Updated March 2023
While summer may still be a ways off, swimming pool season never ends in our minds. Even if it’ll be a few months before you can meander down to your neighborhood swimming pool, it’s always nice to dream about where we’ll go when the weather warms up or where to vacation where we can post up poolside now. While many of America’s best hotel pools sit in the usual-suspect cities like Miami and Honolulu, others come in places you probably wouldn’t expect. Read on for our picks for the best hotel pools in America.
Alyeska Resort – Girdwood, Alaska
Immersing yourself in the evergreen wilderness of America’s northernmost rainforest doesn’t get any more luxurious than at the Alyeska Resort, about 45 minutes outside Anchorage. Here, you can float away in the hotel’s massive main pool, gazing up at the forest and the towering mountains behind it. If that isn’t quite enough action for you, meander down a small path and you’ll arrive at the resort’s outdoor hydrotherapy area, where waterfalls, infused steam baths and plunge pools await.
Amangiri – Canyon Point, Utah
The pool at this red rock oasis near Lake Powell is a big reason why it’s one of the coolest hotels in America. The tranquil, sunken pool deck wraps around a mammoth rock escarpment, almost like you’ve discovered a secret desert swimming hole that just happens to serve drinks. The area is equally as inviting at night, when kicking back on one of its king-sized deck chairs makes for world-class stargazing.
Andaz West Hollywood – Los Angeles, Calif.
You’ll feel like a lord of LA gazing out across the hazy skyline from the highest rooftop pool in the city. While the panorama of tall buildings, the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Strip hasn’t changed, the pool deck just finished up a major renovation, adding stuff like high-tech lighting and teak wood furniture to keep things fresh.
The Ben – West Palm Beach, Fla.
One might think a city full of beachfront wouldn’t have much of a rooftop pool party scene. But that’s not the case in West Palm Beach, where the art-filled Ben hosts the city’s hottest happy hour next to its elevated swimming pool. By day, the pool also offers stunning views of the city, Palm Beach Island and the iconic Breakers hotel in the distance.
The Biltmore – Coral Gables, Fla.
With the abundance of sexy, modern hotel pools in Miami, oft forgotten is the classic Mediterranean lagoon at Coral Gables’ Biltmore. The 600,000-gallon mini-lake is lined with marble columns and historic statues, giving the feel of laying out somewhere along the Amalfi Coast. It was a celeb hangout during the first half the 20th century, but will be far harder for you as the pool is open to hotel guests and members only.
Circa – Las Vegas, Nev.
Sure, there’s a certain degenerate allure to spending a sunny day inside a sports book and watching all your parlays play out. But for sports lovers who also love the sun, Circa might be the coolest pool ever, where a 143-foot, 14-million-megapixel LED screen shows games over a sea of lounge chairs and six different swimming pools. Sports are nothing without beer, and you’ll also find two swim-up bars serving plenty of cold drinks.
Crystal Springs Resort – Hamburg, N.J.
Not to leave indoor pools — or the great state of New Jersey — off this list, the pool doing the most with no natural advantages is Crystal Springs’ biosphere pool. It’s a little like walking through the butterfly exhibit at the zoo, where glass ceilings and temperature control make the deck downright tropical. But instead of a school group learning about metamorphosis, the interior of this biodome has a swimming pool, a waterslide and a jacuzzi.
Enchantment Resort – Sedona, Ariz.
If you came to Sedona to enjoy the brilliant contrast of forest green trees and burnt orange rocks, but your idea of exercise on vacation is lifting a cocktail to your mouth, the pool at Enchantment is your move. To show off its immersive views, the hotel recently raised and expanded the pool deck, making it twice as big and bringing it up 10 feet. The water’s kept at a constant 82 degrees, too, so if you want to stare up at desert stars while floating on your back, you won’t be cold.
Fairmont El San Juan – San Juan, PR
Art Deco icon Morris Lapidus — the same architect who designed the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach — designed this onetime airport hotel near Condado Beach in San Juan. The winding, resort-style pool gives the feeling of laying out in a tropical jungle, with palm trees and meandering water dotted by lounge chairs. If you tire of the chlorine, just step behind the last row of cabanas and you’ll enter a whole new world on the beach.
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club – Colorado Springs, Colo.
You’ll understand why Garden of the Gods Park got its name as you enjoy an all-encompassing vision of the landscape from the infinity pool at this private resort and golf club. Lush green hills give way to million-year-old red rock formations, with towering mountain peaks in the distance. And as you bathe in the warm water you’ll feel like a figurine in a fountain set smack in the middle of the garden.
Golden Nugget – Las Vegas, Nev.
The Golden Nugget might not be the destination casino it was during the Rat Pack era, but its new $30 million pool has ushered it into the 2020s version of cool. The three-story marvel has a 30-foot waterslide, waterfalls and a live shark tank right in the middle. What’s better, the waterslide runs right through the middle of said shark tank, so you get the dual thrill of swimming with tiger sharks and speeding down a slide.
Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection – Deer Valley, Utah
Sure, the alpine views from Deer Valley’s only rooftop pool are stunning, making swimmers feel like someone’s about to jump right off a nearby ski run and into the swimming pool. But how long can you really stay out and enjoy those views in the dead of winter? Quite a while, actually, if you do the Goldener’s pool right, alternating between the heated pool, the cantilever hot tub, cold plunge and sauna. We’re definitely in splurge territory here, but this is basically an outdoor spa set in between snow-capped mountains, and one of the best pool experiences in the world. Add it to the bucket list.
Goodtime Hotel – Miami Beach, Fla.
The pink pinstriped pool deck at the Goodtime Hotel has quickly gained international acclaim for throwing one of the best pool parties on the planet. But even when the champagne’s not a-spraying, the Goodtime’s pool is a gem filled with metal palm tree sculptures, fountains and fantastic food from Strawberry Moon, located right next door.
Hyatt Regency Maui – Lahaina, Hawaii
Secret speakeasies are usually the province of big cities with old buildings to hide them in. Hiding one in a pool is a little tougher, but the Hyatt in Maui pulls it off, where those adventurous enough to peek behind the swimming pool’s waterfalls will find a hidden bar in a tropical grotto. It’s the only bar in America we’re aware of set behind cascading water, and a truly unusual place to enjoy a drink.
The Joule – Dallas, Texas
From far away, one might look at the side of this downtown Dallas hotel and think it has a small mural of someone swimming on the side. Then the swimmer would start moving. No, someone didn’t slip a different kind of mushroom into your lunch salad. It’s just the hotel’s pool, which juts eight feet out over the building’s edge. Its clear walls make it appear like a moving work of art from the outside, and like a flying trip over downtown Dallas from the inside.
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass – Tucson, Ariz.
Deep in the Arizona desert, this JW pool is like a mini water park on multiple levels overlooking the landscape. You can float through a lazy river on one of the resort’s on-site tubes, then splash down the Monsoon Falls waterslide. The Starr Pass pool isn’t only for the active, either. Multiple reflection pools below the mountains create space for relaxation or to take in the majestic colors of an evening sunset.
Marriott Marquis – Houston, Texas
No conversation of cool hotel pools is complete without a nod to the giant lazy river shaped like the state of Texas. It’s the most Texas hotel amenity one could possibly imagine, so it often overshadows the luxe infinity pool that sits only a few feet away. There’s also a sports bar near both pools called the High Dive, providing plenty of cold beer to chug between laps around the river.
Sheraton Waikiki – Honolulu, Hawaii
Easily the most photographed pool in Hawaii is the Edge Infinity Pool at the Sheraton Waikiki. The pool’s end seems to drop right into the Pacific, where looking out from a lounge chair gives the illusion of tanning on the edge of the world. But don’t sleep on the Sheraton’s Helumoa Playground pool, either, which might not have the same social media cache but does have a waterslide and two giant whirlpools.
Turtle Bay Resort – Kahuku, Hawaii
The iconic Turtle Bay resort on Oahu’s North Shore got a massive facelift a few years back, and with it came a slew of world-class pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean. While the kids’ waterslide pool could make this list by itself, the real stunner is the tiered main pool deck. Here, you can relax on a lounge chair at the adults-only infinity pool, looking down on two other pools and the secluded beach cove beyond. A level down, lounge chairs sit in shallow water as cabanas surround the lower pool, creating a chlorinated amphitheater from which to take in the scenery.
W Aspen – Aspen, Colo.
Imagine skiing straight down a snow-covered slope and dropping straight into a perfectly heated swimming pool. That’s the illusion atop the W Aspen, where the pool appears to sit at the base of some of the city’s most renowned ski runs. In truth, the transition from slope to pool isn’t that simple, but the view is pure mountain resort immersion, and makes for an unmatched après-ski pool scene.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn, N.Y.
If one hotel brand does rooftop pools better than anyone, it’s the 1, which adds this gem on the shores of the East River to its portfolio of jaw-dropping hotel pools. The Brooklyn Bridge location boasts a corner-facing pool with front-row seats to the Manhattan skyline. It also offers craft cocktails from Harriet’s, the hotel’s rooftop bar. So even if you’re not lucky enough to be a guest, you can still enjoy the view with a drink in hand.
1 Hotel South Beach – Miami Beach, Fla.
It’s easy to make the case that this pool atop South Beach’s 1 Hotel has the best hotel pool view in America. In one direction, the bright turquoise waters of the Atlantic shine on to infinity. Turn your head around, and the towering skyline of Miami twinkles across Biscayne Bay. Even the bathrooms at the 1 are Instagram darlings, as every stall offers a view that makes you do a double take.