Every business traveler knows the pain of walking through a hotel lobby and catching just a glimpse of a swanky-looking lounge there’s no time to hang out in, or seeing placards in the elevator advertising the lovely hotel spa that can’t be squeezed in between meetings. Despite all our good intentions, most of the time the hotels we stay in are simply a bed in a room and nothing more.
Unless, of course, you’re staying in one of these hotels with pools that people really would write home about.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the best pools in hotels around the world that a business traveler might actually stay in – no Tahitian resorts on this list, these are cities you may actually have to be in for work!
The Standard – Los Angeles
Los Angeles may have plenty of beaches within a short distance from downtown, but if you’re in the city for work then chances are good you won’t have the time required to fight LA’s notorious traffic to get to any of them.
Instead, book a stay at The Standard, a boutique hotel in downtown LA and enjoy the hotel’s famous rooftop pool. You’ll get the benefit of views over the Los Angeles skyline, plus be steps away from your room after a knocking back one last drink at the retro-cool poolside lounge.
Marina Bay Sands – Singapore
Most hotel pools, even rooftop pools, don’t require warning labels. The rooftop pool atop the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, however, just might.
The views over the sparkling city below are incredible, there’s no denying that – but those with a fear of heights might wonder who had the audacity to build something akin to an infinity pool 200 meters off the ground.
For the faint of heart, the pool is wide enough that you can stick closer to the inner wall and still enjoy a dip – or, for that matter, a poolside stroll through the palm trees.
>> Search for other hotels in Singapore
Gansevoort Park – New York
There’s nothing quite like a tranquil hotel pool to help you relax after a busy work day, especially in a city as frenetic as New York.
The indoor/outdoor rooftop pool at Gansevoort Park is just what the doctor ordered, with views overlooking the city from 20 stories up, but those views are pleasantly fringed by greenery along the roof edge.
Even if you don’t want to dive in, you can always enjoy the vibe and the views from the hotel’s rooftop lounge. And don’t worry, the indoor part can be enclosed by a garage-style door to make sure it’s ready for use year-round.
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The Peninsula – Chicago
Chicago is one of those fortunate cities to be adjacent to a large enough body of water that you can go from city to beach in a matter of minutes.
If your trip to the Windy City is during the winter, however, or you don’t even have time to get from your hotel to the lake in order to enjoy the water, then having a gorgeous pool at your disposal like the one at The Peninsula is a great alternative.
The indoor pool can be enjoyed year-round, and in nice weather you can relax on the sun deck overlooking the city with a drink or a snack from the hotel’s spa menu.
>> Learn more about where to stay in Chicago
The Berkeley – London
As is the case with many cities on rivers, London isn’t exactly the kind of place where you’d want to take a dip in the waterway running through its center.
If your webbed feet can’t stand to be away from water, however, you can stay at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge and swim to your heart’s content in the hotel’s rooftop pool.
A rooftop pool? In London? We know what you’re thinking. The hotel’s clever designers included a retractable roof that can be locked into place when the city’s notoriously bad weather comes a-calling.
>> Find cheap airfare to London
Mandalay Bay – Las Vegas
So many of the hotels in Las Vegas have pools – and even rooftop pools – that it might seem hard to choose only one Vegas hotel pool for this list.
But when one of the “pools” is really an 11-acre beach that includes four different pools, a river, and an entirely separate wave pool, it’s hard to imagine choosing anything but the Mandalay Bay.
Mandalay Beach, as it’s known, is huge, with boardwalks and sandy beach areas surrounding the pools. And since “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” there’s even an adults-only pool club at the hotel for those who prefer “European-style” beach attire.
>> Check out Las Vegas’ best pool clubs
Gran Hotel La Florida – Barcelona
When business brings you to Barcelona, you’d be smart to add a few extra days to your trip and settle into a spot on the beach. If time doesn’t permit that, however, then a stay at the Gran Hotel La Florida might be decent consolation.
This hotel is set above the city, and the hotel’s indoor/outdoor pool enjoys the benefits of that position. Deck chairs are arranged with their backs to the pool and hotel – lovely as they both are – to take full advantage of the view. You won’t have sand beneath your feet, but you’ll have the luxury of peace and quiet.
Hotel Le Bristol – Paris
Romantic Paris is all well and good, but if you’re in the French capital on business then a “long walk by the Seine” done solo may not sound too grand.
You can get your fix of water by diving into the rooftop pool at the Hotel Le Bristol instead. This beautiful old hotel might not seem the type to have a rooftop pool, but it does – and it’s indoors, so you can enjoy it year-round.
The outdoor sundeck is ideal for nicer weather, and the big windows mean you can look out over the Parisian skyline whether it’s sunny or raining.
Sheraton Waikiki – Honolulu
Why would a hotel in Honolulu even need to bother with a pool, you ask? They probably don’t – but that didn’t stop the Sheraton Waikiki (a beachside hotel, no less) from sprucing up their pool.
It’s newly remodeled, and not only does it overlook the ocean, it’s an infinity pool. This way you can enjoy a Waikiki sunset from your poolside chair, every so often slipping back into the water for a few minutes, and still be just a short walk down the hall from your hotel room.
>> Seek out the best beaches in Honolulu
Hilton Molino Stucky – Venice
Venice may be famous for its canals, but those waters aren’t exactly inviting for swimmers. Venice hotels also don’t have a lot in the way of space to devote to a pool, so to find one with any kind of pool is a bit of a score – the fact that it’s on the roof and overlooks the city is the jackpot.
The Hilton Molino Stucky is in a newly-restored building on the Giudecca, a short vaporetto ride from St. Mark’s Square. This means you’ll have to be back at the hotel before the boats stop running or you’re stuck on the wrong island – but with a rooftop pool like this one, you may never want to leave.
>> Look for Venice hotels near St. Mark’s Square