Murano Hotel Marrakech

8 Outrageously Colourful Swimming Pools

We’re all familiar with the rules of the swimming pool. No, I’m, not talking about “No diving, No bombing, No heavy petting…” I mean that a pool should be blue. Bright, beautiful and clear as a turquoise sea. Shouldn’t it? Well for those of you who love colour and refuse to be bound by the rules, here is our choice of the world’s eight most outrageously colourful swimming pools, from one encrusted with slivers of real gold to a hotel pool that’s blood red and beautiful…

Verner Panton pool

Image: Verner Panton, Basel

1. Spiegel publishing house

Not just colourful – this also has to be the world’s grooviest staff swimming pool. Built in the basement of the Spiegel publishing house, Hamburg in 1969, this incredible pool is just a part of the design for the offices and communal areas. It’s the work of iconic designer Verner Panton, the Danish designer whose work in lights, plastic and colour defined the hip-futurism of late 60s and 70s style. Sadly the pool was destroyed not long after its opening by fire, however the equally dazzling staff canteen remains intact, putting today’s trendy office spaces with slides and ping-pong tables firmly in the shade.

Murano Marrakesh red pool

2. Murano Marrakech

Daring to break the golden rule of the pool is the Murano Marrakech hotel. What could be more dramatic than a pool that runs against all our instincts by being tiled in bold, blood red? The Moroccan hotel is owned by creators of super-hip Paris haunts the 1K Hotel and Kube, one of which has a subterranean Mescal bar and the other an ice bar. When it came to opening their latest luxury outpost the designers have gone for a palette of white mixed with hot chilli red, and the pool is its crowning glory. Great for a spot of Instagram action, but don’t go for a dip right after watching Jaws

raleigh Hotel Kathryn Hill

3. Raleigh Hotel, Miami

Miami is packed not only with beautiful buildings but also beautiful pools. The one at the iconic Raleigh Hotel however has to be the best – and most photographed. The hotel itself was designed in 1940 by Lawrence Murray Dixon, responsible for many of South Beach’s most famous Art Deco buildings and noted for the sweeping curves of his designs. The main pool not only features elegantly scrolled sides but also a quirky portholed pool house. It’s been photographed for numerous fashion shoots and music videos, but our favourite take is this one, by Kathryn Hill.

Craig Bragdy swimming pool

4. Carpet pool

Our first private pool on the list, with a beautifully creative design by Craig Bragdy Design. The company specialises in innovative and bespoke mosaic designs for pools, and their site is well worth a visit for any pool-lover. The Great White shark mosaic might be a bit nearer the bone than we’d like, but this design based on antique rugs is restful, soothing and elegant.


5. Heart Castle’s Roman Pool

Immortalised in the film Citizen KaneHearst Castle was built by reclusive newspaper magnet William Randolph Hearst near San Simeon, California, and a more extraordinary building project would be hard to imagine. Among the castle’s gems are two pools, with the Roman Pool, above, built between 1927-34 to resemble ancient Roman baths. The whole room is covered with 1-inch mosaic tiles in a combination of coloured glass tiles in blue and orange, and clear tiles infused with gold. The overall effect is stunning, and can still be visited during tours of the castle. Don’t pack your trunks though – this luxurious wonder is for admiring only.

Jade Mountain Resort

6. Jade Mountain Resort

With views of the Caribbean Sea this beautiful, perhaps you can afford to mix up the colour of your pool a little. That’s exactly the form at the Jade Mountain Resort in St Lucia, where 24 infinity pools – each one attached to an individual room – have their own unique mosaic design, as well as coloured lighting to produce spectacular effects.

Craig Bragdy swimming pool

7. Haley’s Comet pool

Another stunning mosaic from Craig Bragdy Design celebrates the passing of Haley’s Comet over two residential tower blocks in Hong Kong. The ingenious design is meant to not only inspire and entice swimmers – it’s also been created to look it’s best from above, with apartments up to the 70th floor getting this mind-bending bird’s eye view of the sky above – as they look down.

Gold energy pool

 8. The gold pool

Ever wondered how it feel to bathe in gold? Well the Gold Energy Pool at St Regis Lhasa Resort will give you a pretty good idea. Not only is the water filled with golden light reflected from 24-karat gold leaf, it is also heated to a temperature between 28 and 30 degrees. The whole resort is a celebration of traditional Tibetan architecture and healing arts, with this pool that looks like liquid gold as the stunning centrepiece.

Ros Anderson


Ros Anderson is an interiors journalist and blogger who has worked for The Guardian, Elle Decoration, Ideal Home and many more. In 2009 she co-founded cult interiors blog My Friend's House with Jill Macnair, as a place to write about design in a more honest, spontaneous and humorous way.

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