8 U.S. hotel pools overflowing with style
Is there a more universal luxury than a terrific hotel swimming pool? Doubtful. The very fact that you can enjoy this ancient tradition with or without dipping a toe speaks to the indefinable pleasure we nonaquatic mammals receive just from soaking in the ambience of a picturesque pool.
Meeting planners always appreciate the hotel pool for its recreational and social magic, the perfect informal setting for attendees to unwind, rewind, and re-engage on a human level. It’s the physical embodiment of wu wei, the Taoist tenet of “non-doing,” which reminds us that we should never overreact or overplan in life, but instead let it wash over us like, well, you know.
Let’s dive into eight great hotel pools in sometimes-surprising settings across the United States.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Contemplative best describes the vibe of Arizona’s largest infinity-edge pool, which flows quietly beneath Camelback Mountain’s iconic outcropping known as the Praying Monk. It’s an ideal venue for the Sanctuary’s signature group workout: stand-up paddleboard yoga.
The W’s huge deck on the 15th floor (which is currently undergoing extensive renovations) features an infinity pool, a lap pool, and one of the world’s largest hot tubs. But what really elevates it to must-see status are the sweeping Biscayne Bay views from the rooftop pool on the 50th-floor Wet Deck.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina
Few hotels use their natural setting to such dramatic effect as the Grove Park Inn, whose 43,000-square-foot spa houses an underground grotto with multiple mineral pools (pictured above). Enjoy waterfall pools, hot and cold plunge pools, and a lap pool that features fiber-optic stars above and underwater music.
Nothing against Maui’s spectacular beaches, but surf and sun lovers can also bask in the newly refreshed, 25,700-square-foot activity pool at this Waldorf Astoria resort. It features nine interconnected areas, five slides, waterfalls, a rope swing, and the world’s first water elevator, which carries guests to the top of it all.
Only in Vegas can you safely immerse yourself with a dozen-plus real sharks, thanks to the Tank, an ingenious two-story swimming pool that surrounds a 200,000-gallon shark tank. Still too tame? Jump into the three-story Shark Chute waterslide for the fin-filled ride of your life!
The newly expanded, 9-acre River Bluff Water Experience entices everyone from toddlers to thrill seekers with a heady mix of water features, including a sandy beach pool, an adult infinity pool, a 650-foot rapid-river ride, an 1,100-foot lazy river, and three waterslides for singles and doubles.
Designer Adam Tihany’s bold cantilevered swimming pool, which extends 8 feet beyond the edge of this 1927 downtown building some 10 stories up, offers swimmers a unique perspective on Main Street — as well as a new appreciation for the phrase “hanging at the pool.”
Canyon Point, Utah
While it is perched overlooking Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Amangiri’s pool nearly steals the show, carved as it was around an 80-foot natural stone escarpment dating back more than 165 million years. Night views are out of this world!
(Top photo courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts)