Intense competition forces hotels to differentiate themselves in novel ways. Hence, more and more hotels are looking to the swimming pool and turning it into an architectural centrepiece that adds something interesting and quirky to the hotel’s facilities.
Harbour Grand Kowloon, Hong Kong
The recently rebranded hotel, previously the Harbour Plaza, in Hung Hom, is conveniently located close to Hung Hom station which connects the city to China.
Though the rest of the hotel has no out-of-the-ordinary features, the rooftop pool might get exhibitionists excited. Walled with glass on three sides, quite like a fish aquarium, the pool allows guests lazing around on the sundecks to look in at swimmers floating by and vice versa.
Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao
This hotel is one of the first international branded properties in the Kangqiao district – the city’s new up-and-coming industrial zone.
While the rest of the hotel offers standard amenities, including wifi internet access, the swimming pool is perhaps its greatest draw. Located on the 24th floor, the deep end of the cantilevered swimming pool has a glass bottom and protrudes out of the building, offering brave swimmers a bird’s eye view of the city.
This hip boutique hotel, which opened in 2009, spoils its guests with perks such as a free minibar in guest rooms and free drinks in the evening.
The pool is another one of its many attractions – the glass-enclosed cantilevered facility is built into the 12th floor of the hotel in a way that makes it a part of the cool checkerboard façade. On top of that, the pool is illuminated with LED lighting to match the views of the city at night perfectly.
The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg is an integral part of the Volkswagen theme park – Autostadt – and thus is designed to reflect the spirit of the car company with state-of-the-art technology and unique architecture, including the entire hotel’s structure, which is built in an open circle shape.
Another unique architectural feature, which is as cool as any Volkswagen car, is its outdoor heated swimming pool that floats in the middle of the harbour and is connected to the hotel by a walkway.
St Regis Lhasa
Located opposite the world-renowned Potala Palace, this hotel is one of the few international brands entering the “roof of the world.” The hotel consists of several outstanding features, such as local art pieces, a yoga studio, a meditation garden and the serene architecture of the property that echoes the look and feel of a temple.
Its indoor heated swimming pool, however, is literally the hotel’s star that steals the spotlight. Thanks to 24-k gold plated tiles, secured in place by crystals, the pool shimmers and shines against the backdrop of the hotel’s lake.