Fantastic Four: Rooftop Pools
Nicola Brady picks four rooftop pools perched above New York, London, Barcelona and Bangkok.
Why: If you want show-stopping style and polished luxury, you can't beat a Mandarin Oriental hotel. And their Barcelona offering is a perfect example of what they do best - a glitzy retreat in the centre of the action. When you need a reprieve from the city or the sun, then the rooftop pool is just the retreat you're looking for. You'll find 360-degree views of the city, best enjoyed with a cocktail from the adjoining bar.
How: Nightly rates start from €519 B&B. Fly to Barcelona with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com).
Gansevoort Park Avenue
Where: New York
Why: The best rooftop pools are the ones perched high above the busiest cities, where you can recline by the waterside as the crowds rush below. With its position in the heart of midtown, the Gansevoort Park Avenue fits the bill perfectly. Twenty storeys above the city, the pool is the ultimate in sophisticated Manhattan chic, accompanied by a rooftop bar and lounge, as well as killer views of the Empire State Building.
How: Nightly rates start at $395 (€364). Fly to New York with United (united.com).
Why: London offers a surprising number of options for an al fresco summer swim, from the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park to the ponds at Hampstead Heath. But if you want your swim a little more private (and a lot more heated), then you'll love the Bamford Hayburn spa at the Berkeley hotel. The pool offers a taste of the Med in the middle of Knightsbridge, with panoramic views of Hyde Park and a retractable roof.
How: Nightly rates start at £375 (€540) +VAT including breakfast. Fly to London City with Cityjet (cityjet.com).
Why: Bangkok isn't short on flashy rooftops, but the infinity pool at the Okura is surely one of the finest around. On the 25th floor of the five-star hotel, the edge of the cantilevered pool hovers over the hum of the city below, for both incredible views and an exhilarating dip. There are loungers, a bar and the pool is open until 10pm, so you can cool off on a balmy evening as the city lights up before you.
How: Nightly rates start at 14,000 baht (€377). Fly to Bangkok with Etihad (etihad.com) via Abu Dhabi.
NB: All prices subject to change.