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America’s most amazing hotel pools
Sharks, hot springs, mountain vistas, water elevators -- all without having to leave room service delivery range
When temps are brick-oven high and humidity levels surge past "swamp-like," there’s nothing like a quick swim to cool you off during 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. Literally.
These amazing U.S. hotel pools are the coolest part of any trip.
Amangani (Jackson, Wyoming)
On the edge of a 7,000-foot butte in Jackson Hole, Amangani’s 115-foot outdoor pool gives unrivaled vistas of the Grand Tetons and Snake River below.
It’s heated year-round and linked to a 113-square-foot whirlpool, so you can soak in the snow-capped mountains even in the dead of winter.
Amangani, 1535 North East Butte Road, Jackson, WY 83001; rooms from US$725 per night; +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 an 80-foot-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, Big Water, UT 84741; room rates from US$1,050 (through June 14), US$1,100 (after June 15); +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 10 feet (for better sightseeing), and designed to blend into the natural surroundings.
Enchantment Resort, 525 Boynton Canyon Rd., Sedona, AZ 86336; rooms from US$375 per night; +1 800 826 4180
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 Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, 72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740; rooms from US$595, +1 888 340 5662
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 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 93 F.
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, 415 E 6th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602; rates from US$139 per night; Lodge: +1 800-537-7946; Pool: +1 970 947 2955
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 man-eaters 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; +1 800 634 3454; room rates vary depending on day and tower
Grand Wailea (Maui, Hawaii)
Grand Wailea is an epic liquid adventure.
With nearly 26,000 square feet 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 - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753; rooms from US$589 per night; +1 808 875 1234
The Grove Park Inn (Ashveille, North Carolina)
This legendary resort’s spa 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, NC 28804; rooms from US$199 per night, spa day passes from US$65; +1 800 559 3984
The Joule (Dallas)
Pushing design to its literal edge, this 1927 historic hotel has one ultra-modern feature: a window-walled rooftop infinity pool that sticks out eight feet 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, TX 75201; +1 214 748 1300
Keswick Hall at Monticello (Charlottesville, Virginia)
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, VA 22947; +1 888 778 2565; rooms from US$305 per night
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 Lake George and Adirondack views.
With 150-plus chaises, the 10,000-square-foot terraced deck has ample elbow space for poolside lounging.
The Sagamore, 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing, NY 12814; rooms from $199 for the lodge, from $229 for the hotel; +1 800 358 3585
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.
Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815; +1 808 922 4422
The Viceroy Miami (Miami)
There’s plenty of room for cannonballs at this Miami hot spot.
Overlooking Biscayne Bay, a waterway connects a 300-foot 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.
Viceroy Miami, 485 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131; +1 305 503 4400
Stephanie Orma is a San Francisco-based travel and design writer. She has a mad cartooning habit and can hula hoop on one foot while drinking a glass of vino. www.ormadesign.com