Cliffside Pool, Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, France
The majestic infinity-edge pool of the fabled Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc is forged into cliffs along the rugged Cap d'Antibes coast just outside Cannes. Filled with ocean salt water and heated on cooler days, it looks out on the Lérins Islands and the glassy Cannes Bay, where the gin palace yachts of the celebrities and tycoons who stay here bob on the water. On a secluded cement terrace, hidden among rocks above the pool, cocktail waiters tend to guests reclining in private cabanas on deck chairs under glossy white umbrellas. Almost as spectacular as the views are the celebrity sightings of the likes of Kate Moss, Bruce Willis,
and Johnny Depp.
Tip: A rope at pool level allows you to swing Tarzan-style off the cliffs into the ocean swell below.
On the 47th floor of the famously sleek Lost in Translationhotel, this 65-foot-long, four-lane masterpiece under a double-height glass roof has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer spectacular views of the Shinjuku district, the city, and Mount Fuji beyond. Visit at night when the pool is a fluorescent blue and the cityscape glitters below. The pool is part of the hotel's Club on the Park spa and fitness center, so you can order salads and juices from the spa menu while you recline on deck chairs under those tall windows.
Tip: Bill Murray struggled to do a lap here when he took a dip in Sofia Coppola's film. Try to do better.
For more information: 81-3/5322-1234; Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Rooftop Pool, The Standard Downtown, Los Angeles
André Balazs's über-cool hotel takes the urban swimming pool to another level—namely, the 12th-floor rooftop. The glowing L-shaped pool, rimmed by funky space-age cabanas with vibrating waterbeds, has a lively cocktail lounge to the side, which attracts wide-eyed tourists and local hipsters. They come as much for the drinks and music as the spectacular views of Library Tower, Museum Square, and the rest of the city's glittering skyline.
Tip: You can watch classic Tinseltown movies projected drive-in style on the giant wall of a neighboring building while you sip a mojito in the pool.
For more information: 213/892-8080; The Standard Downtown L.A.
Main Pool, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles
Lush swaying palms and huge granite boulders tower over this glassy, dark-blue infinity pool on Intendance Bay in the Seychelles. A narrow point at the center of the pool juts out over a talcum-powder beach below, leaving you with the feeling you're floating above the waves. Out on the bay, forest-covered tropical islands loom out of the water, and fishing boats and catamarans sail the trade winds.
Tip: Every one of the resort's 60 colonial plantation-style villas has a private pool with bay views, but the recently built two-bedroom DoublePool Villas, set in manicured gardens yards from the beach, have one for each room, as well as heated jet-pools.
For more information: 011-248/383-500, 011-248/383-555; Banyan Tree Seychelles