Each year, members of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals get together and decide who the best pool, spa and hot tub designers are. This year, the 44th annual International Awards of Excellence was comprised of 88 awards presented in 40 categories, according to APSP.org. As stated in Aqua Magazine, the winners must be members of the APSP and criteria includes creativity, beauty and how avant​-garde the projects are, which is why it should come as no surprise that the structures that won are something to marvel at. 

Vanishing edge pools
Several entries received recognition as being great "Pools with a Vanishing Edge." Alka Pool Construction in Canada was one of the many winners in this category, according to the magazine. And it's no wonder it received the accolade. As suggested in the pool's name, it has one edge – that faces outward toward a body of water and trees – that's practically not there at all. 

A photo of the structure shows that the architecture and landscape of the area contribute significantly to its beauty. The modern home in the picture boasts big glass windows, which each extend over an entire floor of the house.  

Fiberglass pools
Another category was "Installations Fiberglass Pools," and Aquatic Leisure Technologies in Australia was announced as one of the winners in this section. The photo posted to Aqua Magazine demonstrated a rectangular structure in which three steps led into the water.

Cinder blocks run along the edges and a wooden deck is on one side of it, and a seating area on the other. Vibrant lime green trees sit upright in a confined box that leans up against a wall. 

Freeform pools
Think of this type of pool as you would a river or lake. It typically takes on a nontraditional shape, and looks more like an oasis than the iconic structure featured in American films like "Caddy Shack." These types of pools normally are surrounded by natural features, such as rocks or waterfalls.

The APSP chose to highlight Watermania S.A. in Guatemala for its expertise on freeform pools, according to Aqua Magazine. The photo of the featured structure looks almost as if the body of water is a stream that runs into the ocean, rather than a swimming pool. The outer shape isn't comprised of straight edges – it's made up of squiggly lines. 

Of course, the rest of the picture is heavenly as well. Tall buildings that look like condominiums or resorts line the poolside and the entire scene is a splash of colors. The dull blue ocean makes the bright green grass and turquoise pool pop.

Geometric shapes
Architecturally, these pools are defined as having straight edges and symmetrical curves. MAXA Diseno y Construccion in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, received an award for its geometric pools. The picture featured on Aqua Magazine's site shows four black lounge chairs in the middle of a pool that's shallow enough to be strictly used to dip your feet in the water.

Alongside the foot bath is another geometric shape that's less narrow but taller. It may be a hot tub, as it's clear from the photo that the third shape, which is the largest of them all, is the swimming pool. The entire three-piece set up is nestled on green grass that leads into sand and eventually the ocean.

Where to find your dream pool
Of course, you don't have to outsource your pool maintenance to places like Australia and Guatemala. There are plenty of options right in your neck of the woods. Call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals if you'd like to schedule an appointment for maintenance. The companies offer a wide range of services that span installation, repairs and upgrades.