Five of the most extraordinary swimming pools in the world

Experience summer to the fullest with these exquisite swimming pool oases.

By Connie Cousins 10/08/2017

Dive into summer at one of these five extraordinary estates that express completely different aesthetics but share a common theme: a lifestyle centered around a swimming-pool oasis. Carved from the cliffs, mimicking a natural lagoon, or framing one of the grandest vistas in the world, each pool promises an unusual outdoor experience. From Miami to Ibiza, master designers and landscape architects pushed the creative limits to build unparalleled poolside paradises.

#1 – Côte d’Azur: Cliffside pool atop the Villa at Villefranche-sur-Mer

A classic from the mouvement moderne in pristine white, the awarding-winning Villa at Villefranche-sur-Mer emerged as architect André Drouin’s pièce de résistance. Enter the secluded 1.2-acre estate by a glass elevator that cuts through the rock to reach the cliffside infinity swimming pool teetering above the five-bedroom villa. Lawn-roofed tiers cascade down the hillside, offering tableaux of the opaline bay and Cap Ferrat viewed from picture windows and three terraces. Entertain on the rooftop pool’s teak terrace, or dip in the smaller pool downstairs. (Available for around $3.9 ($4.9AUD) million through Michaël Zingraf Real Estate, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate)

#2 – Miami: Jungle lagoon at 4567 Pine Tree Drive

Dual pools distinguish this Miami mansion’s rectilinear, ultramodern design by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan. Echoing the structure’s angular simplicity, a waterfront, fountained swimming pool sits amid manicured lawns just steps from the master suite and a sunken outdoor living room. The second-story rooftop terrace at 4567 Pine Tree Drive offers rare views of the Atlantic, while the main entrance to the 1,400-square-metre, six-bedroom abode greets guests with a scene both startling and magical: A 60-metre-long wooden bridge sweeps across a jungle habitat and a swimmable lagoon filled with natural vegetation and small fish. The Raymond Jungles–created oasis, cocooned by the wing of lower-level rooms, provides a relaxing retreat after exploring Florida’s colourful beach resorts, designer boutiques, and Miami nightlife. (Available for around $29.75 ($37.6AUD) million through Mirce Curkoski + Albert Justo, agents of One Sotheby’s International Realty)

#3 – Ibiza: Five infinity pools at the Altavista Estate

Ensconced in perfect privacy between a palm forest and the Mediterranean Sea, the Altavista estate in Ibiza’s exclusive Vista Alegre community is set for completion in fall 2018. The customisable, state-of-the-art design boasts five infinity pools, each spilling into the other in a waterfall fantasy. From teak platforms (with hot tubs) atop the villa and guesthouse, multilevel terraces descend through tropical gardens to the four-car garage. The residences total 2,800 indoor and 4,200 outdoor square metres of living space, a playland for entertaining that begs the question of which pool to swim in on any given day. With rooms wrapped in windows, an alfresco-dining overhang, and island panoramas, this is a home you may never want to leave. (Available for around $13.4 ($17AUD) million through Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty)

#4 – Cabo San Lucas: Gazebo infinity pool at Villa Estella

Like a sun-drenched castle chiseled from Pedregal hill’s rugged rocks, Villa Estrella exudes an earthy old-world elegance and warmth. Natural wood and rock elements with Mexican-tile accents define all three floors of the six-bedroom, 2,800-square-metre residence built in 2011. Arched balconies and wraparound terrazas culminate in an azure infinity swimming pool and spa — attached to a columned gazebo with sunken seating and a stone fire pit — hovering on the top-level precipice. Barbecue or go for a swim as you watch the ships come in. Or, head downhill for snorkeling, horseback riding at the beach, or traversing the corridor of resorts and cantinas that make Cabo an adventurer’s haven. (Available for around $5.9 ($7.5AUD) million through Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty)

#5 – St. Lucia: Waterfall pool at the Villa Arc en Ciel

Tucked in a cove between the Pitons’ peaks on west-coast St. Lucia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Arc en Ciel sits on 1.5 acres inside the exclusive Beau Estate. The five-bedroom villa offers 2,450 square metre of indoor/outdoor living space, with French doors and jalousie shutters opening to palm gardens and the Caribbean Sea. Messel-inspired lattices accent the balconies and linked pavilions along an infinity-edge pool curving from the front of the home to the back. Swim under a waterfall into a rock cave, take a bridge down to the stone spa, or retreat to your master suite’s private swimming pool in a secret garden. If the comforts of home become too confining, enjoy full access to the services at nearby Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. (Available for around $7.95 ($10AUD) million through St. Lucia Sotheby’s International Realty)

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