Lap it up: the top 10 hotel pools in Australia

Leah McLennan dives into 10 of the best places to plunge around Australia.

A hotel pool is much more than a place to do some laps.

Resorts with impressive pools have higher occupancy rates, command higher prices and their poolside bars and restaurants can be tidy money-makers.

"Resort hotel pools are revenue generating venues, and even a selling point of a resort," says Joseph Pang, one of Australia's most in-demand hotel interior decorators.

The infinity edge, where the edge appears to drop into the ocean, and the perimeter overflow, where the water level in the pool is the same as the top of the decking, has become de rigueur for high-end pools.

The facilities around the pool - the couples sunbeds, private cabanas and relaxation lounges - are just as important as the pool itself, Pang says.

"Some hotel pools are connected with a relaxation lounge next to the change rooms where guests can put their feet up after a swim or work out at the gym.

"We have recently designed something similar at a five-star hotel in Shanghai for which we have designed special chairs like those in first class flight cabins... reclinable with personal TV and sound system."

While the resort pool is all about big pools, generous outdoor space, spectacular views and numerous facilities, the urban hotel pool is all about height, Pang says.


"Some urban hotel pools are built on roof tops with panoramic city views, these are built side by side with food and beverage outlets, so these pools and outlets have become a revenue generating destination.

"This may open a new trend to build pools higher and higher above ground... like the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore."

Pack your goggles and thongs and take a tour of these extraordinary Australian hotel and resort swimming pools:


Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast

Paris Hilton bronzed herself on its sunbeds and Pamela Anderson in her bikini made waves in Queensland's most sophisticated hotel pool. Palazzo Versace, Australia's first fashion-branded hotel, has taken poolside lounging to a whole new level. Here you can hide out in a private cabana, nibble on frosted black grapes and enjoy a petite pedicure. With all this drinking, eating and pampering who has time for laps?


Crown Metropol, Melbourne

This ultra-modern $300 million hotel features a stunning sky-high swimming pool. Located on the 27th floor, the waterfall-edge pool is in a double-height, glass-enclosed atrium with views of the city. There's also a hot plunge pool with massage jet, sun lounges and couples day beds. In both the men's and women's changing rooms there are aroma steam rooms and infinity pools with submerged chairs. Take a seat and let the Champagne-sized bubbles ease you into a state of deep relaxation.


Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island

What makes qualia's main infinity edge pool so unforgettable is the view. The pool at this elegant resort, nestled on the secluded northern tip of Hamilton Island, has a panoramic view out over the glittering Coral Sea. It's surrounded by 30 acres of manicured gardens and there are plenty of comfortable sun beds dotted about the place.


Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne

The Adelphi's heated salt water pool is cantilevered over Flinders Lane allowing swimmers a unique view from nine levels above the street. If you take your goggles you can look through the clear Perspex floor at the people who are either shopping below or looking back up at you.


Fraser Suites, Sydney

Not to be outdone by Melbourne, Sydney also has its own swim and window-shop pool. Fraser Suites in the centre of Sydney is a 42-level apartment-style hotel that features a glass-bottom pool cantilevered over Regent Place shopping centre. After your laps you can try out the spa, the sauna and the large gym.


Bamurra Plains, Kakadu National Park

Where else can you watch buffalos and dingoes while doing your laps? Bamurru Plains is located just to the west of Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplains. From its irresistible infinity edge pool you can see a profusion of birds and wildlife.


SkyCity, Darwin

This pool is big. There's a shallow part, a medium-depth part and a deep-end lap pool and it's available 24 hours a day. The afternoon is a wonderful time to swim laps and look out at the sea and watch the sun set.


Marriott Resort and Spa, Surfers Paradise

If you're a bit nervous about snorkeling in the open ocean then try this pool complete with tropical fish and an artificial coral reef. The Marriott's $8 million aquatic playground features a five metre deep saltwater lagoon that's home to more than 400 fish, including Moon Wrasse, Blue and Domino Damsel, Surgeon and Trigger Fish. You can also scuba dive, snorkel and swim through waterfalls into rock grottos and spas.


Hayman Island, Whitsunday Islands

This 16 hectare Queensland resort on its own island has a pool that is seven times the Olympic size pool. The pool's baby-blue colour matches the ocean beyond and is a magnet for guests, who spend entire days sitting around its edges. If you stay in one of the pool access rooms you can enter the water directly from your private balcony.


Peppers Salt Resort and Spa, Kingscliff

This resort has several pools of varying temperatures and styles and plenty of nooks and crannies where you can have a section all to yourself. You can take a dip in the heated tropical swimming pool, venture down to the beach or jump in the larger lagoon pool with a sandy beach, which has a shallow incline, perfect for children to paddle in. Pool toys are available to use and the lagoon pool is surrounded by umbrellas so you can escape the sun.

Photos: Australia's top 10 hotel pools