infinity pool
Photo courtesy of Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf

16 Out of Control Infinity Pools Around the World

Live on the edge.

Infinity pools seem to be the latest way hotels are outdoing each other. A basic plunge pool in a private villa? That’s child’s play compared to the zero-edge wonders dangling from the sides of cliffs, hanging over desert landscapes, or forming a design-savvy “bridge” between buildings. From safari lodges in South Africa to islands like Bali, Crete, and some of the most exclusive spots in the Caribbean, here are 16 of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful infinity pools that have mastered the art of defying gravity.

Embassy Gardens

London, England
The 25-meter-long, transparent Sky Pool connects the rooftops of the Legacy Buildings at Embassy Gardens, hovering nearly 115 feet in the air. Considered the world’s first “floating” pool, you’ll have prime vantage points from any direction, but the catch is that not just anyone can waltz in; you’ll need to be a resident—or befriend one.

Photo courtesy of andBeyond

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Neighboring Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is ideally positioned on the Sand River, and the lodge was designed so you’re getting fantastic views of the water from every corner—whether that be the bedroom or your own private rim-flow lap pool.

Photo courtesy of Burj Al Arab

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In Dubai, size makes all the difference, and the 107,000-square-foot Terrace at Burj Al Arab definitely impresses. Stretching 328 feet into the Arabian Gulf, it was built by 160 craftsmen in Finland before being transported by sea to Dubai. There’s a saltwater infinity pool and a freshwater pool—both with shimmering tile mosaics in shades of azure and gold—plus four Jacuzzis, 32 cabanas with butler service, and more than 100 sun loungers and day beds.

Photo courtesy of Casita Azul

Careyes, Mexico
Careyes sits on the Mexican Pacific beaches of the south coast of Jalisco, in Costalegre, which roughly translates to “happy coast,” if that gives you any indication of the lifestyle at the coastal community. While there are five beachfront infinity pools at the El Careyes Club & Residences, our pick is in one of the colorful casitas—which have been likened to those in Positano—and its “flying terrace,” which opens up to the bay.

Photo courtesy of Alila Villas Uluwatu

Bali, Indonesia
Since Alila Villas hovers on a cliff over the Indian Ocean, just about every aspect of the property is on the edge—from the cliff edge spa to the sunset cabana and cliff-edge, 50-meter pool, which stretches across a limestone (you guessed it!) cliff and shows off serious panoramic shots of the waves crashing along the island’s southern tip below.

Photo courtesy of Blue Palace

Crete, Greece
Santorini is said to be the sunset island—but that’s probably due to people who haven’t been to Crete yet. Blue Palace’s pool is draped over the Aegean and looks out to the Venetian fortress crowning Spinalonga island. Come for sunset aperitivo and enjoy both the view and the drinks, which brings another taste of Italy to the island through specialty cocktails crafted by a master bartender from The Gritti Palace’s famed Longhi Bar and Riva Lounge in Venice.

caribbean infinity pool
Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St Barth

St. Barths, Caribbean
The five-room Villa Diane is centered around its infinity pool, which, along with the sweeping terrace, overlooks the port. Butler service is certainly a perk of this pool, but guests can also arrange for everything from a DJ to wine tasting or floating breakfast—the private villa version of “breakfast in bed.”

Photo courtesy of Sheraton Waikiki

Waikiki, Hawaii
Hawaii may be known as a beach destination, but with impressive views over Waikiki and the saucer-shaped Diamond Head crater, you’ll find yourself spending just as much time (or even more) lingering in North America’s largest oceanfront infinity-edge pool.

Photo courtesy of Las Ventanas al Paraiso

Los Cabos, Mexico
Out of the resort’s eight pools, the infinity pool draped over the dramatic desert coastline of Los Cabos is by far the winner. Sun loungers skirt the edge of the winding pool, where pool butlers can whisk over popsicles or spritz chilled Evian spray, when you’re feeling that intense Baja sun.

Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Caribbean
Part of what makes this pool so spectacular is that you have to go out of your way to get here—meaning on a chartered, resort, or private jet to the ultra-exclusive island of Canouan. The infinity pool unfolds over the powder-soft sands of Godahl Beach and is large enough to do laps (although most people prefer to linger with cocktails, soaking up the view).

Photo courtesy of Amavia Collection

Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera
Part of the luxury of a private villa stay is not having to share a pool—or view—with anyone else. The first of Amavia’s villa collection debuted in spring in the hills above the Mediterranean Sea, in the Côte d’Azur. The six-suite spot spans across a whopping 5,000 square feet, but the real selling factor is the heated pool looking out to the sea and infamous bay below. Even better, the fully equipped pool house can be stocked with the rosé of your liking, and your personal chef can prep a poolside barbecue on the plancha, so you never need to change out of your swimsuit.

Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

Maui, Hawaii
The hotel is located within one of the state’s largest nature preserves, on the northwest shore of Maui overlooking the Pacific, and its three zero-edge pools (connected by waterfalls) are inspired by a famous natural rock formation just in front of the resort, at Makaluapuna Point (also known as Dragon’s Teeth). Surrounded by lush tropical flowers and forming a fleur-de-lis, the trio of pools is meant to extend the beach and shore below into the property.

Photo courtesy of The Joule

Dallas, Texas
The Joule’s plexi-glass-encased, 8-foot-long heated pool dangles above the street, beyond the edge of the hotel, offering swimmers a 360-degree look at Downtown Dallas—and passers-by a view just as voyeuristic.

Photo courtesy of Villa Embrace

St. Barths, Caribbean
The four-level stone villa (which costs a cool half-million per week in high season) is carved into the mountainside, not far from capital Gustavia, and shows off panoramic views of the sea and yacht-filled harbor below from its two infinity-edge pools—one of which is the largest on the island.

Photo courtesy of Six Senses Ibiza

Ibiza, Balearic Islands
The year-round retreat on the island’s northern tip, in Xarraca Bay, may get a lot of attention for its cave suites built into the coastal cliffs, but the infinity pool perched on the rocks, overlooking the clear-as-glass water of Cala Xarraca, is no less impressive.

Photo courtesy of Sandals Royal Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaçao
The two-level, glass-edge Dos Awa infinity pool is a first for the brand; both decks overlook the surrounding Spanish Water, and the pool almost blends seamlessly with the sea. Float on the lounging platform, sit back and relax in a private cabana, or linger at the swim-up bar sipping the signature Curaçao cocktail.

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Lane Nieset is a contributor for Thrillist.