Asia’s Best Poolside Soirees

May 23, 2017
Sofitel Sukhumvit Pool

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Say what you will about the opulence of a suite, the serenity of a spa and the magnetism of a bar — nothing shows off a hotel like a pool.

Plunge pools. Infinity pools. Saltwater pools. Rooftop pools. Instagrammers can’t stop snapping pics of their hams, or their feet pointed toward deliriously blue water.

Now, with summer heating up all over, hotels in Asia are about to do something about it. They’re going to dive right in.

From Bangkok to Vietnam to Taipei, hotels are opening their doors to guests who want to get down by otherwise off-limits country — the pool deck. Hotels are booking music, mixing drinks and calling out the lifeguards for some of the season’s most memorable hours.

In Taiwan, the adults-only Oasis Pool Party at the Grand Hyatt Taipei is widely regarded as one the best pool parties in the city. Running for seven hours (12-7 p.m.) on June 17, July 22, and Aug. 19, this playground for Taipei’s most beautiful people features international guest DJs, floaties and free-flowing food and drink.

Guests can also rent a VIP poolside cabana that will not only help them cool off, but provide the perfect backdrop for a summertime selfie. Tickets cost NT400 (US$13) before 2 p.m. and NT700 (US$23) after.

Over in Thailand, the French-inspired Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is wading into the action with Côté Piscine, a new concept aimed at bringing the French Riviera to one of the City of Angels’ poshest pool areas.

While the launch event in July will be a private affair, successive soirees, beginning in August, will be open to the public and offer “a refined atmosphere that exudes French luxury and joie de vivre,” said Marshall Orton, the hotel’s executive assistant manager.

Blue, in a variety of shades, is the primary color, while neutrals and whites play supporting roles. But the focal point is sure to be the shaded, swim-up bar, where guests can sip on fun and innovative cocktails as poolside trolleys serving up everything from ice cream to mojitos.

In Vietnam’s one-time imperial capital Hue, there’s a single opportunity to take the plunge at the acclaimed La Residence Hotel & Spa and multiple opportunities at Anam, a Cam Ranh resort that celebrated its grand opening in April.

On July 15, from 5 to 9 p.m., La Residence is throwing a bash that features a DJ, views of the Imperial City across the fabled Perfume River and one of Southeast Asia’s silkiest swimming experiences. (The hotel’s pool is long and deep and filled with saltwater.) The price tag weighs in at just $13 — an amount that’s bound to attract lots of locals.

And in Cam Ranh, Anam trades sunbeds for dining tables every evening by an oceanside infinity pool.  To the strains of infectious pop anthems performed a capella and with acoustics by a strolling Filipino band, Anam breaks out the champagne and fires up the grill for a nightly feast at $65 per person.  Diners are free to take a dip before, in between and after their seafood platters and main courses.