With Miami’s perpetual sunshine and glorious year-round warm weather, pools are the coolest part of any trip, no matter when you visit. Hanging out poolside at these South Florida hotels definitely has its sunny perks. Complete with endless blue views, seclusion and attentive service, these tropical oases provide a swanky way to cool down under Miami’s golden rays this summer.
The Setai Miami Beach
A trio of azure pools at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Setai offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. The three 90-foot-long infinity options (heated to 75, 85 and 90 degrees) surfaced with recycled Spanish glass mosaic tiles are a visual treat. The 75-degree lap pool even allows swimmers to pipe in their own music underwater. Poolside, sunbathe in oversized chaise loungers on the Italian travertine deck. The concierge brings complimentary fruit smoothies, facial sprays and chilled oshibori towels, and awaits to fulfill your every other whim from morning to dusk.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Mandarin Oriental’s infinity-edge pool overlooks Biscayne Bay and the Magic City’s skyline. Just steps away from it is Oasis Beach, a private area at the Five-Star hotel where you can sway blissfully in cocoon daybeds and hammocks strung from palm trees. Pool and beach butlers provide impeccable service, offering complimentary refreshing treats such as fruit skewers and fruit-infused water. The Oasis Pool Café also has divine coconut-chocolate lollipops.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
At the Fontainebleau, dip into not one, not two, but 10 watering holes, from architect Morris Lapidus’ signature bowtie-shaped, 614-foot pool (which Olympian Michael Phelps has enjoyed) to 54- and 52-square-foot spa Jacuzzi tubs flanking the area. Should the sunshine tire you, cool off with a passion fruit mojito from the poolside Glow Bar and nestle into one of the approximately 1,000 lounge chairs. This main pool was featured in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger with Sean Connery; these days celebs such as Jennifer Lopez and Bradley Cooper can be seen lounging by it.
Acqualina Resort & Spa
Set in Sunny Isles near Miami Beach, Five-Star Acqualina Resort & Spa offers three pristine oceanfront pools: the all-ages Beach Club Pool for lounging, the adults-only Tranquility Pool for uninterrupted sunbathing and the Recreation Pool for all-day fun and games. (Yet another pool is found on the terrace of the Five-Star spa.) With cushioned chaise lounges, friendly attendants bringing you iced grapes and delicious smoothies on the hour, luxe cabanas and a vibrant atmosphere, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to your own private Mediterranean villa.
Delano South Beach
Dive into a fantasy world unlike any other at this ultimate seaside retreat. Designer Philippe Starck takes you through an elaborate, Alice in Wonderland-esque garden (complete with a life-sized chessboard) that leads to the hotel’s iconic 75-foot pool. Poolside, two-story bungalows shielded from the hotel by sheer gauzy curtains provide a secret hideaway for a weekend rendezvous.
The Biltmore Hotel
A beautifully designed, marble-surfaced watery oasis sparkles at the heart of this historic Four-Star gem. At one time, The Biltmore’s 700,000-gallon pool held the record as the largest in the world and currently holds the title as the largest on the East Coast. If pools could talk, this awe-inspiring amenity would share tales of dramatic aquatic shows and galas, and dish on one-time swimming instructor Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to play Tarzan. The 85-foot-high diving tower from bygone years has been transformed into a lush tropical waterfall. Upscale cabanas have private sunbathing areas with rain showers and dedicated butlers, and they can be reserved day or night.
One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa
Located in the exclusive Bal Harbour Village, the water wonderland at this resort gives way to some of the most magnificent views of the Atlantic while you swim. Try gratis smoothies, spritzers, fruit kebabs and chilled scented towels on its deck or purchase light fare and sushi from the Pool Bar & Grill. For ultimate relaxation, One Bal Harbour provides poolside cabanas with private Jacuzzis and a separate spa cabana where you can bask in a luxurious massage.
Mondrian South Beach
Surround yourself with sun-soaked lounge pillows and lush gardens hung with hammocks landscaped into a whimsical labyrinthine trail at this unique property designed by provocateur Marcel Wanders. While not beachfront, the Mondrian’s West Avenue address affords a front-row seat to picture-perfect sunsets. And when it comes time to make a literal and figurative splash, this is the place to be, especially when the hotel hosts lounge-style pool parties featuring some of South Beach’s best DJs.