Expedia trip tips: The coolest hotel pools around the world
By Natalie Marusin
Whether you are headed to a tropical island, or making a getaway to a secluded mountain-scape, a spectacular pool is a key factor in making your trip complete. And we can’t think of anything better than kicking-back and relaxing by the pool, while sipping an ice-cold refreshment and soaking in the sun (as you can tell, we’ve been daydreaming).
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So, as we sit at our desks and imagine a little corner of pool-side paradise, Expedia Viewfinder travel blogger Trip Styler is filling us in on all things swimming pools. From the most fabulous amenities to jaw-dropping views, these pools are definitely on our must-travel list.
The coolest hotel swimming pools in the U.S. and abroad are… Starting stateside, Miami’s the queen of cool for U.S. pools. Take the historic and debonaire Delano; its swimming scene comes complete with an aquatic audio system, as well as separate areas to float, play and snack if you want to take advantage of the frozen grape service!
In sunny California, escape Rodeo Drive’s glitz and chill at the Thompson Beverly Hill‘s palm tree-studded rooftop pool perch.
In South America, San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile makes a mega splash with its 66 million gallon lagoon, the size of 20 Olympic-sized pools.
And in Asia, I love Hotel de la Paix‘s sleek, rock cage-encased watering hole, and we can’t forget about the Marina Bay Sand Hotel‘s surfboard-shaped SkyPark in Singapore — longer than the Eiffel tower is high — holding a rooftop infinity pool 656 feet above the ground.
Want an incredible pool view? One of the jaw-dropping pool views in our own backyard wraps around a rock escarpment and is rimmed by king-sized daybeds at the base of Utah’s Grand Staircase — Escalante National Monument, at the ultra-posh, Amangiri.
The Modern Honolulu‘s dual-pool scene also ranks high on my temperature gauge, especially at night when it glows by way of wine bottle lanterns strung from surrounding trees.
Abroad, Jade Mountain in St. Lucia overflows with pool pizazz — each of its 24 sanctuaries (read: rooms) come with zero-edge plunges perched atop the Caribbean Sea.
Finally, we must check-into Italy’s Amalfi Coast to lounge at Hotel Santa Caterina‘s seawater swimming hole, cut into the cliffs fronting the Mediterranean. Bonus, you get there by two elevators carved into the rock face.
What if we’re planning on hitting hot destinations like Las Vegas or Palm Springs? Desert locales like Palm Springs and Las Vegas push ahead of the pool pack with their polished ponds. At the Parker Palm Springs, I love the everyone-wins family and adult pools, where hot chocolate is handed out in the A.M., and fruit cups (or boozy cocktails for the adults) are served in the P.M.
In the Glitter Gulch, the Mandarin Oriental‘s rectangular pool is the most peaceful place on the strip, while Mandalay Bay spritzes its 11-acre aquatic playground via continuous waves lapping onto the beach pool’s 2700 tons of sand.
What are things to remember before hitting the pool deck? When planning a pool trip think essentials and the elements. In the essentials department, arrange everything you think you need out on the bed before packing it in your pool bag.
As for the elements, varying temperatures often make it hotter or cooler than the weather report, so work an extra layer or two into into your pool tote. I always bring sunscreen (both lotion and spray, for those hard to reach spots), SPF lip balm, a collapsible water bottle, wipes to clean my hands, a book, a hat, and my sunglasses. If you must bring your smartphone, put it in a Ziplock, turn it onto silent, and keep it in the shade to avoid a meltdown, and of course, step away from the pool should you need to answer when it buzzes.
And what should we wear? First, always tote a pool bag for your sun-survival stuff. Choose something collapsible that can lie flat in your suitcase when it’s not in use. I have a white and blue striped bag — nautical stripes never go out of summer style — that’s come around the world with me. Bonus, it’s washable!
Next, top it for both sun protection and style. Hats are hot, sunburns are not. For a bathing suit coverup, choose something flowy — wade away from form fitting (guys, I suggest a basic tee above your trunks to walk to-and-fro the pool). Finally for footwear, pools are wet, so don’t bring your brand new sandals, instead find a cheap and chic pair of flip flops with slender straps to complete your pool-ready getup.
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