If your idea of the perfect holiday is relaxing poolside in a cosy cabana, sippin’ cocktails in a swim-up bar, and inflatable swans (because Instagram), then welcome, my friend, to your paradise.
These 9 resort and hotel pools are serving up an endless source of year-round aquatic pleasure: we’re talking climate-controlled settings, private plunge pools, underwater aquariums… picture your ideal pool scenario, and chances are you’re gonna find it amongst these bad boys (that, or be dumbfounded by just how ridiculously amazing they are).
Warning: Your friends and family are likely to hate you after you go snap-crazy at the sexiest pools in Queensland.
Two hectares of awesome | Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas
After dishing out a cool $43 million on a year-long refurbishment, it comes as no surprise that the two hectares of sprawling saltwater lagoons – yes, really – at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas pose some of the best pool porn in the state.
The 13 individual pools with beach, rock pool or deck entry have been refreshed with baby blue undertones, 26 poolside cabanas, and lagoon-edge rooms and suites with direct access from your balcony.
Oh, and let’s not forget the freshwater pool with its very own swim-up bar. #holla
Italian luxe goals | Palazzo Versace
With the word ‘Versace‘ in its name, you just know you’re going to find some serious glamour here, and their pool scene is no exception.
Featuring Australia’s first Water Salon, this sophisticated and seriously stylin’ water oasis boasts an award-winning 63-metre pool with its very own patch of sandy beach.
And if you want to take things to an even higher level of ‘holy smokes’, slip behind one of the breezy sheers of their cabanas – featuring custom-made Versace daybeds no less – and take full advantage of their salon services (sparkling wine and chilled face spray, anyone?).
Private tropical paradise | Bedarra Island Resort
If sharing ain’t your thing, set your sights on the stunner plunge pools dotting the luxe villas at this all-inclusive tropical resort off the coast of Mission Beach.
Hidden amongst a lush rainforest canopy, the outdoor decks of the Villa North-East, The Beach House, The Point and The Pavilions all feature exclusive wet-edge pools overlooking the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Couple that with their cosy daybeds and we wouldn’t blame you if you never wanted to leave your private bubble (but keep in mind sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel and fishing gear are completely at your disposal during your stay).
Opitions, options, options | qualia
Where does one even begin when it comes to qualia on Hamilton Island?
To start with, you’ve got the Pebble Beach resort precinct with its climate-controlled pool and sun loungers, perfect for midday munchies and afternoon cocktails by the sea (literally, you can step directly into the water at Pebble Beach to go sea-kayaking or snorkelling above the coral just offshore).
Then there’s the fine-dining of the Long Pavilion, complete with an infinity pool edging the length of the room if you’d prefer to swap your fancy frocks for your bathers.
But the cherry on top? Private plunge pools with panoramic views of the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands from the Windward Pavilions or Beach House.
Skyscraper splash-in | The Wave Resort
In case you were wondering, The Wave Resort is in fact designed in the shape of waves (how cool is that!?), and lemme tell you, the water-inspired goodness of this Broadbeach hotel doesn’t stop there.
First up, on level four you’ll come across the spacious infinity pool, where a spa, sauna and BBQ entertainment area invites you to ‘lax here all day long.
But taking things up a notch – or 30 – is the sky pool on the rooftop, and while it might be slighter in size, the killer views over the Gold Coast certainly make up for it.
A twist on the backpacker hostel | Rambutan
We’re calling it: Rambutan in Townsville is serving up the most swanky backpacker’s hostel pool we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Setting the benchmark as Australia’s first ‘glam-packers resort’ – with accommodation ranging from dorms to self-contained villas – this place is just oozing with coolness every which way you turn.
Nowhere is that more evident, however, than at the rooftop pool and bar, where you can feast on American South eats and lounge with lazy cocktails in your poolside cabana.
Snorkel with fish | Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa
White sandy beaches, sparkling saltwater lagoons, cascading waterfalls, snorkelling with colourful fish… nope, you’re not on a tropical island, but at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa.
Yep, these guys have gone all out to create their very own aquatic haven inside their hotel digs, with an artificial coral reef to explore (which basically feels like you’re swimming in an aquarium), waterslide and fish feeding for the kiddies, and bubbling hot spas and cabanas to unwind in.
Pair that with the top-notch onsite dining (we’re looking at you, Misono and Chapter & Verse Bar), and we can’t think of any reason why you’d ever want to leave this place during your stay.
Sweeping country vistas | Spicers Hidden Vale
While you might only be just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane, you’ll feel worlds away as you slip into one of the glorious pools of Spicers Hidden Vale.
Think kangaroos grazin’ behind you, picture-perfect views out over the Lockyer Valley from both the lagoon-style rock pool and infinity-edge lap pool, and once your hands have become unrecognisably pruney, a basil, mint, and cane sugar-infused exfoliating massage at Spa Anise to smooth out your kinks. #bliss
Larger than life | One&Only Hayman Island
To wrap up our list of the best resort swimming pools, we thought it only right to go out with the big guns, and there’s no denying One&Only Hayman Island takes – and completely owns – that crown.
Their iconic Hayman Pool is… wait for it… seven-freaking-times Olympic size! But if that wasn’t enough pool leisure to keep their guests satisfied, their 2014 revamp (which saw them splash out a whopping $80 million) saw the addition of the luxurious Aquazure Pool, featuring an infinity edge overlooking Hayman Beach, eight private cabanas, stylish day beds and a poolside bar.
And for those who want even more space and seclusion, you can hole up in one of the Pool Wing suites for direct pool access from your private terrace, or opt for one of their Beach Villas with the salty seas at your doorstep, plus your very own open-air pool INSIDE your island pad.
Which pool will you be dippin’ into this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Some of the businesses listed above have been impacted by recent weather events in Queensland. Please make contact with the operator or visit their website for information regarding bookings and travel plans.