Planning a wedding and organizing a vacation share few commonalities, but both processes start at the same place: the venue, which, more often than not, is a hotel. After all, hotels—whether they’re in the middle of the Pacific or a bustling city—are like giant playgrounds for adults with plenty of activities on offer. One such activity? Swimming, and when it comes to hotel pools, the bigger, the better.
Unlike Airbnbs, hotels are common spaces shared amongst quite a few people, so being able to enjoy your own space at the pool is paramount. Fortunately, plenty of space both in and around the pool is one luxury these seven hotels have in spades. From one of the world’s largest circular pools to the longest infinity pool, these bodies of chlorinated water are worth getting your hair wet. With sweeping views, poolside five-star dining, and even custom sunglass cleanings, you’d be remiss not to jump in.
The Biltmore Miami
This south Florida hot spot, which is nearly a century old, is world-renowned for its enormous pool (approximately 23,000 square feet and about 600,000 gallons of water, to be exact). In fact, it just underwent a $35 million renovation that makes it appear even more sizable. That said, if you’re looking for something a bit more private, spend the day sipping cocktails in one of the nine private cabanas, all of which are tucked away behind stunning palms, hibiscus, and bougainvillea. Not to mention, each cabana—whether it’s a suite or a deluxe—is outfitted with elegant teak furniture, a flat-screen television, and an outdoor rain shower.
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu
Spanning 25 acres of lush tropical landscape, Koloa Landing, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, boasts not one but three sprawling pools. The biggest, however, is a 6,100-square-foot masterpiece shaped like a lagoon, and is conveniently located only a few steps away from the renowned spa. Plus, there’s an in-pool island with a firepit, so night swimming is definitely a go.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
When we think relaxing vacation, Walt Disney World doesn’t exactly come to mind, but the Four Seasons’ Orlando resort is making us reconsider in a big way. For starters, it’s a AAA Five Diamond resort, meaning it spares no luxurious details on its palm- and cypress-dotted grounds and in the impeccably designed guest rooms and suites. The real pièce de résistance, however, is the hotel’s 7,590-square-foot Explorer Pool that’s surrounded by plush chaise lounges and cabanas. Did we mention the 190-inch flat-screen that plays family-friendly flicks every Thursday and Saturday nights throughout summer?
The Sheraton’s Waikiki’s claim to fame is its supremely long (North America’s longest, in fact) infinity pool, which is appropriately dubbed Edge. Just a few feet above sea level, Edge offers unparalleled views of both the ocean and the mesmerizing volcanic cone known as Diamond Head. Plus, if you’re too entranced by the surrounding nature to get yourself a refreshing libation, the attentive poolside servers will bring you just about anything you can think of from the hotel bar. After all, few things pair better with a sunset over the Pacific than an ice-cold daiquiri.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
The world’s largest hot springs pool may not be as glamorous as a few other options on the list, but it’s just as relaxing. Not to mention: The naturally heated water is chock-full of 15 different minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and silica, to name a few, that do everything from relieving muscle aches to eliminating toxins and increasing circulation. In other words, the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is like a trip to a holistic doctor’s office—in the best way.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
If a deserted wonderland exists, it’s at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a majestic hotel in the heart of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert. In most cases, we’d rather take a dip during the day for the sake of our tan, but at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, we’ll make an exception and wade in the water in the late afternoon to witness the amethyst-hued skies at sunset. One of six specialized pools, the newly renovated Princess pool is as fun during peak tanning hours as it is after the sun goes down. For instance, spend the day taking in the mountain views and washing back sweet sips and enjoying homemade delicacies, and the evenings soaking in an oversized hot tub and counting stars.
The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach
What Newport Beach lacks in white winters, it makes up for in five-star hotels. Case in point: The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. From one-story bungalows with private terraces and multibedroom private villas overlooking 500 acres of natural landscape, the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach doesn’t mess around when it comes to luxury. Most notable, however, is the sweeping resort’s Coliseum Pool, which, as its name implies, is inspired by Rome’s famed landmark. The 380,000-gallon Coliseum, one of the largest circular pools in the world, has a floor of 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles that gives the chemical-free salt water that undeniable sparkle.
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