Essential for escaping the summer heat, the best pools reflect their owners’ tastes while blending into their surroundings.

Good for a quick dip or a few laps, as a place to keep children entertained or a tranquil surface to float votive candles during a party, pools are a wonderful complement to summer. As a special element of the residence’s landscaping, they should be the focus of careful design.   

Some pools seem to defy gravity by straddling buildings or hanging cantilevered over cliffs, while others speak of their owners’ particular interests. Fish- and boat-shaped pools are not uncommon, and the one Frank Sinatra commissioned for his weekend getaway in Palm Springs was shaped like a grand piano. And if some owners place art around or inside their pools – in Marbella, Spain, Antonio Ruiz Soler had his friend Pablo Picasso paint, sign and date the bottom of his pool in 1961 – others turn to pool designers to create masterpieces that are at one with their surroundings and their tastes.  

“People are willing to invest in pools because they see the value in them,” says Greg Darvin, owner of Pristine Pools in East Hampton, New York. Noting that homeowners often like to model their pools after a favourite hotel pool in Miami, Bali or the South of France, Darvin says his job consists of scaling the design to the property, adapting it to the climate and finding what he calls the balance between aesthetics and functionality.  

On the Hawaiian island of Maui, Ron Silva of Island Sotheby’s International Realty says that most residences situate the pool within view of the ocean. One stunning example is a pool on a three-acre estate that draws inspiration from Maui itself. Lined with local lava rock, the infinity-edge pool starts as a wading pool on the mauka (or mountain) side and rings the home, emptying into a nine and a half foot-deep pool on the makai (or ocean) side. The effect? From a simple body of water, this pool turns into a theatrical stage.



Never available on the open market before, this six-bedroom estate on three captivating acres of land offers both privacy – with its own gated entry – and convenience of living. Thanks to 180-degree ocean views, its infinity pool guarantees absolute serenity.

$19,975,000 Property ID: 35YC2Z|
Island Sotheby’s International Realty
Raphael Wellerstein +1 808 385 3992
Ron Silva +1 808 357 4444



Original built in 1900, this stately European-style stone manor presides over more than 262 sylvan acres stretching across the New York-Connecticut border. The residence is an exquisite showplace for grand-scale entertaining, adorned with imported antique marble, limestone, onyx and stained glass. Its indoor pool is surrounded by Italian mosaic tile.

$75,000,000 Property ID: MSXE4M |  
Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage
Joe Barbieri  +1 203 940 2025  


Signal Mountain

This iconic modern mountain estate is truly spectacular. Here, architectural splendor and attractive finishes are complemented by breathtaking views of the the Tennessee River, valley and surrounding mountain landscape. 

$2,950,000 Property ID: 4HJP3M |
Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty
Sandy Poe  +1 865 357 3232


Paradise Island

Enjoy the ultimate beachfront lifestyle at the spectacular Casa DeLeon, where every possible luxury has been thought of and brilliantly executed. Upon entering this palatial home’s 25-foot atrium, its infinity pool and the aquamarine water beyond will take your breath away.

$11,995,000  Property ID: SN3NDG |
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Monty Roberts  +1 242 322 2305


Longboat Key

Indulge your passion for sleek design elements, standout architecture and amazing use of light and space. This home’s flowing floor plan allows for an harmonious blend of luxury, functionality and relaxed tropical living. Disappearing walls of floor-to-ceiling impact glass open out to the patio; just beyond, an infinity-edge pool with unique floating steps awaits.

$3,695,000 Property ID: NRVWRY |
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty
Cheryl Loeffler  +1 941 308 6554