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The great escape

Magical swimming pools from Java to Hollywood

When the FT invited writers to reflect on their favourite swimming pools, the responses spanned the globe. Cal Flyn picked Seljavallalaug in Iceland, a “rough-and-ready outdoor pool built into an isolated hillside” beneath the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Pico Iyer chose the pool at the Mondrian in West Hollywood, where waitresses glide “from table to deckchair in sarongs, bearing drinks” and beautiful young people – “pretending to be actors” – strike poses while standing in the warm water.

William Dalrymple opted for the pool at the Amanjiwo hotel in Java: “huge and magnificent, a shimmering blue rectangle, lined with honey-coloured limestone, set between round masterworks of umbrella topiary on one side and spreading magnolia trees on the other”. And Paul Theroux went with the Olympic-sized and entirely public Andrew “Boy” Charlton Pool in Sydney, neatly situated at the edge of Woolloomooloo Bay, “with views of the magnificent harbour”. See the rest here.