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Luxury Real Estate – Swimming Pools

Any piece of luxury real estate worth it’s salt will probably have a swimming pool on the property. Inside, outside, or both perhaps. This is a guide to the most luxurious, most insane, most expensive, most photographed, largest – and even the ugliest swimming pools in the World

Raj Palace Jaipur Swimming Pool

Although this started as a serious look at swimming pools in luxury homes, it is now just a little fun. As I began researching swimming pools I discover some pretty amazing variations. Not all these are private, luxury swimming pools, in fact, some of them are just plain scary. But they were so interesting I decided to forget about private pools and just make this a compilation of swimming pools from around the world.

Some of them are privately owned and in some of the most luxurious homes on the planet, but some of them are open to the public and a few of them are even free of charge. The pool at the top of the page is inside the Raj Palace Hotel in Jaipur, India. If you like what you read here, please feel free to submit this page to your favorite social bookmarking site.

The most-photographed/most famous pool

It could be argued that the most famous pools are the Hearst Mansion pools.



The world’s largest outdoor swimming pool

World\'s largest swimming pool

The largest outdoor swimming pool in the world is actually a man-made salt water lagoon in San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Southern Chile. Now, they might have a big pool, but I certainly hope the same engineers didn’t build their website. If this one takes a long time to load, don’t be too surprised, all their electricity is going to keeping the pool filtered. The enormous pool uses a computer- controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other. The Guinness book of records acknowledged the pool as the largest in the world – 1,013 meters in length, covering 8 hectares. Many more photos after the jump.

Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, whose Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced engineering meant his company could build “an impressive artificial paradise” even in inhospitable areas. “As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean.”

The worlds largest indoor swimming pool

the world\'s largest indoor swimming pool

This pool is in the Seagaia Resort in Japan. Capable of holding up to 10,000 people and with a Volcano that “erupts” every15 minutes. I dread to think of the noise with the roof closed.

The world’s deepest indoor swimming pool

deepest indoor swimming pool

The Nemo 33 diving pool in Belgium is, oddly enough, over 33 meters deep and heated to 33 degrees Celsius. This pool uses un-chlorinated spring water. Any one who has ever tried diving in Belgium will appreciate the luxurious comfort of being able to see further than the hand in front of their face :)

Most Precarious pools

Rooftop pools, pools perched precariously and infinity pools seem a popular addition to some luxury properties. The Gallery Evason hotel in Singapore has a glass-walled pool perched atop the stairwell.

The Villa Dall’Ava (Saint-Cloud, Paris) sports (sic) a pretty spectacular roof-top lap pool with a view overlooking the city of Paris. Although, if she dives in from there, I have a feeling she will bang her head on the side of the pool. :)

For more photos of this luxury home in Paris, pay a visit to Arte y Diseño at GXZONE.

The Four Seasons resort in Bali has a pool overlooking the jungle 50 feet off the ground. You cross a wooden bridge to get to the pool.

The Hotel Joule, Dallas, TX. Not to be outdone by the Four Seasons, the Hotel Joule in Dallas goes for something a little less precarious, but just as spectacular.

Photo Credit

Of course, sometimes, you just squeeze one in where you can, and this rooftop pool is in Manhattan, NYC.

This next one is probably my favorite infinity pool. In Bali, Indonesia. Click on the photo to see a larger image.

infinity pool, Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit

This one comes a close second. Now that’s a view.

But the prize for the most precarious pool has to go to a natural pool. The Devil’s swimming pool, Victoria Falls.

Scary. And this one’s not for sale thank goodness. Photo Credit.

Oddly Shaped Swimming Pools

Coffin shaped pool

This particular swimming pool is in “Butlins” an English holiday camp. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Butlins have traditionally been named “Butlitz” in reference to the WW2 prisoner-of-war camp, Colditz. It’s a place to take your family secure in the knowledge the kids are not getting out of the compound unnacompanied. Luxury indeed!

Photo Credit

Guitar shaped pools.

These seem pretty popular. At first I was thinking they would be unusual, but it turns out they are everywhere. In fact, the main claim to fame of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, seems to be the fact that it boasts a guitar-shaped pool and a country music festival.In fact, every third pool in Nashville, TN is legally required to be guitar shaped. Who knew?

Alabama shaped pool

The Governor’s house hotel in Montgomery, AL boasts an Alabama shaped pool.

Texas-shaped pool

This pool, is of course, some where in Texas.

