photo of the Golden Energy Pool

Amazing as it might sound, this may be the most opulent, even decadent, swimming pool in the world. At the very least, the pool finish certainly skyrockets the bar for high-end material selection. And to boot it’s found in a lofty setting locals call “the roof of the world.”

Known as the “Golden Energy Pool,” located at the St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet, this indoor warm-water vessel features an interior surface consisting entirely of thousands of gold-plated tiles and interlocking crystals.

The resort, which opened April 1, 2011, is Tibet’s first ultra-high-end luxury resort. The eight-acre property, perched at a dizzying 12,000 feet in the Himalayas, boasts breathtaking views of surrounding peaks, the Lhasa Valley and the nearby Potala Palace, the Dali Lama’s home until the Chinese take-over in 1959.

The resort has 162 guest rooms, 12 villas and suites, the nation’s first five-star restaurant and 24-hour butler service, among many other lavish amenities. For all the property’s almost heart-stopping splendor, the facility itself was designed with environmental sustainability in mind with arrays of solar panels and its own underground water recycling system.

For guests, however, it’s all about the extravagance, and nowhere is that more evident than in the pool’s shimmering water. The exquisitely appointed natatorium is part of the resort’s Iridium Spa, the world’s highest luxury pampering spa, where guests can indulge in a menu of exotic treatments, including traditional Tibetan herbal liniments using locally grown cypress and azalea leaves. And all while awaiting a dip in a pool that is literally bejeweled.