Five Best: Cool pools
Published 24/09/2011 | 05:00
Best for ... fashionistas
Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, Barcelona
For poolside posers, Rey Juan Carlos on Barcelona's main avenue, the Diagonal, boasts an outdoor pool complete with catwalk, nestling amid acres of lush Mediterranean gardens dating back to the 19th century.
You'd never know you were in the heart of the city. If sashaying down the runway gets too much, the pool bar, which serves freshly grilled tapas, is the in-place for a casual lunch.
Details: Doubles from Â¤150. Tel: 0034 933 644 040; hrjuancarlos.com.
Best for ... splashing about
San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
The lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar, 60 miles west of Santiago on Chile's southern coast, holds the current Guinness record for being the world's largest swimming pool.
Stretching more than one kilometre, it covers an area of 20 acres, the equivalent of 6,000 regular pools. It's three-metres deep, holds 66 million gallons of water and is navigable in boats. Its creator, Cystal Lagoons, is believed to be planning six mega-pools for locations in Panama, Egypt, Argentina and predictably Dubai.
Details: Starting rates for a one-bed apartment is Â¤110pn for two people. Tel: 0056 2202 0231; sanalfonso.cl.
Best for... cooling off
If the scorching heat of the Middle East gets too much, a dip in the Raffles Dubai pool should do the trick. With soaring views of the Emirate's skyline, special features at the fourth-floor pool include cooling technologies that keep the deck cool for barefeet even in the height of summer.
There are two counter-current pools if you're a fitness freak. and a spectacular ancient water clock. Freshly squeezed juices and mocktails are served on tap.
Details: Doubles start from Â¤164. Tel: 00971 4324 8888; raffles.com/dubai.
Best for ... hedonists
My Lake Hotel and Spa, Austria
Tucked on the shores of Lake WÃ¶rthersee at the foot of Austria's southern Alps, My Lake Hotel and Spa is a new boutique resort with 73 studios and two penthouses. Visiting A-listers hang out at the beach club, with its garden terrace overlooking the lake's turquoise waters, pool-side cabanas and a DJ who plays funky tracks all day long.
Details: Doubles from Â¤200 including breakfast. Tel: 0043 427 228 220 4800; mylakehotel.com.
Best for... families
The Runnymede-on-Thames, England
Just a stone's throw from Windsor and Heathrow, the family-run runny-mede-on-thames hotel has a trendy new outdoor pool just down from the banks of the river. There's a children's splash zone packed with toys and a lifeguard is on duty at all times. Fluffy white towels are stacked nearby, luxury loungers make for serious snoozing, and cocktails and snacks are served from the gazebo.
Details: Doubles cost Â¤246. Tel: 0044 0178 422 0969; therunnymede.com.