In fact, I think it is a requirement that the governor of each state has a state-shaped swimming pool in the back yard.

Heart-shaped pool

This pool is in the Heartbreak Hotel, opposite Graceland.

Penis-shaped pool

I am not exactly sure what shape this pool in Hawaii is supposed to be, but the consensus is penis-shaped.

Photo Credit

Most Expensive Private Swimming Pool

I would think the world’s largest pool also counts as the most expensive, but there are certainly a couple of contenders for the most expensive private swimming pool. Rarely is the swimming pool sold as an optional extra, but this pool in Israeli billionaire, Lev Leviev’s home in London, which was the most expensive new home sold in London certainly warrants consideration.

Most Impressive Public Pool

For my money, the Gellért Thermal Baths in Budapest take this one. The Gellért Baths and Swimming Pool, is one of the most beautiful and elegant baths in Budapest, built between 1912 and 1918 in the (Secession) Art Nouveau style. They were damaged during World War II, but then rebuilt. References to healing waters in this location are found from as early as the 13th century. A hospital was located on this site during the Middle Ages. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, baths were also built on this particular site.

The Gellért Baths complex includes thermal baths, which are small pools containing water from Gellért hill’s mineral hot springs. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, alkalis, chloride, sulfate, and fluoride. There are two different thermal baths, according to the signs on the walls of the baths, one is around 36°C and the other around 38°C. The thermal baths are decorated beautifully with mosaic tiles. The complex also includes saunas and plunge pools (segregated by gender), an open-air swimming pool which can create artificial waves every ten minutes and aneffervescent swimming pool. Masseuse services are available. Different types of massage are available. In a half hour massage, patrons and are escorted into a room with 3 massage beds and are asked to remove all their clothing. The massages given are completely nude, with 3 massages going on in the same room at once. Gellért Baths also offer a wide range of medical services, but they must be booked ahead of time.

The indoor pool at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Rajhastan gets second place though.

Weird Swimming Pools

Some pools just defy description, or make you wonder who thought that one up. This particular pool, for instance, is actually a converted barge and floats on the Spree river in Berlin, Germany, where temperatures have been unseasonably warm this year. It’s called Badeschiff (“bathing ship”) which seems like an appropriate name.

Ice cold pool. I am not sure exactly where this pool is, but it looks “cool”

Thai Massage PoolThe Sarojin boutique resort hotel in Thailand believes in combining as many relaxing treatments as possible and lying on a bed floating in the pool looks like a great way to relax to me.

Old School

Of course, the idea of adding a swimming pool to a luxury property is not exactly new and since building began, wealthy individuals have been including pools as part of the specification of their luxury home. As far back as recorded history, there have been swimming pools as part of a luxury real estate package. This first one is Herod’s swimming pool in Israel. Nice to know he could relax after a hard day ruling.

Photo Credit

This one is another pool in Thailand and I am leaning towards the best swimming pools in the world being in Thailand.

This next one doesn’t look quite so appealing, but after a little work I’m sure it would be fine. In Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam.

I am not sure where this one is, but if anyone knows, please leave me a comment. Stunning.

This is the 1,000 year old indoor pool at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Luxury Real Estate – Not!

Of course, not all swimming pools cut the mustard, and there are any number of failed pools that just weren’t good enough to be considered luxury real estate. This is a random selection. This first one is just plain scary.

These next three are scattered around the US I think.

Tagged as: hearst mansionhotel in jaipurluxury poolsLuxury Real Estatemost expensive swimming poolreal estate trends

Chega de luz cara!

Brazilian Reals / Reais

Brazilian Reals / Reais (Photo credit: BenjaminThompson)

“O brasileiro paga a tarifa de energia elétrica mais cara do planeta e agora o governo quer eliminar três dos dez encargos da conta para ver se reduz o preço. Dados da Aneel mostram que, em uma fatura de R$ 100, os encargos correspondem a R$ 10,90; impostos e tributos, a R$ 25,90; e a compra da energia, a transmissão e a distribuição somam R$ 63,20. Entendo que se o interesse é que o brasileiro não gaste tanto com a conta de luz o governo deveria começar por uma forma de compensação do que foi cobrado a mais por quase dez anos dos consumidores por conta de erro na metodologia de cálculo do reajuste. O dinheiro foi reembolsado pelas 63 distribuidoras e tem que voltar de alguma forma para o bolso dos consumidores”.

