classics from authors like Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain—that guests can check out at their leisure. So, while you don't have to read under the water, floating around in it is totally safe.
Photo: Hilton Aruba
Pool Snorkle In the Bahamas
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Whether it's because of bad weather or a (totally legitimate) fear of getting too close to sea creatures, those who are resigned to the pool shouldn't have to miss out on cool sightseeing opportunities. At Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, you can swim laps alongside an underwater sea-life sanctuary that's filled with adopted nurse sharks, stingrays, tropical fish, and marine life native to the Caribbean Sea. And after you've seen Nemo up close, you can take a lap through the underwater marine cavern, which is inspired by salt water sinkholes.
Photo: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Backstroke to the Beat In Vieques Island
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The double-decker pool at W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island, has an underwater sound system that regularly streams a custom mix of music in the water so you can perfect your form while swimming to the beat. Just don't forget to snap a pic when you're done—the infinity edge offers the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of Puerto Rico (only 8 miles away) in the distance.
Photo: W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island
Swim Above the Ocean In Uruguay
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With room rates starting at $750 a night, a stay at Playa Vik José Ignacio is on a #bucketlist-level price point—but the pool alone makes it worth it. (Speaking of dream vacations, these are the #BucketList travel destinations you need to visit in 2017.) The pool is 75 feet long, stretching beyond the terrace so you can hover over the beach garden below while looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean. And if night laps are more your thing, you'll love this: One of the coolest features is the fiber-optic celestial map of the Southern Hemisphere's night sky on the floor of the pool, meaning you get to swim both above and below the stars.
Photo: Playa Vik José Ignacio
Appreciate the Views In Monaco
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If wearing something designed by style icon Karl Lagerfeld seems out of reach, you can still experience his talent at Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo. The heated saltwater pool, designed by Lagerfeld, is every fashionista's dream place for swimming laps (or just taking pics by the pool). Throughout the outdoor space, pops of bright blue pool furniture offset sleek black-and-white prints on seat cushions, but the most eye-catching feature is the glass art installation portraying the journey of Ulysses (which is backlit as day turns to night). Of course, the views of the famed Monte-Carlo Casino—not to mention the Mediterranean Sea—are a close second.
Photo: Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo
Make Friends with Elephants In Tanzania
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Imagine you're finishing your final lap of the morning. You touch the edge of the 82-foot pool, lift your head out of the water, and find yourself face-to-face with an elephant drinking from a watering hole in the Serengeti. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, for guests at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, that's reality. (And you're going to want to document every single second, as the infinity-edge feature makes you feel like you're right in the elephants' territory.) Be warned, though: Epic opportunities like this don't come cheap. Prices start at $1,500 a night (which gets you three meals a day and alcoholic beverages), so start saving now.
Photo: Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti