31/08/2010 13:08 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Outdoor Design: World's Prettiest Pools

Dive in to our round-up of the most inspiring places to cool down

Listen up, armchair travellers! You don't have to leave your office to enjoy some pool-side fun, as we can bring the pools to you. Since some of the coolest places to cool off feature some of the prettiest design elements, we decided to round up our favourite fantasy swimming pools.

Let our top pool picks serve as inspiration. Sure, you may not have the room for a pool at home, or the cash to put one in, but we can all dream, can't we?! At the very least, it should motivate you to book that last-minute break abroad.

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa It's difficult to tell where the pool ends and the surrounding waters in Bora Bora begins. Photo: Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

1. Infinite-ly Bora Bora
An infinity pool set against the backdrop of Tahiti's turquoise waters and white sand beaches? We're in! The pool appears to melt seamlessly into the lagoon beyond (see above) and it's just the kind of indulgent experience we'd love to step into. To add a bit of adventure, guests at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa can rent snorkeling gear and explore the sea.

Pool This beautiful pool's adjacent pavilion is the perfect spot to towel off and sip iced tea. Photo: Jerry Abowd

2. For sale in Arizona
Because the Southwestern desert can be scorching during summer, there's a valid argument for having your own pool to relax in after the sun sets. This Scottsdale, Arizona, homeowner took an upscale approach with a design that evokes the Mediterranean and is surrounded by palm trees to boot (above). Until a few years ago, this was reportedly the largest residential pool in the entire state of Arizona, requiring 62,000 gallons of water and measuring 1,592 surface square feet. Bonus: the custom-built home was recently on the market for $975,000 (£624,000), pool included, of course!

Quinta Nova Portugal What makes us want to dive into this pool is the view - rolling hills in Portugal's Douro Valley marked by vines that produce award-winning wines. Photo: Quinta Nova

3. A 'vine' view

Tucked into Portugal's Douro Valley, which is also a wine region, the swimming pool at boutique hotel Quinta Nova (above) is smartly built into the edge of a sloping hillside. After a hot day exploring tasting rooms, a dip in the pool is in order, and a sip of wine or port poolside from the estate's winery is a must. Surrounded by terraced grapevines, guests are right in the heart of wine country.

Hotel Gansevoort
A new hotel in Manhattan offers a rooftop pool to guests with a view of the Empire State Building. Photo: Gansevoort Park Hotel

4. Pool in the sky
We don't think there's a finer view of Manhattan's skyline - including from the Empire State Building - than that from the pool at Gansevoort Park Hotel. Architect Stephen B. Jacobs, who also designed The Library Hotel, is responsible for the hotel's slick rooftop pool (above). Located in the Flatiron District, the pool area is a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city and a fantastic place to cool off during an NY heat wave.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Pool Billed as the world's most expensive hotel, the infinity pool at this Singapore property was constructed 55 stories above the ground. Photo: Marina Bay Sands Resort

5. Skyline pool
Marina Bay Sands
, a brand new resort in Singapore, elevates the infinity pool to a whole new level --55 stories off the ground, to be precise (above). It's three times the length of an Olympic-size swimming pool and sits on top of the hotel's three towers, , providing the best view of Marina Bay below. In other words, when you are doing laps in this pool, you feel like you're flying above the city.

Anicia Bragg's backyard pool With the same passion she brings into her styling and interior-design career, Anicia Bragg's backyard pool is just as tasteful. Photo: Michael Baxter

6. A designer pool
Stylist and interior designer Anicia Bragg, who lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, has a pool (above) that's as stunning as the homes she decorates through her company, Abragg Design. With decorative boulders, a waterfall, an outdoor fireplace, an outdoor chandelier and several seating areas, it's the perfect splash space.

Jade mountain The infinity pool at Jade Mountain on St. Lucia is whimsical with colored custom tiles on its floor, which are repeated on the ceiling overhead. Photo: Jade Mountain

7. Exotic touch
Jade Mountain, a resort in St. Lucia set on a 600-acre beach, doesn't hold back on color or sparkle in its pools (above). Each suite has its own infinity pool that's uniquely designed by architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy. Guests can swim or relax in total privacy. The size of each infinity pool ranges from 400 to 900 square feet, leaving plenty of room to flip and float above the custom glass tiles. At night, fiber-optic lighting illuminates each pool.

Greenwood Lake pool Check out this clever design: a hot tub and pool that's located inches from a lake. Photo: Stonetown Construction

8. Garden state pool
For a home located on the New Jersey side of Greenwood Lake (part of the lake lies in New York State), Stonetown Construction looked to the lake for inspiration and designed a pool (above) that appears to spill right into it. What you can't see in the photo is the adjacent multi-tier patio area with a flat-screen TV, outdoor kitchen and a pergola. A lakeside sitting area is fitted with a fire pit and a walkway to the boat dock. But even with all those little luxuries, we'd rather spend a lazy summer afternoon in the pool.

pool For a patio design, the homeowner chose large stones spaced far enough apart to show grass growing underneath. Photo: Michelle Woods

9. Tuscan style
A beautiful backyard pool deserves an equally breathtaking setting and that's what this Irvine, California, home has got. The surrounding walls, patio and border are all keeping in character with the pool's Tuscan design (above), constructed from rock that's as natural as the grass growing between the stones on the patio. It's the perfect spot to throw a poolside-party and we like the idea that the brick walls will absorb the guests' noise.

The Boulders Resort Golden Door Spa pool As part of Boulders Resort, the Golden Door Spa provides top-notch spa treatments and a pool to relax at. The property is surrounded by large rocks -- creating a very inspiring poolside setting. Photo: The Boulders Resort

10. Rockin' out
The Boulders Resort, just north of Scottsdale, Arizona, is aptly named for the large rocks that surround the resort. This luxury pool is part of the Golden Door Spa within the resort. So imagine yourself smelling like avocado and citrus, and reclining in the sun after a massage that incorporates those summertime ingredients. Oh yes, we are sooo there!