More on our methodology for selecting the best hotel pools in the US
In addition to the criteria outlined above, we also considered the following factors:
Expert sources: I am a New York-based travel writer who visits dozens of domestic hotels on a yearly basis.
In order to curate a list that appeals to all — and yes, it was a tough job but someone had to do it — I’ve personally examined almost all of the pools mentioned here by checking in or touring the properties, or speaking directly to someone who did. I consulted with locals on the ground and researched properties I am familiar with through word of mouth.
I also looked at further criteria beyond just amazing pools, prioritizing hotels with other factors like desirable locations, stunning views, great rooms, and other unique amenities.
Price: While there are great hotel pools to be enjoyed at every budget, I chose to feature a variety of price points, with the majority of hotels in the $150 to $350 per night range. No luxury hotel shown here is priced to start at over $500/night.
I also evaluated the value of each hotel against competitors in their respective markets with pools and/or similar amenities.
Amenities: I chose hotels with great pools that offered strong value based on their neighborhoods or locations, room sizes, views and perks like being able to order food and beverage from the comfort of your pool lounge chair. I also looked at properties with amazing communal spaces, luxe bath products, and other attractive on-site offerings.
Location: The US is a large and diverse country, so this curated list represents a range of popular cities and tourist destinations that speak to those different traveler needs and interests. All are accessible to major tourist attractions. Many of said attractions are visitable by car hire or transit, and some are even walkable.
Guests: We chose the best hotel pools that would appeal to families, solo travelers, couples, friend groups, business travelers, and even travelers that find themselves trapped in an airport. This is intended to help you pick the ideal hotel and pool for your trip.
Past reviews: We researched guest reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Tripadvisor, Booking.com, and hotel-operated websites to ensure that the experiences of others were overwhelmingly positive and in line with our guidance.
COVID-19 safety: In a world currently in limbo between an ongoing pandemic and post-pandemic mentality, we only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with strictly enhanced cleaning policies.
Since outdoor activities have generally been advised as some of the safest by the CDC and other health agencies during the pandemic, we prioritized outdoor pools with enough space for social distancing.