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Summer in the US can be sweltering, so while traveling around the country, where better to cool off than your hotel pool? Whether you want to do some serious laps, lounge in the sun, take a quick dip or simply sip cocktails in the shade, TPG International Contributor Lori Zaino invites you to enjoy the best hotel pools in America.
The Biltmore Coral Gables — Coral Gables, Florida
Whoever said bigger is better was absolutely right — at least when it comes to this magnificent man-made body of water, which measures 150 feet by 225 feet, making it the largest hotel pool in the continental United States. Surrounded by palm trees and lounge chairs since its debut in 1926, the Biltmore’s pool has hosted water ballets and made appearances in TV shows and movies, but it’s a star performer unto itself. June rates at this American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (Amex FHR) property start at about $229 per night.
The London, West Hollywood — Los Angeles, California
This swanky rooftop pool offers sun-seekers a luxurious, relaxing place to lounge, but if it’s shade you prefer, sink into one of the soft cabana sofas while you sip a Pimm’s or an Elderflower Spritz and enjoy sweeping views of Los Angeles. Poolside happy hour at sunset and evening drinks by the fire pit ensure that this is a happening scene even when the sun goes down. June rates at this Amex FHR property start at about $369 per night.
Dream Downtown — New York, New York
Perfect for voyeurs, the bottom of Dream Downtown’s 50-foot-long heated rooftop pool features glass portholes that let you to peek into the lobby while you take a dip. Likewise, those entering the hotel can look up and see into the pool. Kind of creepy, kind of awesome — and definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. If you’d rather be in the Hamptons but aren’t able to make the trek, you’ll appreciate that the hotel features a separate “beach” area with 5,000 square feet of sand shipped in from Montauk. June rates start at $465 per night.
The Joule — Dallas, Texas
This perilously perched rooftop pool juts eight feet beyond The Joule’s structure, making the pool’s one glass sided-edge an exciting place to both swim and peek at the street below. Enjoy some amazing city views, have a relaxing soak in the heated water or head to the cabanas and lounge area to seek shade from sunny, hot Texas afternoons. June rates start at $269 per night.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess — Scottsdale, Arizona
With four pool options — the Casita, East and South pools and the Sonoran Splash — this 6,000-square-foot oasis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert has something for everyone. Kids will love the 200-foot water slides and play areas with sandboxes and beach toys, while adults can enjoy having kid-free pools all to themselves. Pool experience coordinators are on hand to help you with cabana rentals, pool and chair selection, food and drink options and fresh, fluffy towels. June rates at this Visa Signature Hotels property start at $349 per night.
Post Ranch Inn Big Sur — Big Sur, California
This hotel has a rather average lap pool, but the two large infinity Jade and Meditation spas are the reason it made the list. The two giant infinity jacuzzis, heated at a constant 104 degrees Fahrenheit, are perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views in a romantic and chic environment. June rates at this Visa Signature Hotels and Amex FHR property start at $1,225 per night.
Amangani — Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Surrounded by the stunning Teton Range, Amangani is set above a wide valley that’s best known as Jackson Hole. Gaze out at meadows and rolling countryside as you swan around the hotel’s 115-foot-long outdoor swimming pool or the 113-square-foot whirlpool; with a winter water temperature of about 80°F (27°C), this swimming pool can be enjoyed year-round. If you’re a fan of beauty, watching the sunset poolside is highly recommend. June rates at this Visa Signature Hotels and Amex FHR property start at $1,277 per night.
Grand Wailea Resort — Wailea, Maui
The Wailea Canyon activity pool complex features nine different pools. The sprawling, spectacular family section is comprised of four jungle pools connected by a river (with gentle currents that are appropriate for small children), an infant pool, four intertwining slides, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, a sand beach, six waterfalls, some caves, three Jacuzzis, the world’s first water elevator (open 11 am to 4pm) and a swim-up bar. If you want some exclusive adult time, head to the 4,850-square-foot Hibiscus Pool, named for the giant flower mosaic, made from over 630,000 pieces of Mexican glass tile, on the pool’s bottom. Open only to ages 18 and up, the Hibiscus also features two adults-only jacuzzis. June rates at this Visa Signature Hotels property start at $544 or 172,000 Hilton HHonors points per night.
The Delano Hotel — Miami, Florida
Envisioned by Philippe Starck, the Delano’s expansive backyard pool is known for its fun yet chic design. With ornate iron furniture set in the shallow end, this “water salon” is surrounded by sleek cabanas and airy bungalows, offering refreshing cocktails and some of Miami’s best DJs spinning trendy tunes. Quirky touches, such as whimsical topiaries, a giant chessboard and an absolutely huge mirror, make this a kitschy, sassy spot to party day or night. June rates at this Visa Signature Hotels property start at $348 per night.
Viceroy Miami — Miami, Florida
While in South Beach, try to break away from the Delano long enough to head to the Viceroy and check out Florida’s longest infinity pool. Surrounded by greenery and soaring condos, the 300-foot pool — as well as a pair of huge, heated whirlpools — overlooks sparkling Biscayne Bay. June rates start at $234 per night.
Hard Rock Hotel — Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is another destination with a very happening pool scene, but the fan favorite may just be the Hard Rock, as it features three, well, rocking pools: Upper Breathe (a heated pool that’s open year-round), the Nirvana Pool (all ages) and the Rehab (21+ only). Rehab offers weekend pool parties that attract some of the hottest 20-and 30-somethings west of the Mississippi. Cabanas, daybeds and plenty of sun chairs are available, and this summer, Richard Beynon, DJ Shift and Wellman will be on the DJ decks. Non hotel-guests can get tickets online for the Rehab weekend parties ($20 for ladies, $40 for men), while room rates start as low as $40 for a weeknight in June.
Golden Nugget — Las Vegas, Nevada
For a more offbeat Vegas pool experience, visit the Tank at the Golden Nugget, which is open year-round and hosts a three-story water-slide, 15 private cabanas, waterfalls shooting into the pool and … a shark tank! Climb up 30 feet and race down the slide, which sweeps you through this over-sized aquarium for a quick glimpse of 300 types of fish and 16 kinds of sharks, including Black-Tipped, Sand Tiger and Zebra sharks. If you want to enjoy these creatures for a longer period of time, you can also do a shark tour —a great idea for families. Or, head to the relative safety of the third-floor Hideaway pool, where the 21+ scene features DJs on the weekends all summer long. Weeknight rates in June start at just $42 per night.
If you want to live the resort lifestyle all year-round, check out a Snapshot on Resort Memberships: Pool, Spa, & Gym Access for Locals. With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.