Sharks, hot springs, mountain vistas, water elevators – all without having to leave the range of room service delivery.
When temperatures are brick-oven high and humidity levels surge past “swamp-like,” there’s nothing like a quick swim to cool you off while you travel – be it a business trip or vacation.
Throw in monster views, insane settings and ingenious design, and the pool becomes more than just a watering hole. It’s the ultimate place to chill – a destination unto itself.
These amazing hotel pools in the USA are the coolest part of any trip:
Amangani (Jackson, Wyoming)
On the edge of a 2,130-meter butte in Jackson Hole, Amangani’s 35-meter outdoor pool gives unrivaled vistas of the Grand Tetons and Snake River below.
It’s heated year-round and linked to a 10-square-meter whirlpool, so you can soak surrounded by snow-capped mountains even in the dead of winter.
Amangani, 1535 North East Butte Road, Jackson, Wyoming, 83001 USA; +1 307 734 7333
Amangiri (Canyon Point, Utah)
Designed to blend into the surrounding desert landscape, this secluded Utah resort embraces its surroundings with a pool carved around a 24-meter high natural stone escarpment that’s more than 165 million years old.
Ringed by king-sized daybeds and sun loungers, the pool offers insane views of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument during the day and swimming under star-filled skies at night.
Amangiri, 1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Utah, 84741-0285, USA ; +1 435 675 3999
Enchantment Resort (Sedona, Arizona)
Eye-popping is the only way to describe the 360-degree Red Rock vistas that surround Enchantment’s aqua blue watering hole.
Recently revamped, the pool and patio were doubled in size and elevated three meters (for better sightseeing), and designed to blend into the natural surroundings.
Enchantment Resort, 525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona, Arizona, 86336, USA; +1 888 250 1699
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (Big Island, Hawaii)
Set on Hawaii’s Big Island, this Kona-Kohala Coast resort has seven pools. Among these is King’s Pond, a 1.8-million gallon “aquarium” sculpted out of 200-year-old natural lava rock.
Guests can snorkel and swim with more than 75 species of tropical fish, as natural springs and ocean water fill the pond through subterranean channels.
Four Seasons Resort, 72-100 Ka’upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, USA; +1 808 325 8000
Glenwood Hot Springs (Glenwood Springs, Colorado)
Guests at this Colorado Rockies lodge relax in the world’s largest hot springs pool, where 3.5 million gallons of nearby Yampah Springs water flow into one of two bubbling mineral pools daily.
The temperature in the smaller therapy pool is a steamy 40 C (104 F). Those looking to do some leisurely laps can dive into the larger pool, which measures more than two city blocks and is kept at a balmy 34 C (93 F).
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, 415 East 6th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, USA; +1 877 947 3331
Golden Nugget (Las Vegas)
Only in Vegas would you find a 200,000-gallon, shark-filled aquarium in the middle of a swimming pool.
But that’s what you get at the Golden Nugget’s $30 million water complex, where you can swim seemingly side-by-side with a dozen sharks (including sand tiger, brown, black tip, nurse and zebra varieties).
Brave swimmers can get even closer to the predators by slipping down the Shark Chute, a three-story waterslide that shoots you straight through the tank.
Golden Nugget Hotel, 129 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA; +1 800 634 3454
Grand Wailea (Maui, Hawaii)
Grand Wailea is an epic liquid adventure.
With some 2,400-square-meters of aquatic fun, guests can float along a river of a nine interconnected pools (complete with whitewater rapids and lazy currents), shoot down four waterslides, rope swing into the Tarzan pool, swim through waterfalls or chill in one of three jacuzzis.
And that’s not even the best part. Grand Wailea has the world’s first water elevator; it’s built into a volcano.
Grand Wailea, 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, HI 96753; +1 808 875 1234
The Grove Park Inn (Ashveille, North Carolina)
Grove Park Inn is a legendary resort with a spa that takes inspiration from its stunning mountain setting with an underground grotto of 10 mineral-based, chlorine-free pools framed by cavernous rock walls, arches and tunnels.
Guests can enjoy thundering waterfalls, hot-and-cold plunge pools and a mineral and lap pool, complete with 6,500 fiber-optic stars embedded in the ceiling above and underwater music below.
The Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina 28804; +1 800 438 5800
The Joule (Dallas)
Pushing design to its literal edge, this 1927 historic hotel has one ultramodern feature: a window-walled rooftop infinity pool that sticks out almost 2.5 meters from the building’s exterior.
Non-acrophobics can swim to the deep end and take in the views of downtown Dallas, 10 stories below.
The Joule Dallas, 1530 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 752201; +1 214 748 1300
Keswick Hall at Monticello (Charlottesville, Virginia)
Editor’s note: As of mid-May 2018, the Keswick is closed for repairs and is scheduled to reopen in 2019 according to its website.
On a private 600-acre estate in Virginia wine country, Keswick’s 25-meter infinity Horizon Pool impresses with a mesmerizing reflection of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain foothills.
Heated year round and with piped-in underwater music, this pool is for adults only.
Keswick Hall, 701 Club Drive, Keswick, Virginia 22947; +1 434 977 4171
Sheraton Waikiki (Honolulu)
Practically flush with the Pacific, the Sheraton Waikiki’s infinity pool blends seamlessly with the ocean, creating the illusion of one spectacular body of water.
Additional perks include cold water mists, oshibori (moist towels), MP3s with Hawaiian music and unparalleled views of Waikiki Beach.
2255 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815; +1 808 922 4422
W Miami (Miami)
There’s plenty of room for cannonballs at this Miami hot spot.
Overlooking Biscayne Bay, a waterway connects a 90-meter infinity pool (Florida’s longest), an 80-person hot tub (the world’s largest) and a wading pool. Add it all up and you’ve got a gorgeous 15th-floor water complex that’s the size of a football field.
W Miami, 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139; +1 305 938 3000
The Sagamore, Bolton Landing (New York)
Set on a 70-acre island in upstate New York, the Sagamore’s 95,000-gallon infinity pool and large adults-only warming pool command panoramic views of Lake George and Adirondack.
With 150-plus chaises, the 930-square-meter terraced deck has ample elbow room for poolside lounging.
110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing, New York 12814; +1 518 644 9400
Stephanie Orma is a San Francisco-based travel and design writer.
Editor’s note: This article was previously published in 2013. It was reformatted, updated and republished in July 2017 and again in May 2018.