The Scoop on Best Pool Hotels

A water slide tube at the Golden Nugget pool, one of the U.S. best pool places, shoots riders through a tank where sharks swim

With summer here, a hotel with a decent swimming pool can be the very thing that smooths out a stressful day. Here are among the best hotel pools we’ve found–whether for the view, the vibe, a place to play or unwind.

One of three pools at Le Blanc in Cancun

At the adult only Le Blanc Spa Luxury Restort in Cancun, Mexico, Tim discovered three pools offer variety and a view. At the enormous infinity pool, the ocean view is splendid. While you gaze, enjoy a beverage. Another feature is the swim up bar where waiters make the rounds with drinks and food.

The other two pools–one long enough to do laps and the freeform pool, include plenty of spots for lounging. Head to the freeform pool for the best views of the sunset.

The Le Blanc isn’t the only best pool Tim’s found. Click through his posts and you’ll find stunning pool after stunning pool.

The aethethically pleasing pool at the Shangri-la in Boracay

Another stand out, though, is at the Shangri-la Boracay Resort and Spa in the Philippines. Here, the refreshing coolness of the water meets with the aesthtics of sculptural fountains that are part of each pool’s design. The result is a relaxed vibe no matter where you lounge. Pools also offer up stunning views of the sea in this tropical paradise.

A best pool can come in a small package. Buzzy’s stay at the Nahsholim Seaside Resort along the Mediterranean in Israel, included a private pool that connected to his ground floor room. Each of these rooms has its own pool that includes a day bed for lounging.

A private pool at the Nahsholim Seaside Resort

This beach side resort, of course, offers a close up entrance to one of the best pools of all, the sea.

After a day of siteseeing, a rooftop pool with a view of the urban skyline can be bliss. That’s what Dana found at the Paragon Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The pool, with its shade umbrellas and living plant wall, is also a fine place to enjoy the early morning if jet lag wakes you up.

An urban rooftop view at the Paragon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Since most of my travel has involved keeping a kid willing to keep hitting the road, a pool is a carrot on the stick. When the pool is more than a small kidney shape or a rectangle, even better.

Raccoon with a basketball net and a bucket that cascades water is a kid’s thumb’s up

The pool at the AmericInn in Chamberlain, South Dakota had an added extra that keep my son entertained. At one end of the pool, a large raccoon held a basketball net. Every so often, a bucket over the raccoon’s head dumped water in a cascade over the players.

In Las Vegas, we stayed at the Golden Nugget, one of the classic casino hotel resorts next to the Freemont Experience. The pool continues to make best pool lists. No wonder. There is a water slide that shoots riders through a gigantic fish tank where sharks swim. The section of the tube that goes through the tank is clear for one quick view before riders are dumped into the pool that wraps around the tank. Very, very cool.

As for the simple rectangles or kidney shaped pools, there are details that make the pool a thumbs up experience to make even the most basic and budget travel more enjoyable. As anyone who has tots to teens in tow, a pool can be enough to keep everyone going for miles:

During the day, guests shoot through the fish tank where sharks swim in a water slide tube.

  • Shaded seating included among the lounge chairs and tables
  • Enough pool towels for anyone who needs one
  • Hours that extend to at least 11 p.m. for late night arrivers who have promised kids a dip
  • And if the pool is inside, ventilation so the chlorine fumes don’t overwhelm the senses.
  • Pool toys are a nice added extra. Rings for retrieving from the pool’s bottom, nerf balls and inflatables are some we’ve come across.

Post courtesy of Jamie Rhein. Photos by each post’s writer.

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