Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach, but doing so’s not always ideal. Sometimes you don’t want to deal with all the sand in your shoes or making that long trek to the quiet, secluded beach you like most. Thankfully, Hong Kong has a wealth of excellent swimming pools you can choose from as an alternative. Take your pick from cool public spots or luxurious hotel facilities and show off your best Michael Phelps impression.
Want to get your adrenaline fix while hitting the water? We’ve also got the lowdown on the best outdoor water sports to try and the best places to surf in Hong Kong. Sarah Moran and Olivia Lai
Hong Kong’s best swimming pools
The pool at Discovery Bay’s Club Siena is jaw-droppingly good. Like, five-star resort good. Have a splash in the massive outdoor pool and gaze out over the South China Sea from its infinity edge. It’s brilliant for kids, too, thanks to the splash and baby pools as well as a poolside kiosk full of snacks. During winter, you can stay warm in the complex’s heated indoor pool. Entry for non-members is only $100 on weekdays and $150 during weekends or public holidays.
If you don’t fancy slumming it with the general public, you can always choose to go for a swim in the Grand Hyatt’s pool. The harbour views and spacious deck area make for a relaxing summer’s day away from the masses. Of course, you have to pay for all that. A day pass costs $550 but does include access to the outdoor pools, gym and sauna.
Hotel Indigo’s glass-bottom pool is not for the faint-hearted. It does offer one stunning view though, since part of the pool protrudes precariously over the edge of the hotel, allowing swimmers to see the people and traffic passing below. While access is only available to hotel guests, this unique pool is reason enough to justify heading there the next time you fancy a staycation.
The newest member of Hong Kong’s public pool community, the Kennedy Town pool is a beaut. There’s not one but four different pools housed in the complex. The rooftop outdoor pool provides a front row seat for looking out over Victoria Harbour, plus there’s a fun kids’ splash pool equipped with a mini waterslide right next to it. No worries about cross-contamination, then. There are also two indoor pools for days when the weather’s less pleasant.
The view from the Kerry Hotel pool is pretty legendary. Overlooking Victoria Harbour towards North Point, the infinity pool allows you to float and relax while soaking in the landscape. Thankfully, Kerry Hotel offers day passes at $400 per day during weekdays and $500 per day during weekend $for non-customers to enjoy. Aside from the pool, the day passes provide access to the 24-hour gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam rooms with the changing rooms.
One of the most entertaining and kid-friendly public swimming pools in Hong Kong, the biggest draws here are the three sizeable outdoor leisure pools that come complete with waterfalls, rocks and a footbridge. The islands in the middle make for a great sunbathing spot. Just remember, the outdoor space is only open between April and October. Worry not, though. During winter, there are still plenty of indoor facilities you can make use of, including a pool, two training pools and a dedicated diving pool.
An easy 10-minute walk from Ma On Shan Station, this outdoor spot is made distinctive thanks to its mushroom- and tree-shaped fountains at its three leisure pools. That’s not all. Ma On Shan’s four outdoor waterslides are appreciably fast. Head over there to get your adrenaline fix while the younger kids enjoy the smaller slides.
While this pool is only open from April to October, it’s a great option for families during the warmer months. When the little ones get bored of the restaurants and activities in Sai Kung Town, this child-friendly complex can keep them entertained with its 50m main pool, training pool and a leisure pool with water games and slides.
For the serious swimmer, the South China Athletic Association’s pool complex is about as good as it gets. There’s a 50m indoor swimming pool, a 25m indoor training pool and an outdoor diving pool. The water’s a good temperature and it never gets too crowded. You need to be a member, which costs just $120 per year, then each visit is $22. There are also courses and a water polo team to join if you’re feeling competitive.
Make a splash at Hong Kong’s highest outdoor swimming pool. Sitting on the 73rd floor of W Hotel, this place allows you to paddle around surrounded by neighbouring skyscrapers while peeking down at the city below through the side windows. W Hotel offers special weekend packages that include access to the pool, the gym and water facilities (sauna and steam room), as well as two complimentary glasses of champagne for $988.