Indoor Swimming Pools in Suzhou
Suzhou’s hot and sticky summer is just around the corner. One way to avoid the sweaty streets of Suzhou is to lock yourself in an air-conditioned room for the next three months. But we prefer the slightly more social activity of swimming. Here’s a list of the best places to get wet in Suzhou this summer.
Shilla’s swimming pool is nice and clean, with a constant water temperature of 28℃. It’s not super big, but large enough to do some proper swimming. The nearby jacuzzi is perfect for relaxation. It can get a little busy during the weekends. If you can, visit the pool during the week.
With artificial stones in the corner and two small Jacuzzi tubs at the side, this shallow swimming pool is great for children to enjoy splashing around in the summer. Sport for life, a sports coaching organization, offers swimming lessons to expat children here.
It doesn’t come cheap, but the pool at the Kempinski is one of the largest and most tranquil pools in town. Here you can get some real swimming in, plus there’s a nice jacuzzi and sauna for you to relax. You will usually have the place nearly to yourself.
You get what you pay for, and here you’re paying for the space, peace and superior sanitary conditions. You can use the gym for free.
It’s also a kid friendly pool with a kids’ play area (nearly 250 square meters large) located next to the swimming pool, which is free for children under 12.
Hands down, this is our favorite indoor swimming pool in Suzhou. The beautiful pool is overlooking Jinji Lake, and you can lounge in the jacuzzi and enjoy the view. If you live nearby and like to go swimming everyday, the RMB 11,000 yearly membership is totally worth it. It is also equipped with a 24-hour gym. They are also offering swimming lessons for kids from July 1 to August 31 .
Xinghai Swimming Complex
Still a cheap, noisy, crowded option for locals, the pool is swamped with screaming kids in the summer. But hey, it’s cheap and there’s a waterslide.
SIP Youth & Children Center Swimming Pool
This indoor pool is situated next to the Baitang Arboretum within the SIP Youth & Children Center. The entire pool consists of seven swimming lanes with two usually reserved for frolicking and such. The best thing about this pool is that one entire wall is a window allowing the space to be filled with warm natural light during the day. The pool is open during park hours.
Dushu Lake Swimming Center
This monstrosity of an indoor pond lies on the south-west end of Dushu Lake. This facility is attatched to the Dushu Sports Center and lies across from a large green expanse popular for picnics and kite flying. Memberships cost 650RMB for 30 times, 450RMB/month, or 1,680RMB/year. The pool is open during business hours and weekends.
Outdoor Swimming Pools in Suzhou
Marco Polo Hotel
The pool is on the rooftop of Marco Polo hotel,which is in downtown Suzhou. It’s not huge but certainly large enough for a dip and there’s a pleasant decked area for lounging. It’s available for rent for personal or company pool parties with cocktails and barbecues. To use the pool, you have to buy the monthly membership card for RMB 880 that comes with the gym.
Located in downtown Suzhou, the Pan Pacific’s pool is large, clean and very pleasant. It’s surrounded by the hotel’s ancient buildings with plenty of seating. They also have a Roman-inspired and temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool. It’s a decent place to get some real swimming in.
Built into the Jinji Lake with a beautiful view, the big pool has an artistic shape with a jacuzzi and cute dolphin sculptures by the side of the pool. A less crowded pool where you can actually swim and relax. Make sure to enjoy a drink from the poolside bar.
Located by the rooftop garden with a breathtaking view, the swimming pool at the Fraser Suites is the perfect place to grab a bit of rest during the hot summer. It’s not open to non-members, but is available for poolside BBQ parties from 180RMB per person and a minimum of 20 people.
Lake View (Xin Hu Yuan)
This coupound houses a very nice and clean swimming pool. Technically it’s only for people in the compound. But if you’re friends with someone in the compound, you’re in luck. A swimming cap is not required. There’s also a nice kids pool. It gets busy at weekends. Get there early to relax on the deck chairs around the pool.
Fairmont Yangcheng Lake
Fairmont Yangcheng Lake hotel has a nice outdoor pool in natural surroundings. The pool is free of charge for people who go to eat either in their hotel restaurant or just beside the pool. We recommend you to get there for lunch with a group of friends (Taxi from SIP to the hotel costs only around RMB 60), then use their pool after lunch.
It’s a great pool to organize a summer pool party as they don’t get super busy usually. Make sure to bring a beach ball. Those who’re not into water games can play some frisbee or other games on the lawns around the pool. Again, wearing a swimming cap is not enforced here.
Bayside Garden (Ling Long Wan)
Bayside Garden has a big pool free for residents of the compound. It’s open to non-residents for 30RMB entry. It’s more a place for a little cooling splash than a serious swim. It gets busy with children, especially at weekends.
Suzhou Water Land
The Suzhou Water Land might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will keep the kids happy for a few hours. Brimming with water rides and wave pools, it’s just one part of the larger Suzhou Amusement Park. Entrance costs RMB 40-60. Make sure to bring your own goggles.
Taihu Outdoor Swimming Pool
The pool was built in 2013 inside Dong Taihu park (东太湖生态园) right by the Tai lake, a great natural spot if the pollution isn’t too bad. During our mid-June visit, it was not open yet, and we were told that it’s scheduled to open at the end of June. The pool is huge, it can accomodate 200 people. You can imagine it gets really packed during the summer with locals.
Most pools require a swimming cap when you use the pool. The rule is not strictly enforced in some pools, but be prepared to have to buy or bring a swimming cap.