Swimming pools have always been a standard feature of luxury hotels and ocean liners. At times when surface areas of pools were measured in square feet, Olympic-sized pools were the largest manmade water bodies created. Now, technology and human imagination have redefined opulence and swimming pools are also measured in hectares. Here’s a list of the biggest swimming pools in the world.
The Largest Swimming Pools in the World
1. Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
The world’s largest swimming pool is actually a manmade lagoon of the Red Sea created by Chile’s Crystal Lagoons Corp. It is the centrepiece of the ground-breaking Citystars Sharm el Sheik Resort being developed by the Sharbatly family of Egypt. Spanning 12.5 hectares or nearly 30 acres, the waters host swimmers, boaters and wind surfers alike.
What is unique about the lagoon is that it is the first lagoon where the water will be desalinised for the use of the 750-acre community when the tourism project is complete. The Guinness World Record holder for the world’s biggest swimming pool was constructed at a cost of US$ 5.5 million.
2. San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
This lagoon was built in 2007 and held the Guinness World Record for the biggest pool till Crystal Lagoons broke their own record at Sharm El Sheikh. At the heart of a resort in Algarrabo, the pool covers 7.7 hectares or 19 acres; the total cost of construction in estimated at around US$ 3.5 million.
The Pacific Ocean regularly pumps in 250 million litres, which is filtered and treated by the company’s patented water treatment system. It is said to use only 2 percent of the energy and 100 times lesser chemicals compared to traditional pool treatment methods. The result is crystal clear water for the enjoyment of swimmers, windsurfers and other guests of the resort.
3. MahaSamutr, Thailand
Also built by Crystal Lagoons, the MahaSamutr pool contains Asia’s largest manmade lagoon. It is 72,000 square miles in size and a maximum depth of 2.4 metres. Fringed by an artificial sand beach, the lagoon is the focal point of the MahaSamutr development project, an exclusive country club and residential in the city of Hua Hin.
Thanks to Crystal Lagoon’s revolutionary water treatment system, residents of MahaSamutr have access to purified water and can enjoy waters sports and beachside living all year around.
4. Las Brisas, Chile
Another early brainchild of Crystal Lagoon Corp., the ‘pool’ at Las Brisas covers a surface area of 2.2 hectares or 5 acres. It is situated at Santo Domingo where the Pacific Ocean pumps in about 45 million litres of purified sea water every day for the benefit of resort residents, swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers.
The artificial lagoon, also fringed by manmade beaches has a maximum depth of 3 metres. Temperatures are controlled with the average reaching 27 degrees Celsius. At the time of it was built, Las Brisas lagoon was the 2nd largest manmade water body in the world, after San Alfonso del Mar.
5. Laguna Bahia, Chile
Laguna Bahia is also located in Algarrobo, a mere 400 metres from its more celebrated cousin, San Alfonso del Mar. The manmade lagoon is the centrepiece of a resort, which also boasts of artificial sand beaches.
As with other sea side resorts, residents of Laguna Bahia can also enjoy uninterrupted swimming, windsurfing and other water sports. Laguna Bahia has a surface area of 1.4 hectares or 152, 460 square feet.
6. Dreamworld Fun Lagoon, Pakistan
Dreamworld Fun Lagoon in the port city of Karachi has the distinction of being the world’s largest artificial lagoon without seawater. All of its 18.4 million litres of water comes from underground wells.
Made in 2007, Dreamworld Fun Lagoon is the "piece de resistance" of the resort and club of the same name. The lagoon, along with the other water sports, amusement facilities and amenities at the resort, make it one of the most popular tourist and corporate destinations in South Asia.
7. Seagaia Ocean Dome, Japan
From the time it was built in the 1993 till its closure in 2007, the Polynesia-themed Dome was the world’s largest indoor water park. Located in the city of Miyakazi, the Dome was the central feature of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort was famous for its artificial waves. The Dome was 300 metres long and 100 metres wide, though the actual pool was smaller.
It also featured a flame-spitting volcano, an artificial beach and the world’s biggest retractable roof in four sections. The water temperature was held at 28 degrees Celsius. The Seagaia Ocean Dome was closed as due to renovation and re-branding efforts.
8. Piscine Alfred Nakache, France
Built on Ramier Island in the midst of Toulouse, France, the Piscine Alfred Nakache, named after the legendary swimmer, consists of two pools. One is an indoor public swimming pool and is used in winter. Designed in the pool art deco style, it measures almost one hectare.
Parc des Sports is the outdoor pool and with its 1950s architecture, is considered one the most pleasant pools in Toulouse. The outdoor pool even has some interesting backdrops like fake rocks.
9. Hayman Island Resort, Australia
The size of seven Olympic-size pools and located just off the Great Barrier Reef, the pool at this luxury resort is one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. It is actually a pool within a pool with a saltwater pool surrounding the fresh water pool, with a bar in the centre.
The sea water pool is actually a manmade lagoon. The sheer immensity of the combined pools at almost one hectare prompted the resort builders to design four interconnecting boardwalks over the water’s surface. The longest of these bridges is 165 feet long.
10. Laguna Vista, Chile
Algarrobo, Chile is host to three of the largest manmade lagoons and water parks listed here and with good reason. Its pristine coastline makes it an ideal location for tourist resorts and Laguna Vista is a prime example.
Measuring 0.68 acres, the size of the lagoon may not seem so important after reading about the bigger pools. However, interspersed with tall residential buildings, the manmade lagoon gives the impression of a river emptying into a fjord.
11. Glenwood Springs Pool, USA
Called the largest hot springs pool in the world, the mineral-rich Glenwood Springs consists of two pools. The Therapy Pool is a hot tub and the water is cooled to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The gigantic main pool for general bathing is cooler at temperatures between 90 and 93 degrees.
In the warm months the resort operates two water slides called Shoshone Chute and Avalanche Falls. While the former is a simple slide, the latter uses inner tubes for descent. Both slides end off with a 47-foot drop into another pool under supervision of lifeguards.
Recreation And Desalinization
Manmade lagoons not only offer recreational and water sports facilities to tourists and residents of resorts, they also ensure the seawater is recycled and desalinated for further use. This saves precious freshwater for everyday usage.