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Bali is world-famous for its emerald rice paddies, volcanic mountains, long stretches of sun-drenched beaches — and the stunning swimming pools that overlook all of it. The Indonesian island, known as the Island of the Gods, is legendary for its many spectacular bodies of water, from oceanfront infinity-edge pools overlooking volcanic black sand to private plunge pools perched high above the lush Balinese jungle. Here are 10 divine ways to soak in this little piece of heaven on earth.
1. Viceroy Bali
Set on a sumptuous tropical hillside, the Viceroy Bali overlooks Bali’s famed Valley of the Kings, an area of the island that formerly housed Balinese royalty. An infinity-edge pool is the crown jewel of the resort’s amenities, offering a swim-up bar, an impressive fountain and breathtaking views of the valley and jungle floor below. Each of the property’s terraced villas also boasts a private pool, along with sweeping views fit for modern-day kings and queens.
2. Ayana Resort and Spa
Perched on a clifftop overlooking a rocky stretch of rugged coastline, the sprawling Ayana Resort and Spa is known for its iconic Rock Bar, set atop a natural rock formation 15m above the Indian Ocean. The resort is also known for its five stunning swimming pools. Among them are a 30m ocean-view infinity pool, a pool with a waterfall and an aquarium, a lazy-river-style pool, and a saltwater pool built into the side of a cliff. If that isn’t enough, the resort’s 78 villas also offer private plunge pools.
3. Soori Bali
Nestled between terraced rice fields and a wide swathe of black-sand beach, the Soo K. Chan–designed Soori Bali is a pool-lover’s fantasy come true. The resort, originally built as the Chan family’s private vacation home, opened as a stunning wellness haven in 2011 with 48 villas — all of which boast private pools, some with views of Mount Batukaru, a dormant volcano. But the resort’s centerpiece is its stunning infinity-edge pool, another Edenic masterpiece overlooking the volcanic beaches.
4. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
Tucked away in the central highlands just outside of Ubud is the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, accessible only by a teak footbridge spanning the surrounding jungle canopy. The secluded 18-acre retreat offers 42 pool villas set among lush gardens, terraced rice fields, and tropical vegetation — the latter of which providing a continuous, soothing soundtrack of monkey howls and tropical birdsong. A wooden deck lines the resort’s centerpiece: a two-level, 72-foot-long turquoise pool, designed to follow the contours of the sacred Ayung River that flows below.
5. Hanging Gardens of Bali
The pool at Hanging Gardens of Bali is so spectacular that it is considered one of the world’s best. The resort — located north of Ubud in the jungle-filled center of the island — tapped architects William Warren and John Pettigrew to create the unique two-level, infinity-edge pool, which gives guests the otherworldly sensation of floating in mid-air amidst the forest canopy. Private candlelight dinners in a pavilion suspended over the pool can also be arranged for an even more out-of-this-world experience.
6. The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali
Located in Bali’s famed garden region, the Eden-like Laguna Bali is built around a complex of seven luxuriously landscaped lagoons and pools. Stretching across the resort to the oceanfront, the expansive 53,820-square-foot water feature comprises zero-entry bathing pools, hot tubs, sugary beaches, islands and waterfalls. Some of the luxe rooms and suites provide direct lagoon access, while others offer their very own private pools.
7. The Ritz-Carlton Bali
It’s a watery wonderland at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali. In addition to the beach, guests are spoiled with choices of a massive infinity-edge pool, a club lounge pool and private pools in each of the ground-floor suites and 34 villas, where a floating breakfast can be served. The spa features signature treatments using seaweed and pearls sourced from the ocean outside, and it also offers two pool choices of its own: the muscle-relaxing Hydro-Vital pool and a traditional Balinese bathing pool. Our favorite place for a dip, however, is the Sky Villa’s top-floor infinity-edge pool, which floats among the palm treetops and boasts bird’s-eye views of the Indian Ocean.
8. The Legian, Bali
The Legian Bali is one of the island’s most iconic resorts. And with its two-story beach house, 14 private pool villas and 67 sea-facing suites — all featuring locally inspired interiors executed by famed Indonesian designer Jaya Ibrahim — we can definitely see why. There’s a beachfront spa and a freshly minted Champagne bar, but the property’s best amenity is still its palm-tree-lined, three-tiered infinity-edge pool, overlooking a secluded stretch of white sand on Seminyak Beach.
9. St. Regis Bali Resort
Sure, there’s the pristine stretch of palm-lined beach along the Indian Ocean, the 123 contemporary Balinese suites and villas, and the three sophisticated dining spaces — but at the St. Regis Bali Resort, it’s all about the pools. There’s an ocean-view strand pool lined with Balinese beds and thatch-roofed gazebos. The hydrotherapy saltwater pool at the temple-inspired spa offers relaxing jet-water massages. But the resort’s true pièce de résistance is its 39,480-square-foot saltwater swimming lagoon, complete with lush islands, sundecks, and hot tubs.
10. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
Recently unveiled after a two-year renovation, the pools at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay are more stunning than ever. There’s the main hillside infinity pool with panoramic ocean views; a garden-sheltered, lagoon-style pool with rock formations; and a beachfront infinity pool at the property’s chic Sundara restaurant. The 156 sunset-facing villas (recently refreshed) also feature private pools surrounded by lush gardens and traditional wooden Balinese pavilions.