The Olympic Aquatics Centre – which saw Ellie Simmonds win four medals and Tom Daley win bronze in the 10-metre dive during summer 2012 – reopened to the public last Saturday (1 March). But if practising your front crawl with the plebs holds little appeal, panic not. Haute Living has the low-down on five hip, hotel pools where you can make a splash this spring
1 The Berkeley
This much loved local icon is the first word in luxury, the last and most of those in between boasting sizeable rooms and top notch restaurants (Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, anyone?)Of course there’s more to this high-end hotel, than its restaurants and rooms. Up on the seventh floor you’ll find the spa and health club - where the piece de resistance is the heated rooftop swimming pool, offering stunning views across Hyde Park and Knightsbridge. If the weather refuses to play ball, the specially redesigned roof slides to cover the pool.
2 The Bulgari
The legendary Italian jeweller opened this boutique hotel back in 2012. Situated in the salubrious environs of Knightsbridge, The Bulgari's 85 rooms personify la dolce vita. The spa is a similarly luxurious affair. Set over two floors, it’s home to a relaxation room, ice fountains, cooling showers and a 25 metre, three lane swimming pool complete with columns and cabanesques and surrounded by Vicenza stone (best known for its use in Palladio’s architecture).
171 Knightsbridge, SW7
3 Jumeirah Carlton Tower
Knightsbridge is not short of swanky five star hotels – including the aforementioned Berkeley and Bulgari - where you can lay your head. It’s a bit of a Bradley Cooper/George Clooney scenario – whichever property you end up in, you won't be disappointed. But if you want to follow in the footsteps of tennis ace, Andre Agassi, check into the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. Take an elevator up to the ninth floor where you’ll find a 20m stainless steel pool lined with palm trees. Go for leisure or pleasure, but do go.
Cadogan Place, SW1X
4 The Landmark
The grand old dame of London hotels is home to a 15-metre, heated swimming pool - a rare find in the heart of the city. Pleasingly the pool is also chlorine free so you can take the plunge without worrying about the side effects of chlorine. At The Landmark’s pool, a peaceful atmosphere prevails – a combination of the low lit lighting and the fact that the pool is for the main part, a child free zone. After a work out in the pool, relax in the whirlpool: you’ve worked hard and deserve it.
222 Marylebone Road, NW1
5 The Langham
If you’re looking to do a few laps in central London, then The Langham’s pool is the place for you. Located in the Chuan Health Club, the 16-metre indoor swimming pool was, in a previous incarnation, a large bank vault. But the best bit? The Langham has designated children’s swimming hours meaning adults can enjoy the pool in peace. After all that exercise, seek out the salt sauna and steam room – guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for the world.
1c Portland Place, Regent Street, W1B