Come summer, and our thoughts immediately turn to cooling down and splashing around in your nearest swimming pool. However, where do you go if you’re not lucky enough to be a club member, don’t have your own roof terrace or apartment communal pool and the thought of contending with thousands of other sun seekers on Shek O’s white expanses doesn’t quite appeal? Once again, Sassy has come to the rescue with our guide to the best communal swimming pools in Hong Kong.
The Island Shangri La, Admiralty
Facilities: Their 28 metre long swimming pool is surrounded by sun loungers affording almost 360 degree chances to sit in the sun. Space is limited meaning it doesn’t feel too crowded and it’s open and heated all year round unlike others. An outdoor café next to the pool provides the perfect spot for a club sandwich and cooling cocktail. Equally impressive is the kitted-out gym which is open 24 hours and has ‘his and hers’ changing rooms complete with steam rooms and Jacuzzis. The on-site spa offers the perfect excuse to pamper yourself too.
The cost: A weekday day pass costs $500 per person. Alternatively, plump for the annual membership which will set you back $45,500 per member or $68,800 per couple. Locker hire will cost you an extra $3,000 per year. Discounts are then offered on spa treatments and dining options.
Promotion: Spend $1,100 on any massage treatment or facial on a weekday and gain free access to the pool and gym. Valid until August 31st 2012.
Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2820 8583
Grand Hyatt, Wan Chai
Facilities: With unbeatable harbour side views, the Grand Hyatt’s 50-metre heated swimming pool is housed within a tropical-feeling patio oasis famed for its outdoor appeal. The lush garden comes complete with outdoor dining options, a 400-metre jogging path and even its own waterfall! Inside, the gym, spa and sauna are no less impressive, whilst you will never be short of gourmet dining and bar options.
The cost: A day pass costs $550 per person. Monthly membership is normally $10,000 per person per month.
Promotion: From now until the end of August, monthly passes are available for $5,500 per person but restricted for use between 7.30am and 5pm.
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2588 1234
The InterContinental, Kowloon
Facilities: The Intercontinental pool is famed for the best views of HK Island from an aquatic setting. The infinity pools allow you to float idly whilst gazing over a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s famed skyline whilst a larger 21-metre pool is set further back for more spacious swimming and sunbathing. The spa is world-class with a plethora of treatments to be tried and the gym ticks all your mainstream exercise needs.
The cost: The only way to access this prime piece of HK hotel heaven is to purchase a day spa programme giving you all day access to the outdoor terrace and facilities. But what better excuse for a spa day… check out our review of one here!
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2721 1211
The W Hotel, Kowloon
Facilities: The W’s rooftop infinity pool is all about seeing and being seen so be sure to choose your most eye-catching swimwear! The facilities include the achingly cool pool, blissful Jacuzzi and mesmerising cocktail bar – think trendy relaxation whilst sipping on a daiquiri.
The cost: If you’re not shy of partying clad in your finest swimwear, head down to their WET Sunday sessions where for $280, you can party poolside from 3-8pm whilst sipping on a free cocktail or pay $500 to include free-flow vodka drinks and the BBQ. There’s also their Get WET Summer Series pool parties from July to September, from 8pm-3am, which cost $300 including one complimentary drink or $850 to enjoy free-flow! Get more information here.
For a more long-term strategy, buy a pack of six day passes (which last for three months), valid any day of the week for just $1,800 and which also include discounts at Bliss Spa or a 60-minute personal training session. You could also buy a Bliss Celebrity package ($20,000 for one year), which bags you discounts at both Bliss Spa and all restaurants at the W, access to their SWEAT gym facilities on the day of your treatment and, all importantly, access to the pool too on Mondays to Fridays, between 9am and 4pm.
W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3717 2222
JW Marriott, Admiralty
Facilities: Evoking holiday feelings with a lagoon style pool flanked by sun loungers on all sides, the JW Marriott’s pool offers the perfect place to catch some rays on a sunny day. The Fish Bar next to the pool serves a mean lunch and if you’re looking to then burn it off, head down to the basement fitness centre for a workout followed by sauna and steam room.
The cost: A full day pass at the JW Marriott is a remarkably reasonable $300 per day for full pool and fitness access.
JW Marriott, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2810 8366
Public swimming pools in Hong Kong
If you want to splash around on a bit more of a budget, head to one of Hong Kong’s 41 public swimming pools instead (check out the full list here). We’ve still not managed to check them all out but have heard great things about the ones in Kennedy Town (2 Sai Cheung Street North, Kennedy Town, 2817 7973) and Morrison Hill (7 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, 2575 3028) whilst the one at Victoria Park (Victoria Park, Hing Fat Street, Causeway Bay, 2570 8347) is the biggest on HK Island. Meanwhile, Kowloon Park (Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2724 3577) boasts both indoor and three outdoor pools linked by waterfalls (yes… really!), plus the chance to stroll around the scenic park itself afterwards.
The cost: $19 per person on HK Island and Kowloon; $17 on weekdays and $20 on weekends in the New Territories. Monthly ticket passes cost $300 and can be used at all the LCSD’s public swimming pools (apart from Wan Chai Swimming Pool); call 2414 5555 or the booking offices of individual swimming pools to buy.