Top 10 Hotel Pools

We may be heading into autumn over here in the U.S., but like the saying, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” the same mentality applies to pool-hopping.  It’s warm…somewhere…and it’s never too early to start pool-pondering, and planning a future vacation.

Humans have been obsessed with pools for quite some time.  The earliest bathhouses date back to the Indus River Valley in 2500 B.C.  Later, the Greeks and Romans flocked to their own pools, and the Ottomans built elaborate bathhouses that are still used today.  That’s a lot of bubbles!   Back then, a bathhouse complex was an indicator of luxury and a well established civilization (it’s a good sign when you have time to lounge, instead of fending off invaders).  Even today, a hotel’s blue waters signal a wider message about the overall vibe a guest can expect to experience during their stay. 

When I research a possible hotel to visit, a pool is one of the top amenities I check out. A fabulous pool can be the icing on the cake in making a vacation memorable and fun. So let’s just say I like to spend some time getting my feet wet, before my actual feet get wet.  These are the things that get me most excited to splash around:  

  • The view: It’s easy to relax and truly feel “away” when there’s an unforgettable view. Also, creativity points to hotels that use the surroundings and natural environment in a particularly memorable way.
  • The vibe: Is it going to be “relaxation station” or “crazy with the kids?”  I have a blast in both worlds, but it’s helpful to mentally prepare for the latter with a heads up.
  • The food- both the grub and the greens:  I can already smell the greasy french fries.  Yummmm. But, it’s also just as refreshing to have fresh, healthy food available. Bonus points if there’s excellent guacamole too.

So with that criteria out of the way, here’s my roundup of the hotel pools that checked all my boxes! 

10. Rosewood Miramar: Monticito, California

The Rosewood Miramar has both a heated adults-only pool, and completely separate family-friendly space.  Both sections are beautifully designed– they have simple square layouts, and super comfy lounge chairs decorated with classic yellow and white striped towels.  Refreshing drinks are available, and the family pool has a candy shop.  We obviously headed to that section.  To learn more about this hotel, check out the post here.

9. Hotel Tremezzo: Lake Como, Italy

The pool at Hotel Tremezzo floats on top of Lake Como.  How cool is that?  It’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind, but you may have a hard time focusing on your book. Italian seaside towns dot the shores, and the Grigne Mountains surround the hotel.  As a head’s up, any show off cannon-balls you decide to try out will be on full display for everyone’s entertainment because the beach club overlooks the pool (my husband knows from personal experience). Additionally, there are two other pools onsite — one indoor and another separate outdoor spot.

8. Jade Mountain: St Lucia, Caribbean

Top 10 hotel pools

At Jade Mountain there is no communal hotel pool. Instead, each room has its own private plunge pool, with direct dramatic views of the Piton Mountains.  You enter your room and pool via a personal skybridge, and at once it feels as if you’ve walked into your own nature oasis. In the morning you’ll wake up, take a dip, relax on your own personal day-bed, and then do it all over again.  The rooms only have 3 walls, and the infinity pool stands next to the opening, with a view of the Caribbean Sea below.  The mosaic tilings reflect the light, and the local flora and fauna bring that Caribbean vibe.  It’s a perfect romantic getaway, but do note that young kids are not allowed.

7. Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo: Taormina, Sicily

top 10 hotel pools

Don’t let the size of this pool fool you! The pool at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo is seamlessly carved into the Sicilian mountainside. It’s tucked away in complete privacy, but is cool and refreshing, and opens up to gorgeous views of Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea. Guests can enjoy beach access at their sister hotel, Villa Sant’Andrea, but I had a special love for this secluded spot, which never felt overcrowded.  It is family friendly, but has a more sophisticated “quiet vibe” environment.  As an added convenience, there is a small cafe adjacent to the pool, in case you find yourself hungry or in the mood for a drink. To learn more about this hotel, check out the post here.

6. Enchantment Resort: Sedona, Arizona

top 10 hotel pools

The pool at Enchantment Resort has an up close, in-your-face, and very stunning view of the Boynton Canyon. The pool is family friendly and heated year round, with plenty of lounge chairs, day beds, and shaded areas to choose from. Get there early because everyone wants a view of those beautiful rocks! There is poolside food service, and while the overall vibe is more on the lively side (compared to a quiet and private retreat), it’s still pretty easy to curl up with a book and relax.  To learn more about this hotel, check out the post here.

5. COMO Parrot Cay: Turks and Caicos, Caribbean

Como parrot cay -top 10 hotel pools

If you’re looking for the perfect temperature pool, then look no further…COMO Parrot Cay is the spot!  You’ll walk straight into warm bathwater, with a view of the Carribbean blue waters. This particular COMO resort focuses on wellness and relaxation, and is known for their yoga workshops and spa services — that namaste vibe trickles down to the pool, where it’s easy to just let go. The pool is tucked behind the natural sand dunes and blends into the simple beach landscape. The pool/resort is kid-friendly, but we only saw one brave family venture all the way to this secluded part of the Turks and Caicos with a toddler and baby.

4. Four Seasons Maui: Maui, Hawaii

four seasons maui -top 10 hotel pools

Four Seasons Maui has it all!  If you’d like to relax with your family, there is a large pool adjacent to the beach, with plenty of comfy chairs and friendly food service.  If you trekked all the way to Hawaii for some romance, or quiet time, head over to the separate adult infinity pool, which has views of the ocean, and a swim-up bar.  Make sure to order the pina coladas, served in a pineapple (a nice touch).  Lastly, while it may be toasty out in the sun all day, you can look forward to refreshing cucumber chilled towels waiting for you by your chair.

3. Singita Faru Faru: Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania

Faru Faru - top 10 hotel pools

Singita Faru Faru’s pool overlooks a watering hole right in the middle of the game reserve.  It’s not uncommon to look up and see elephants or zebras passing by, and while it’s perfectly safe to take a snooze, it may be difficult to focus on your reading as you’ll be tempted to watch the cast of The Lion King stop by for a quick drink. It’s a small pool and lodge, where the staff knows everyone. I swear they’re able to read minds here — anything you’re craving sort of magically appears, and the staff always greets you with your favorite drink ready to go. You can read my full hotel review here. 

2. Borgo Pignano: Tuscany, Italy 

Borgo Pignano- top 10 hotel pools

It always knocks my socks off when a hotel is able to use the surrounding environment as more than just a complement to the pool’s design — when instead the landscape remains the star of the show, and the pool seamlessly blends in. At Borgo Pignano, the architects carved the pool, and surrounding lounge area, directly into the limestone rocks.  The pearly white of the limestone bounces through the crystal blue waters, reflecting on the walls all around.  If that wasn’t enough, head over to the infinity edge for views of the Tuscan hilltops. This masterpiece is an adults-only pool, but the hotel offers another pool for those traveling with young children.  You can learn more here.

1. Kirini (Katikies Collection): Santorini, Greece

top 10 hotel pools

This is the pool I could visit again and again and it would never get old.  Everyone has seen the postcard perfect pictures of Santorini, but it really does take your breath away to see it with your own eyes. Just walking out to the pool, and processing the blues of the sea and the white of the buildings, has the power to overwhelm your senses and instantly relax you. As you swim through the cool waters, you’ll find yourself gazing out towards the Caldera, and you’ll start mentally planning how to return one day to the Kirini.  When you’re ready to dry off, head to one of the lavishly large day beds, and don’t forget to devour a delicious lunch directly adjacent to the pool.  Sorry kids — this one is for those 13 and up!

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  1. meme on October 1, 2020 at 11:18 am

    I can’t wait for the world to open! That pool in Greece was other worldly magical.

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