Fotos do meu irmão (4) – My brother’s photos (4)



Londres – London

Vistas aéreas do Reino Unido:

Glenfinnan, Scotland/Escócia:

Buckingham, Inglaterra/England:

Praça Trafalgar Square:


Farol em Devon/Lighthouse in Devon:

A colina de Glastonbury Tor em Somerset:

Labirinto na propriedade Longleat:


Mais do fotógrafo Jason Hawkes:

Fotos diversas:

São Paulo não aguenta novos shoppings!

Desde o mês passado os paulistanos acompanham pelos jornais a novela sobre a inauguração do Shopping JK Iguatemi, no bairro da Vila Olímpia. Prevista para o dia 19 de abril, a inauguração do empreendimento foi proibida pela Justiça porque as obras exigidas pela Prefeitura de São Paulo para minimizar seus impactos no trânsito não foram concluídas. Além do shopping, o empreendimento inclui duas torres comerciais, uma reforma no prédio da loja Daslu, que passará a abrigar um teatro, e um banco.

É importante esclarecer que qualquer grande empreendimento em São Paulo que se enquadre como polo gerador de tráfego, antes de iniciar suas atividades, precisa realizar uma série de obras, a fim de minimizar os impactos no trânsito do seu entorno. No caso do Shopping JK, até agora, das exigências feitas, já foram realizadas a ampliação de uma ciclovia e o alargamento da Marginal Pinheiros. Faltam ainda uma passarela e um viaduto.

Na semana passada, o shopping voltou ao noticiário porque a Procuradoria-Geral do Município de São Paulo emitiu um parecer dizendo que é possível inaugurar o shopping, dividindo em etapas a entrega das obras viárias exigidas pela prefeitura. O entendimento da Procuradoria é de que, como o complexo inteiro só ficará pronto em 2014, as obras viárias podem ser concluídas também neste prazo.

O que o noticiário não explicou é que o empreendimento já está dividido em etapas e que as obras mitigadoras exigidas foram estudadas a partir do impacto de cada etapa. A 1ª fase, correspondente ao edifício do Banco Santander, já foi concluída: as medidas mitigadoras foram entregues e o alvará emitido. A 2ª fase inclui justamente o Shopping JK Iguatemi, as duas torres comerciais e a reforma no prédio da Daslu.

Para inaugurar as obras desta 2ª fase, portanto, o empreendedor deve entregar o conjunto de obras viárias exigidas pela prefeitura para minimizar os impactos no trânsito. O que a Procuradoria propõe é a divisão da 2ª fase destas obras em três novas fases — uma 2ª que corresponda apenas à abertura do Shopping, uma terceira referente às duas torres de escritório e uma última referente ao prédio da Daslu.

No entanto, fica a pergunta: qual obra viária, isoladamente, minimizaria os impactos deste shopping, que terá quase 8 mil vagas de estacionamento? Certamente não serão a ciclovia, nem o alargamento da Marginal Pinheiros, partes concluídas até o momento. Até agora a CET não apresentou nenhum estudo que analise os impactos destas três novas fases separadamente…

Para além de saber a que corresponde, individualmente, o impacto de cada obra no trânsito da região, uma questão me parece mais importante e não tem a ver apenas com este caso: esse modelo de estudo de impacto do trânsito me parece que já está superado. Trata-se de um modelo que, ao considerar a construção de cada novo shopping, cada nova torre, não leva em conta que, na verdade, a cidade já está saturada para este tipo de empreendimento.

Dividir grandes empreendimentos de forma que ele pareça ser parte de um conjunto de obras de pequeno impacto não é novidade. Isso já é recorrente quando se trata de licenciamento ambiental. Também é comum, por exemplo, que empreendimentos habitacionais sejam feitos em fases para que não se enquadrem em parâmetros que requerem Estudo de Impacto de Vizinhança, que geralmente exigem medidas mitigadoras. Sobra para o poder público realizar estas obras ou deixar que a cidade “se vire”, sem planejamento algum.

No fundo, este modelo acaba permitindo que cada vez mais novos empreendimentos de grande impacto sejam construídos, quando já está claro que a cidade não os suporta mais. Em Manhattan, em Nova York, por exemplo, não existem shoppings. Só se permite construir este tipo de empreendimento nas estradas, longe da cidade. Me parece que está mais do que na hora de dizer que em São Paulo não dá mais pra ter shopping, sobretudo em áreas que já estão supersaturadas, como é o caso da Vila Olímpia.


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