Not all hotel swimming pools are created equal. This is especially true in the Sunshine State, where cushy, oceanfront lagoons with unexpected amenities abound. Looking for the best place to cool off? Here are 10 Florida hotel pools to fit every personality type.
The Cabana Babe: Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Manalapan
Perfect for a jetsetter’s honeymoon or posh girlfriend’s getaway, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa near South Palm Beach offers the ultimate oceanfront cabana experience. You’ll want to kick off those red-lacquered stilettos and stay awhile. Both the main resort pool and the tranquility pool offer plenty of Jonathan Adler-designed loungers and loveseats surrounded by lush flora. And don’t forget to plan a visit to the Forbes-rated 5-star spa with its own whimsical water wonderland, complete with hanging basket chairs dangling over an ankle-deep reflection pool.
The Instagrammer: The Sarasota Modern, Sarasota
It’s brand spanking new and what millennial dreams are made of: underwater speakers in each of the pools, decadent poolside eats by a celebrity chef (try the bright and colorful beet-cured salmon) creative cocktails (the Poolside Gossip laced with vodka, prosecco, blueberry, lemon and lavender bitters goes down way too easy) and plenty of photo-worthy backdrops. The craziest part about the Sarasota Modern? It’s in downtown Sarasota. Once a slow-moving haven for retirees, this seaside town isn’t having a senior moment; it’s welcoming the young and hip crowd with open arms as a buzzy new hotspot.
The Rooftop Reveler: 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach
Perched 18 stories above the sultry sands of Miami Beach, the adults-only rooftop pool at eco-conscious 1 Hotel South Beach is just one of four pools on the property where you can cool your jets after a lively night out. Also a showstopper, the 30,000-square-foot center pool is family-friendly and sports 180-degree ocean views. Hidden on the third floor, the private cabana pool is a serene sanctuary. And the south pool offers all-day sunshine right on the beach. With so many choices, you can pick your poison (environmentally-friendly, of course).
The Animal Lover: Hawks Cay Resort, Florida Keys
Cruise along the Overseas Highway with the convertible top down and Jimmy Buffett blaring and around the half way point to Key West, you’ll stumble upon Duck Key. A crown jewel of the island, the sprawling and newly renovated Hawks Cay Resort is home to a set of gorgeous waterfront pools, a saltwater swimming lagoon and a pod of friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. And yes, you can swim with them! A team of expert in-house trainers will teach you everything you want to know about these magnificent marine mammals.
The Spa Connoisseur: Acqualina Resort & Spa, Sunny Isles Beach
Boasting an indulgence-meets-glamour vibe, Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach (just north of Miami Beach) offers a triple threat combination of sand, sea and 5-star spa. Scarlet red umbrellas and loungers line three oceanfront swimming pools, but the private spa pool with its Roman waterfall and heated jets will instantly transport you to a Mediterranean villa where you can rule like royalty. If you’re in the mood for romance, book a couple’s spa massage in the Royal Spa Treatment Suite and prepare to be pampered from head to toe.
The Stargazer: Zota Beach Resort, Longboat Key
Where better to catch those neon sunset hues blending with the deep blues of the night sky than in magical Longboat Key? Sunset on Florida’s west coast is an experience in itself. And once you get away from the big tourist areas with towering buildings, you can finally see a galaxy of stars pop with lively fervor. At under-the-radar Zota Beach Resort’s gulf-front pool, enjoy a front row seat to a spectacular sunset and ensuing starry night sky. When you’re not spotting Orion’s belt or the Gemini twins, scan the beach for nesting sea turtles—they lay their eggs at night by the light of the moon.
The Mom and Dad: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
Beach or pool? Sometimes that question is just too much effort to answer, especially when you’re on vacation and the kids are hopping around like Peter Rabbit in the tropical version of Mr. McGregor’s garden. Besides being the preeminent family beach resort in Florida, the JW Marriott Marco Island is an oasis that blends multiple pools (including one with a waterslide) seamlessly with acres upon acres of powdery sand on the Gulf of Mexico (basically a warm bathtub). Featuring a whopping 726 rooms, the resort property is huge, so everyone’s kids can run around crazy, jumping from pool to beach and no one cares—not even the DINKs in the brand new adults-only tower.
The Starlet: Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Everyone knows the Fontainebleau is a legendary landmark, but did you know the resort has 11 pools? Morris Lapidus, a.k.a. the grandfather of Miami Beach starchitects, designed the massive oceanfront poolscape with the creativity of a dapperly dressed artist. One of the stand-outs is the bowtie inspired free-form pool. A signature of sorts for Lapidus, you can find bowties hidden throughout the property—from the black and white tiled floor in the glamorous, chandelier-laden lobby to the bowtie-shaped brownies in the gift shop. With popular nightclub LIV on-site, the resort always attracts red-carpet ready revelers who are dressed to impress.
The Naturalist: Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Located just off the Northeast Florida coast, the massive Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is situated on 1,350 acres of rolling oceanfront beaches and natural marshland. With its towering moss-draped oak trees and sweet southern hospitality, Amelia Island feels a world away from the other typical tropical beaches in Florida. Oh, and the resort has the largest poolscape in northern Florida, featuring an infinity edge adults-only pool, a 10,000-square-foot family friendly pool, and a children’s splash and play park.
The Idler: Grande Lakes Orlando
Orlando is grand central station for hotels with awesome pools and lazy rivers. But there’s something about the twin hotels at Grande Lakes (The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes) that might just inspire you to skip a day at the theme parks to lay around and float in the majestically simple yet brilliant lazy river. You can only stand in so many crowded lines and ride so many stomach-churning roller coasters before you’re like: “Just give me a cocktail with a turquoise toothpick umbrella and pineapple garnish and let me be!” Float on.
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