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[Wellbeing] Outdoor Pools
By Aug 20, 2008 Community
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A newer version of this article is available here.

We're a little late on this one, summer being almost over, but nevertheless here they are: a few outdoor pools around town. If the heat is getting too much, or if you just want to show off your hot body, consider going to an outdoor swimming pool -- a less exciting alternative to public nudity. To help you decide where to go, we investigated seven pools, renowned for being outside, and rated them based on some arbitrary criteria.

Mandarin City

788 Hongxu Lu, near Huaguang Lu, Hongqiao. Taxi-printout & map
This popular pool blasts hip-hop all day. The crowd includes hot-young western couples, holiday makers, Chinese tourists, and residents. It's part of the Mandarin City serviced apartments in Hongqiao and a bit of a trek to reach, but well worth it. The sizeable lagoon pool, boasts a swim-up bar (how do you keep your money dry?!) serving beers for 25rmb and pizza for 45rmb. Be sure to bring a ball of some sort. Entry: 80rmb

Rating 4/5

Shanghai Racquet Club

Lane 555, Jinfeng Lu, Hua Cao Town, Minhang District. Taxi-printout & map

From the small man-made beach with volleyball net, to the amiable, Philippine bar staff, everything about the Shanghai Racquet Club oozes a tropical ambiance. Set amongst palm trees and Latin tiling, this large lagoon pool hosts a wealthy, expat crowd and is only open to non-guests during the week. Small wishing-pool alcoves set amongst the greenery allow for philosophical or intimate moments away from the main pool bustle. The poolside pavilion bar has great pizza and mains ranging from 40�C60rmb, and cocktails at 40rmb. The Club and the pool are open for members only, however on weekdays members can bring guests (they have to be together) with a maximum of four times per year. There is no additional charge for members' guests.

Rating 4.5/5

Holiday Inn Pudong

899 Dongfang Lu, near Century Avenue, Pudong. Taxi-printout & map
With panoramic views overlooking Pudong into Puxi, this semi-sheltered outdoor pool is elegant but not popular. The simple rectangular lap-pool, evokes an old school bathers pavilion and opens to the heavens through a gauzy steel and glass ceiling. Come here to relax and reflect on the city, or do a few laps -- not to party. Entry: Pretend to be a guest

Rating 2.5/5

Purple Mountain Hotel Pudong

778 Dong Fang Lu, near Zhang Yang Lu, Pudong Taxi-printout & map
Just next to the Holiday Inn, and adjacent to the Purple Mountain Hotel in Pudong, this pool is infamous with the annual Pool Parties. The pool is located on the 5th floor of the Hotel in an outdoor deck giving low sweeping views of Pudong. The pool itself is round with a kiddies pool attached to it. The deck itself is large enough for a BBQ or for one of those annual Pool Parties hosting hundreds. Entry to
the pool is 80rmb

Rating 3.5/5

Shanghai Grand Plaza

House 2F, 568 Julu Lu, near Shanxi Lu. Taxi-printout & map
Enter through the roman bath-esque changing rooms, with stone jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room. The pool area itself consists of a smallish lap pool and circular paddling pool. Attractive Western sun-worshippers and potted palm trees lend the rooftop pool a chilled but refined air. Pricey food and drink can be obtained at the club downstairs. Entrance during the week is 80rmb and 100rmb on weekends and on holidays.
568 Julu Lu, near Shanxi Lu

Rating: 4/5

Ambassy Club

1502 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Gao An Lu. Taxi-printout & map

The squeals of delighted children, big green plastic slide and busy paddling pool designate the Ambassy Club as a family friendly venue. That said it's a great pool, set within the classy environs of Ambassy club which sports a great bar and super friendly staff. Don't let the affluent vacationers and sagging flesh spoil your fun with beers starting at 20rmb and great eats for 40rmb. Entry: 100rmb

Rating 3.5/5

JW Marriott Hotel

399 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu, People's Square. Taxi-printout & map
A spectacular indoor pool opens onto the Marriott's outdoor pool. Interesting mixed rock tiling and futuristic steel and glass structures set off the androgynous curves of the lap and paddle pools. From the 7th floor of the Marriot, views of surrounding Puxi are great, but not humbling. Here a mix of holiday-ers and business people mingle poolside, absorbing rays and dining from the expensive gourmet menu. Mains start at 120rmb and cocktails at 60rmb. For entrance, pose as a guest, there's no security and the attendants will treat you with the deference you deserve.

Rating: 3.5/5

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