No matter if you’re rushing around town on a city break or soaking up some beachside calm, few things signal holiday vibes more than a hotel swimming pool. And a slate of new swimming and sun bed options have made a splash this year, from quiet coastal motel pools to several luxurious infinity pools with views on lock.
We’ve rounded up the best new hotel pools across Australia to make your next holiday infinitely more splashy and swim-friendly.
W Sydney, Sydney
The giant snail-shaped W hotel that’s been unfurling in Sydney’s Darling Harbour neighbourhood for several years has finally opened – and it’s the brand’s biggest property yet. Its colourful mosaic-tiled infinity pool is a stunner thanks to its top-floor location and a wall of windows – the views of Sydney Harbour are magic. Plus, the W Hotels’ signature good-times experience is amped up further with cocktails and snacks delivered directly to sunlounges and cabanas.
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Le Meridien, Melbourne
French hotel brand Le Meridien relaunched in Australia with a bang earlier this year when it opened in the former Palace Theatre on Melbourne’s Bourke Street (it had a property on Collins Street, which closed almost 20 years ago). On the fifth-floor rooftop, behind the historic art deco facade and above the hotel’s luxurious suites and multiple drinking and dining options, is an 18-metre pool with views of Melbourne’s skyline and Parliament House. Kick back on a sun bed and soak up the rays as lobster rolls, champagne and spritzes are whizzed over at your whim.
While Sydneysiders might be making a beeline for Brasserie 1930, Capella Sydney’s in-house restaurant led by Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt (the veteran restaurateurs behind Bentley and Monopole), we’re dipping into the supremely luxurious heated 20-metre pool, which is sunk into a room decked out in white marble. Though the sun won’t touch you while you’re horizontal on a sunlounge, a landscape mural by artist Max Berry that backdrops the pool will brighten things up.
Sunnymead Hotel, Aireys Inlet
A former motel on the Great Ocean Road had a sunny, nostalgia-tinged revamp earlier this year, re-emerging as the Sunnymead Hotel. Umbrella-shaded sunlounges frame a mineral pool, exuding big Slim Aarons energy – and with just 20 suites on-site, you’re pretty much guaranteed a spot by the water. The pool is solar-heated for when the chilly weather sets in, and poolside cocktails are very much encouraged. You can even hire the whole thing out for your next pool party.
Manly Pacific, Manly
The Manly Pacific isn’t a new hotel. But late last year it got a $30 million reboot – including a brand new rooftop pool – so we reckon it counts. Manly Beach is right across the road, but this sun-soaked wedge of water offers the best of both worlds: a dip just a few steps from your hotel room, and views through the Norfolk pines over one of the country’s most famous stretches of sand.
“Ritz” is a synonym for “opulent”, and the new Melbourne outpost of the Ritz-Carlton is true to its name. Its infinity pool is framed with dramatic columns, and guests can swim right up to full-length windows with show-off views of the city beyond. It’s on the 64th floor, so believe us when we tell you those panoramas are stellar.
Got the travel bug? Find more holiday inspiration here.