10 spectacular new hotel pools

Thompson Toronto, Canada (Photo: Courtesy of Thompson Hotels)

This is the city's only rooftop lounge with an infinity pool and it's an exclusive hotspot—only hotel guests and members have access. It's a hot ticket, too, thanks to the views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline (including the CN Tower, of course). If you dare, swim right up to the edge to see the city coming to life at sundown. Then sip a mojito with the well-heeled crowd lounging on the striped couches in the lounge.

Gasevoort Park Avenue
New York City
(Photo: Courtesy Gansevoort Park Ave)

This indoor/outdoor heated pool measures 40 feet long, but it's only four feet deep. This isn't a pool for swimming laps or diving in. It's more for floating on your back and taking in the view of the towering skyscrapers around the hotel, plus the Empire State Building just a few blocks away. Don't forget to look down—there is an intricate mosaic on the pool floor of a 1940s pinup.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
(Photo: Courtesy Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa)

The indoor heated pool at this all-inclusive Patagonia resort opened in December 2011 and was made for the region's constantly changing weather. The interiors mimic the outdoors, with a curved wood ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows that keep the cold out while letting the sunlight in. With only 42 rooms, there won't be a lot of competition for a prime spot in the pool to see one of the most photographed areas of the region—the sparkling Lake Sarmiento in the spring and the snow-capped peaks of Torres del Paine National Park in the winter.

Aulani, Ko Olina
Photo: (Courtesy Aulani Resort)

Disney's newest resort, about an hour from Waikiki, is right on a beautiful Hawaiian beach. But that doesn't mean the pools are an afterthought. The largest is the 8,200-square-foot Waikolohe Pool, part of the seven-acre Waikolohe Valley water park that is the centerpiece of the mega resort. Set against a backdrop of palm trees and lounge chairs, the pool is made for wading and floating, and if you are looking for excitement there's the Volcanic Vertical, a tunnel slide that zooms you through a (fake) volcano in the pitch black. The zero-entry pool really shines at night with in-ground lights shaped like Hawaiian constellations. If that's not enough, the resort also has a tubing stream and a snorkeling pool with angel and butterfly fish.

Westin Playa Bonita
(Photo: Courtesy Westin Playa Bonita)

Panama's hotel scene is hot (5,000 hotel rooms have been in the works over the past couple of years), with lots of competition for prime beachfront locations and the most exciting amenities. The Westin Playa Bonita opened in January in an enviable spot—there is a rain forest on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. In terms of amenities, the hotel has three freshwater infinity pools steps from the sand. The swimming areas have loads of cabanas if you need privacy (but get there early—it's first come, first served). After you are done taking a dip, watch the ships lining up to enter the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks.

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