Tropical Vacation Resorts with the Coolest Swimming Pools

If your idea of a tropical vacay is sitting poolside with a tall drink, these hotels and their fabulous pools deliver big time.


No doubt, every vacation to the tropics includes at least one day at the pool. Whether you jump in and splash around, peacefully float on your back or hang out poolside with a good book, the pool is important. So make sure you find the swimming pool that works for you. From lazy-river styles to infinity-edge designs to even works of art, these pools all have what it takes to make your time in the sun the best.

Zoetry Agua, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Zoetry Agua, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, tropical vacation resorts

At dusk a tropical sky casts a romantic aura over the pool at the Zoetry Agua resort. Photo: Debbie Snow

So well designed is the swimming pool at the Zoetry Agua in Punta Cana that you’ll feel as if you’re surrounded by the rainforest. Soft sensual curves make the pool inviting, and tiny islands home to tall lean palm trees rise up from the water. The pool shaped like a serpent weaves its way through the lush grounds, past hut-like buildings with cane-thatched roofs. 

Raleigh Hotel, South Beach

Photo: The Raleigh

Its art-deco design from the 1940s makes the Raleigh Pool a South Beach icon. Photo: Raleigh Hotel

They don’t make swimming pools like the art-deco pool at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach anymore. Its iconic curves, now accentuated in black, date back to 1941 when architect L. Murray Dixon designed the hotel. Everything about it screams elegant, sexy and cool. From its high dive-turned-waterfall to its funky lifeguard stand-inspired tower, it retains its bygone-era style. After several facelifts and booms and busts Miami-style, this hotel swimming pool still ranks as one of the top places to swim, hang out and, most importantly, be seen. 


Viceroy, Anguilla

Viceroy, Anguilla

The Viceroy’s modern architectural forms carry through to the infinity pool area. Photo: Viceroy

One of the swankiest swimming pools ever, the infinity-edge pool at the Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla is surreal in its design. Perched on a small promontory, the hotel’s modern architectural elements interact with the natural surroundings, making way for a pool with the illusionary effect of shimmering water that meets the Caribbean Sea and extends to the horizon. 

Parrot Cay by COMO, Turks and Caicos

Parrot Cay by COMO, Turks and Caicos

A serene sheet of water, the Parrot Cay by COMO’s infinity pool is the ultimate place to de-stress. Photo: Parrot Cay Resort

Situated on a private island, the beautifully understated infinity pool at the Parrot Cay by COMO is set against scrub-covered sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. From your perch on a chaise lounge, the vast pool is so cleverly crafted it visually becomes one with the beach. Bonus: Poolside tiki huts transform into private dining rooms for a romantic evening. You’ll feel like you’re having dinner on the beach. 

Halekulani, Waikiki, Hawaii

Photo: Halekulani

Besides being a work of art, the Halekulani pool offers tantalizing views of Hawaii’s coastline. Photo: Halekulani

Like an artist’s canvas, the bottom of the swimming pool at Waikiki’s Halekulani resort has been turned into a stunning piece of artwork. Using 1.2 million glass tiles, an eye-popping blue mosaic of a Cattleya orchid was created. Whether you swim above the flower with eyes open or view it from the pool’s deck, the design is breathtakingly beautiful. 

Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

Photo: Ritz Carlton

The infinity pool at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas blends beautifully with its tropical surroundings. Photo: Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

From your chaise lounge on the deck of the infinity pool at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, you can watch the feathery shadows of palm trees dance on the water. As your eye moves with the ripples, the pool water seems to extend into the Caribbean Sea, where fishing boats bob against the soft peaks of the island’s green mountains in the distance. Who would ever imagine a swimming pool could create such a picturesque panorama?