Five Epic Pools
December 23, 2016 at 09:00 AM
Think you’ve seen stunning swimming pools? Think again. There are beautiful swimming pools, and then there are jaw-dropping, lavish, over-the-top, watery opulence. We found some of the world’s most expensive, jaw-dropping high-end pools.
San Alfonso del Mar, Algarobbo, Chile
This Chilean resort pool held the record for the world’s largest until recently, when the same builder created another in Egypt. Fed by filtered and treated Pacific Ocean water, the 3,300+ foot-long pool is nearly 20 acres, 66 million gallons of water, and its deepest end is 11.5 feet. Separated from the ocean by a long strip of beach, the pool parallels the Pacific Ocean and the length of the resort. The pool was completed in 2006 by Chilean company Crystal Lagoons and cost between $1.5 billion to $2 billion, and nearly $4 billion in maintenance annually.
Kitchukov pool, Gilbert, Arizona
The Kitchukov family built a pool in their Phoenix backyard that’s nearly 10 times the size of the average backyard pool. The pool features fountains, a waterfall grotto, a 15-foot waterslide, and a 15-person hot tub, and is surrounded by lush palm tree landscaping with a gazebo, full bar, putting green, skatepark, and two outdoor kitchens. Built by Red Rock Contractors, it took five months to finish and cost $1 million. The pool became famous after being featured on the Travel Channel. The Kitchukov family had succeeded the American dream after fleeing communist Bulgaria and building one of the largest plumbing businesses in the United States.
Fleur de Lys, Beverly Hills, California
This 70-foot swimming pool resembles a fountain at Versailles, as does the 45,000 square foot mansion it comes with. The home is famous for being the most expensive in the world and was modeled after a chateau outside Paris, Vaux-le-Vicomte. The home and pool were built in 2002 by billionaire Suzanne Saperstein, but she soon divorced her then-husband and listed it in 2007 for $125 million. In 2012, it was finally sold for $102 million. With the home modeled after a Versailles-style palace, the pool features white marble, colonnades, wide patio with several tables and umbrellas, lounge chairs, statues, pruned hedges, and a Versailles-style garden down the marble steps. There are not one, but two pool houses with columns—one with a kitchen and the other with an exercise room.
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, which the famous film “Citizen Kane” is modeled after, built himself a handsome castle with two lavish swimming pools—one indoor, one outdoor. The indoor one, dubbed the “Roman Pool,” was styled after ancient Roman baths and features eight marble statues copied after ones in Italy. The entire room is covered from floor to ceiling with 1” mosaic tiles with 24karat gold fused inside, creating a shimmering effect. The outdoor pool, called the “Neptune Pool,” took nearly 12 years to complete after it was expanded three times. Its current size is 104 feet by 58 feet, with 95 feet at the alcove. The depth ranges from 3.5 to 10 feet and holds 345,000 gallons of water. It uses an oil-burning heating system, Vermont marble, and features four 17th century Italian bas-reliefs. Both swimming pools were built between 1924-1936; the price tag for both plus the mansion were $10 million. However, it’s impossible to price it today, since there’s no real way to compare the construction of such painstaking details today.
The Mountain, Springville, Utah
This $2 million backyard pool is built against the backdrop of a 90-foot man-made mountain, constructed out of concrete and rebar, and blending seamlessly into the Utah landscape. The pool, designed to resemble a swimming hole than a rectangular pool, features five waterfalls, a hidden grotto, a tunnel waterslide, and a 300-foot lazy river. The tallest waterfall stretches 20 feet high, with 3,000 gallons of water pouring over its edge a minute. The pool is 140 feet long and at one area, has a depth of 26 feet for scuba diving. The scuba diving entrance, however, is only accessible from inside the mountain, requiring a diver to swim through a 54-foot long tunnel. Hidden inside the faux mountain are dipping pools, a full kitchen with views of the pool, a changing room with bathroom, and the pool’s equipment. The pool was recently featured on Animal Planet’s “The Pool Master.”