One of the most popular outdoor pools in Old Xuhui, Grand Plaza Club House is situated inside the same compound on Julu Lu as Mexican restaurant Maya, thus known widely as the ‘Maya pool’. Though it’s a small swimming area with not much surrounding poolside space and packs out quickly with sun-seekers, it’s hard to beat for location and convenience for many.
Opening hours 9am-9pm daily.
Entry 150RMB (Mon-Fri); 200RMB (Sat-Sun).
568 Julu Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu (6289 4835).
Photograph: Jiashan Market (Ambassy Club)
A one-time trial affair unless you’re a member (or with one). This pair of indoor and outdoor pools are inside a private club complex that includes squash courts and a gym. The indoor pool is perfect for serious swimmers who want to do rounds without disturbances while the outdoor one is shallow, family-friendly and great for soaking up some Vitamin D. It’s a lively scene with lots of kids on the weekends.
Opening hours Indoor pool: 7am-9pm (Mon-Fri); 8am-9pm (Sat-Sun). Outdoor pool: 11am-6pm (Mon-Fri); 8am-9pm (Sat-Sun).
Entry Until June 30: 150RMB; 80RMB (child). From July 1: 300RMB; 160RMB (child).
1500 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu (6437 9800 ext 252/238).
Shimao Riviera Garden
Part of a posh Pudong residential complex, the Shimao Riviera Garden pool is situated inside a clubhouse which is largely used by the occupants of seven towers’ worth of luxury serviced apartments. These surround the outdoor pool and so along with the general footfall through the compound, it means there’s little to no privacy when swimming al fresco. However, the space itself is appealing with an enormous aquamarine pool (plus wave machine), faux-beach, deckchair area, and bar for the parents. Given it’s part of a residential property, the pools fill up with kids come evenings and weekends.
Opening hours Indoor: 7am-10pm. Outdoor: tba (open from July).
Entry 200RMB; 100RMB (child under 1.5m).
Building 5, 1-2 Weifang Xi Lu, near Pucheng Lu, Pudong (6888 8108).
Photograph: courtesy New Star (Pudong)
The original branch of New Star is one of our favourite bathhouses in the city, but it may not seem like an obvious place to head to when temperatures outside are hitting the mid-30s with a hefty dose of humidity on top. Yet hidden out the back of the main bathing area is a great outdoor swimming area with a small section for kids, a medium-sized pool for adults and a handful of sun loungers on the side. It’s not the biggest outdoor pool in the city, but rarely is it overcrowded. On that note, New Star Pudong
also has a pretty big pool if you want to escape the crowd.
Opening hours Jinhui 9am-6pm (until August 31); Pudong 10am-8pm (until August 31).
Entry 118RMB (includes bath, sauna and access to the pools).
New Star (Jinhui), Lane 258, 1 Jinhui Nan Lu, near Hongquan Lu (5838 7771).
New Star (Pudong), 288 Dongxiu Lu, near Meihua Lu.