The telltale signs of a Hong Kong summer are crowded beaches, dripping air-con units and an almost unbearable humidity. Thankfully, many of the city’s hotels have their own pools where you can kick back and relax. From infinity pools overlooking Victoria Harbour to the best water zones for kids, we’ve rounded up the best pool staycation deals to help you escape the heat this summer.
Getting some time in the water is great for your mental health, too! Swimming reduces stress, boosts your mood and increases energy levels – all while providing a great workout. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend time with family and friends. So, next time you need a break from the heat, head to one of these hotels with their own pools.
Managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), there are 44 public swimming pools in Hong Kong, including nine on Hong Kong Island, 13 in Kowloon and 22 in the New Territories. Adult admission to a LCSD pool costs HK$17 during the week and HK$19 on weekends and public holidays, while children under three are free.
During the coronavirus restrictions, some public pools were closed for cleaning on different days of the week and periodically for annual maintenance. Check the individual facilities’ schedules on the LCSD website before you plan your visit. Most pools have lockers to store your belongings – you’ll need a coin to use them – but bring extra cash just in case; the coins are refundable and drop into a slot on the inside of the locker when you leave.
Some public pools were also closed because the water was contaminated with vomit or faeces. It was suggested that this was because mainland swimmers were taking advantage of the affordability and good water quality of Hong Kong’s swimming pools, as well as the lack of public toilets on many beaches.
While the city’s public pools are open again, it’s worth noting that only 40 per cent of its 600 seasonal lifeguards have reported for duty. This means that the full reopening of all public beaches and pools is likely to take a while. The LCSD is looking into ways to speed up the recruitment process, which will include offering two-year contracts instead of the current single-year ones.