With scorching temperatures, crowded beaches and overworked air-conditioners, Hong Kong’s summer is officially in full swing. But, fortunately for us, the city is also packed with scenic pool resorts and water parks. From the world’s highest pool to a natural infinity pond on a mountainside, here are some of the best places to make a splash this season.
Swimming pools in Hong Kong
While the reopening of public pools is an encouraging sign, union representatives have warned that many of them will close lanes and facilities reserved for swimming instruction this summer due to staff shortages. “It will affect not only swimming clubs but the city’s overall sports development, too,” said Lee Yuet-man, chairman of the Hong Kong Recreation and Sports Professionals General Union.
The union said 20 of 45 public pools have told its members they can only open partially, without specifying which lanes or facilities would be closed. It added that some pools have even cancelled classes that they had previously booked. “The problem is that the government can’t find enough full-time lifeguards to cope with the work load,” Chau Siu-chung, a Labor constituency lawmaker, said. The government has tried to recruit more full-time lifeguards by raising the salary, but many of them are still choosing to leave for private pools that offer better pay.
Despite the staff shortage, the city is not taking any chances with its safety. It will continue to monitor new cases and impose a range of strict measures, including restricting groups to four people or less. It will also impose a ban on public beach visits until further notice. However, it is expected that restrictions will gradually ease once the virus has fully circulated throughout the special administrative region.
In the meantime, the city’s public swimming pools are operating at half capacity and dining outlets, including pubs, will close by midnight. Currently, the government has detected 4,976 coronavirus cases, 101 of which have died. New daily local cases have been dropping to low single or double digits in recent days, and there were no new cases reported on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s top hotels have their own pools for you to take a dip and unwind in. Kerry Hotel’s 25-metre outdoor pool offers a different view of Victoria Harbour from Hung Hom and the terrace bar Red Sugar is a great place for a post-swim cocktail.
Another great pool is The Ritz-Carlton’s pool, perched on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Center—the tallest building in Hong Kong. Floor-to-ceiling windows reveal a stunning panorama of the city and Victoria Harbour while LCD screens show images of tropical fishes, bubbles and clouds. The pool also serves up refreshing cocktails and light bites. A day pass costs HK$250 on weekdays and HK$350 on weekends and public holidays. You can also earn bonus Asia Miles when you book a room at this property.