Disclaimer: I’m a complete travel nerd. I find travel planning and the build up to a holiday almost as exciting as the actual trip itself.
There is no better feeling than turning up to the hotel you’ve spent 137 hours researching on tripadvisor then cross referencing against bookings.com, to find rumours of 24 hour construction noise and an unstocked mini bar were completely false.
Unsurprisingly choosing a hotel with a great swimming pool is a key motivator for me. This post is intended to guide those with similar travel planning values.
I should highlight that the following reviews are based on pools only, as I did not view the rooms or additional facilities. All of the pools reviewed are available to guests only (sorry Sydneysiders, you’ll need to book a dirty weekend).
You might be thinking, why even bother with a hotel pool in Sydney when the city offers so many amazing beaches and baths? Answer; because travelling can be exhausting. It is very tiring not being at work. And, sometimes you just want to wear a bathrobe and a towel you know you’re not going to have to wash and sprawl like Michael Hutchence with a head injury on a sun lounger. Can I order a gin and tonic please?
This hotel pool is a great choice for those Winter months, when lounging outdoors is not such a sensible option, unless you are from the North of England. This inviting pool is on the 31st floor of the huge hotel, and although it lacks the character of the other pools mentioned, it is entirely practical.
The 1.2 metre deep pool was heated to a decent 25 degrees and had a steady stream of guests who were enjoying the decent pool jets and city views.
The best bit – The view while swimming is simply spectacular as you peer down onto Circular Quay and the world’s most perfect harbour.
This lovely outdoor pool has a strictly urban feel, tucked under the busy Cahill Expressway it sits at the base of Sydney’s highrise sprawl, yet some how manages almost all day sun.
Despite space being a premium the hotel has worked with what they’ve got. Its claim to fame being Sydney’s biggest outdoor hotel pool the décor is a touch of tropical chic with navy and yellow exteriors, blue and white stripped towels and palm trees lining the pool. At a balmy 26 degrees the 1.7 metre deep pool looked so inviting I even took a dip despite the outdoor winter temperatures.
The best bit – In the summer the pool area offers an all day barbecue service and poolside bar. Special praise also to the excellent change facilities nearby with luscious cotton robes, slippers and decent moisturisers. The hotel also currently has a cute package which provides guests with a free beach bag, towel, sunblock and a little beach guide to Sydney. A big hit with the Americans it also includes helpful fine-tic Spelling – (koo-jee beach, brohn-tee beach and bond-ai).
This one was always going to be tough to beat. Although the pool is only a petit triangle of water, what it lacks in size it makes up for in pinch-yourself-location. There’s a reason Kimye decides to stay here when they’re in town. The Opera House waves from your left, the Sydney Harbour Bridge straddles from above, and all of Sydney’s skyline lines up for your attention.
Like a super hot man, who knows he has the looks to get through life, the Park Hyatt is one of Sydney’s most expensive night’s sleep, but frankly I can see why.
The hotel reopened after it’s major renovations around two years ago, and with a smaller boutique size it has less of a frantic feel compared to its nearby cousins.
The pool deck offers decadent cabana’s and loungers that are in constant demand during the summer months. In fact the 1.2 metre pool (heated to 27 degrees) is such a comfortable spot guests have been known to take the majority of their holiday in this spot alone (one regular was 3 weeks on one lounger according to my guide).
The best bits: The cabanas, for a piece of low profile celebrity spotting, if you’re lucky enough.
Others worth a mention;
- Rushcutters The Vibe. More of an affordable option and out of the hustle of the CBD the rooftop pool is in a fabulous spot overlooking Rushcutters Bay.
- The Langham, Observatory pool. One of Sydney’s most iconic hotel pools the hotel is closed for refurbishment until Dec 2014.
- The Darling, The Star Pyrmont. It looks great on their website, but despite chasing, the PR department never returned my calls.
- Intercontinental Double Bay. Only just reopened the poolside bar and lounging area look right up my street. I look forward to checking out this summer.