Infinity, zero- or negative-edge pools create a trompe l’oeil effect where water spills endlessly into the horizon. The overflow actually runs into a hidden trough where it’s recycled back, but the effect is mesmerizing, and particularly spectacular when the pool is positioned in front of a large body of water. It can also look like you are about to swim into the trees, mountains or even the Singapore skyline. In some cases it feels freaky, but who is up for some fantasy? (Full disclosure: this isn’t a particularly deep post, but if you’re having a stressful day, it’s just the thing to let your mind drift.)
It’s no mystery why the aptly named Eagle’s Nest pool overlooking the Bay of Islands is one of the most expensive rentals in New Zealand.
The origins of the infinity pool are contested, some say the inspiration was Bali’s terraced rice paddies, or Turkey’s Pammukale hot spring travertine pools (pictured above), while others point to the Stag fountain, built in the 17th century in the Garden of Versailles.
No matter where they began, infinity pools translate around the world. With the Aegean in the background, Villa Drakothea on the Greek island of Mykonos blends modern aquatic technology with centuries old traditional Cycladic design.
The architectural precision and seamless blue hue makes a modern pool even more alluring.
This perimeter overflow pool in Phuket, Thailand has a 360-degree vanishing edge. When viewed from above, the pool resembles a flat surface, until it’s rippled by the breeze.
Lounge chairs sit like ships on this Rangali Island pool in the Maldives.
The infinity pool of the Moshe Safdie-designed Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is set a staggering 55-storeys up for an incredible view of the city, however…
This scares me. A lot. The pool is three times the length of an Olympic pool, making it the largest outdoor pool in the world at this height.
Now this is more like it. Inevitably, when an infinity pool is positioned by the ocean I think: why not just jump in the ocean? When these pools are stuck in places far from the beach (like Tuscany), it makes them more incongruous and wonderful — a true oasis.
The perfect Rocky Mountain high.
And finally, a body of water floating above the clouds that looks like a slice of sky, from one of the birthplaces of the infinity pool, Bali.
See our Perfect Pools photo gallery for more refreshing inspiration.