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Eleven Great Pools in the West

Sunbather in hotel pool, image
Photo caption
Geysers heat the pool at Indian Springs.

One of the incidental pleasures of summer travel is the chance to take a dip in the hotel—or motel—pool. But not all pools are created equal. Here are our favorites.

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix

Even with eight pools to choose from—one with a 92-foot water slide—we still love the blue-and-yellow-tiled Catalina best. So did Marilyn Monroe. (800) 950-0086, www.arizonabiltmore.com.

Berkeley City Club, Berkeley, California

You're not allowed to test the pools at Hearst Castle, but you can take a dip in another Julia Morgan pool when you stay here. Light pours in through Gothic windows to illuminate your laps. (510) 848-7800, www.berkeleycityclub.com.

Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Vancouver, B.C.

Wait for your flight while swimming in a pool above the departures hall. Wall-size windows looking down to the check-in counter let you monitor lines between laps. (604) 207-5200, www.fairmont.com.

Four Season Hualalai, Ka`upulehu-Kona, Hawaii

In the King's Pond, with 3,500 tropical fish swimming around you, you'll think you've seen it all—until a spotted eagle ray swoops by. (808) 325-8000, www.fourseasons.com.

Grand Wailea Resort, Wailea, Hawaii

The Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is comprised of nine smaller pools (at different levels) linked by a river. There's also a rope swing, a water elevator, and a swim-up bar. (808) 875-1234, www.grandwailea.com.

Indian Springs, Calistoga, California

What better way to end a day of winetasting than to slip into a lovely pool heated by thermal geysers? (707) 942-4913, www.indianspringscalistoga.com.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

A giant wave pool sweeps you onto a sandy beach as many times as you can stand it; a lazy river offers a spot to catch your breath. (877) 632-7000, www.mandalaybay.com.

Palms, Las Vegas

The lavender-tinted Skin Pool Lounge spices it up with go-go dancers, mermaids, outdoor blackjack, and floating chaises. (866) 942-7777, www.palms.com.

Peninsula, Beverly Hills, California

The bigwigs taking meetings in the cabanas around this rooftop pool don't even notice the view. It's worth a look for the rest of us. (310) 551-2888, www.peninsula.com.

Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco

It ain't the biggest or the grandest, but this pool has sass. Rock stars gather round when they're passing through town. (415) 776-1380, www.thephoenixhotel.com.

Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, Utah

After a day hiking at Arches, take a dip here and watch the surrounding cliffs turn fiery red. (866) 812-2002, www.redcliffslodge.com.

Summer Lake Hot Springs, Paisley, Oregon

Talk about away from it all—143 acres of high-desert wilderness form the backdrop for a hot spring-fed pool to soak in and vintage trailers to sleep in. (877) 492-8554, www.summerlakehotsprings.com.

Photography by Robert Holmes

This article was first published in Summer 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.