6 Coolest Hotel Pools for Grown-Ups

Cabanas and pool at the Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale. Courtesy Hotel Valley Ho Hotel Valley Ho
By Kristine Hansen

As a kid, you were probably content to wade in any swimming pool. As a grown-up, an ideal pool setting likely offers up treats other than French fries and ice cream. Just in time for blistering-hot summer days, many hotels have created refreshing poolside scenes for their guests -- in some cases, pool access and cabana rentals are also available to travelers who aren't staying overnight.

Check out these hotel pools in Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and other cities that know how to beat the summer heat.

Photo Caption: Cabanas and pool at the Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale. Photo courtesy Hotel Valley Ho
View Next Slide
Nikki Beach at Tropicana Las Vegas. Tom Donoghue
Where: Nikki Beach at Tropicana Las Vegas

Details: While newly-opened Nikki Beach is the kind of place to flaunt bikini-clad bodies, it's also a beach club for foodies and cocktail snobs who prefer to skip the ubiquitous Las Vegas buffet lines. Make online reservations or call up to two hours in advance for either Nikki Beach (day club) or Club Nikki (nightclub). For nonguests, prices range from $20 (general admission for females) to $30 (general admission for males). You can also splurge on a $5,000 package for two magnums each of Belvedere vodka and Veuve Clicquot, six energy drinks, six Fiji waters, and mixers.

Poolside Perks: All-day and all-night brunch at Café Nikki (with DJs in the evening); cabana-rental packages during the day (from $500 for 10-15 people); an exotic breakfast, lunch or dinner menu at Nikki Beach Club (malted Belgian waffles or a caviar omelette? Lobster corn dogs or sushi?); and global-inspired tapas during Thursday's Happy Hour at Café Nikki.

More Info: tel. 702/739-2222; www.nikkibeachlasvegas.com

Photo Caption: Nikki Beach at Tropicana Las Vegas.
View Next Slide
Pool and cabanas at the Viceroy Santa Monica, California. Courtesy Viceroy Hotel Group
Where: Viceroy Santa Monica

Details: Viceroy Santa Monica, located on hip Ocean Avenue, is stocked to the gills with luxury amenities for sun worshipers who prefer a little more solitude than a crowded beach. Furnishings fit for a living room are on the deck around the two pools (think comfy armchairs with sage-green back pillows). Inside each spacious cream-and-black cabana are earth-toned sectional sofas and a flat-screen TV.

Poolside Perks: Private poolside cabanas ($250 a day for up to 12 people; nonguests are welcome) aren't just for sunbathing. You and your friends can sip on cocktails or sit down for a dinner with elegant tableware. Sunday brunch is served poolside.

More Info: tel. 310/260-7500, www.viceroysantamonica.com

Photo Caption: Pool and cabanas at the Viceroy Santa Monica, California.
View Next Slide
The pool at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale. Courtesy Hotel Valley Ho Hotel Valley Ho
Where: Hotel Valley Ho

In 1956, Hotel Valley Ho was all the rage with Hollywood movie stars. In 2005, the property reemerged after an extensive renovation that in many ways set back the clock. Mid-century modern design rules here, with a color scheme of lemon-yellow, white, and sky blue. The OH Pool is where the cool kids hang, didn't you know? Park yourself in a funky chaise as overhead misters help keep you cool.

Poolside Perks: Elvis Before Noon performs in June from 3pm-7pm Fridays (the pool party continues on future Fridays, just without the band) and DJ P-Body spins from 1:30pm-5:30pm Saturdays through the end of October. Poolside cabana rentals (from $99 for six people; nonguests are welcome every day except Saturdays and holiday weekends) come with a choice of edible and liquid amenities. Menu options are all about comfort food, including wasabi dogs and bento boxes. Liquid concoctions are both frozen (piña colada) and classically fruity (rum runner).

More Info: tel. 480/248-2000; www.hotelvalleyho.com

Photo Caption: The pool at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale. Courtesy Hotel Valley Ho
View Next Slide
Trump International Beach Resort, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Trump International Beach Resort Sunny Isles Beach
Where: Trump International Beach Resort

Details: Trump International Beach Resort is on a prime slice of oceanfront real estate midway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Two large pools are just steps from the ocean, and both feature cascading waterfalls. Expect to pay $35 per person if you're not a hotel guest. You can also rent poolside cabanas on the pool's upper deck from 10am to sunset ($150 for up to four people), or camp out for the day at a beachfront cabana ($200 for up to four people). Whether it's daytime or nighttime, the pool scene is glam.

Poolside Perks: Air-conditioned cabanas are beautifully appointed with lounge furniture and refrigerators. (Beachfront cabanas include a private bathroom and shower.) Sushi and sashimi from Fusion Lounge can be paired with 12 flavors of piña-colada drinks.

More Info: tel. 305/692-5600; www.trumpmiami.com

Photo Caption: Trump International Beach Resort, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.
View Next Slide
The pool at the Breakers, Palm Beach. Photo courtesy The Breakers Courtesy The Breakers
Where: The Breakers

Details: Not only does The Breakers hug one of the country's most beautiful shorelines -- 140 acres along Florida's Atlantic Coast -- it has five oceanfront swimming pools. In addition to separate pools designated for relaxation or swimming laps, you'll find four whirlpool spas. Ten newly renovated cabanas (with cobalt tie-back curtains and custom chaise lounge chairs with umbrellas) line the deck of the main pool. Sorry, this pool is only open to hotel guests or club members.

Poolside Perks: Each of the cabanas features personal concierge service, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a cordless telephone (cabana rentals from $155 for four people).

More Info: tel. 888/273-2537; www.thebreakers.com

Photo Caption: The pool at the Breakers, Palm Beach. Courtesy The Breakers
View Next Slide
Lost Quarry Pools at the Westin La Cantera Resort. Photo: The Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio, Texas The Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio, Texas
Where: The Westin La Cantera Resort

Details: Just a few minutes from the crowds at Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park, the Westin La Cantera makes it easy to relax. Take in the hilltop views and sample the fare by chefs who believe in farm-to-table cuisine. Most of the meats and produce are from local farms, such as the candied jalapeños that provide a kick in a signature cocktail. Located about a 20-minute drive from downtown San Antonio, this resort offers six swimming options -- including an adults-only pool and a series of connected quarry pools surrounded by landscaping -- but you must be a hotel guest to enjoy it all.

Poolside Perks: At the adults-only pool, Battle of the Sexes games are held (the antics are guaranteed to draw some laughs). Look for water volleyball events just for adults. Hungry but not ready to move indoors? Order a ginger-soy salad with a muddled cocktail at The Gantry, located at the quarry pools. You can even experience a head/neck/shoulder massage poolside.

More Info: tel. 210/558-6500; www.westinlacantera.com

Photo Caption: Lost Quarry Pools at the Westin La Cantera Resort. Courtesy The Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio, Texas
View Next Slide