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One of the reasons to stay at a luxurious oceanfront property is to enjoy the ultimate in relaxation, which means you don’t want to get out of the water and wait for a drink at the bar. That’s why choosing a hotel or a resort with an awesome swim-up bar is really a must. If you plan to spend your days soaking up the sun from the comfort of a refreshing pool with easy access to tropical beverages and cold brews, these options offer some of the very best destinations on the planet to do just that.
Grand Wailea, Maui (prices & photos)
At the Grand Wailea, “grand” is truly an understatement. This opulent 40-acre resort is renowned for its Wailea Canyon Activity area that has nine pools connected by a river with small rapids and gentle currents. Its highlights include a water elevator and a spectacular swim-up bar, exclusive to guests only. Imagine swimming among magnificent waterfalls, slides and caves, taking a break at the Grotto Bar, nestled beneath a waterfall in the 25,700-square-foot Wailea Canyon pool, to enjoy an exotic drink. The pools are known as the best in Hawaii, and guests also have access to one of the top spas, offering everything from massages to mineral baths. Choose a live Maine lobster or live Kona for dinner at the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a restaurant that “floats” in a saltwater lagoon stocked with tropical fish.
Crystal Cove, Barbados (prices & photos)
This all-inclusive resort features three lagoon-style pools, one of which offers a swim-up bar tucked right behind a waterfall and inside a cave. This scenic swim-up bar is the resort’s most popular feature, though the luxury property also features a golf course and tennis courts, so once you’ve finished sipping a cocktail, you can get out and play a while before cooling off in the water with another drink. Winding garden paths connect the whitewashed cottages that spill down a hillside to the beach where you can enjoy more swimming, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking or windsurfing too.
Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, 6th October City, Egypt (prices & photos)
By staying at the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, you can spend your days experiencing one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, or playing a round at one of the resort’s three palm tree-lined golf courses before relaxing with a cool drink, including international beers and mixed fruit cocktails, in the pool at The Island Bar. The resort also offers a fully equipped spa, the Kids Paradise Club for the children, a piano lounge and stunning views of the pyramids from many of the rooms, each with a balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (prices & photos)
This adults-only haven is a meticulous all-inclusive resort with a long list of amazing amenities, including a pristine beach, 18- and 9-hole golf courses, rooms with balconies that feature private hammocks, and a main pool where you can lounge on land or chill out at the fabulous swim-up bar with a lively scene that includes extremely entertaining bartenders. No guest will go thirsty, or hungry, with the wide array of bars and eateries, including a 24-hour pizzeria, perfect for the late night munchies. Other activities include archery, tennis, biking and free non-motorized water sports.
The Raleigh, Miami, Florida (prices & photos)
The free-form saltwater pool is where Esther Williams cavorted in “The Million Dollar Mermaid,” and models strutted for the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week swimsuit extravaganza in 2008, and, in 2012, it was the Miami New Times pick for Best Pool exudes old school opulence. Here, you can enjoy your mojito at the pool bar underneath swaying palms, while the ever-present sunshine just might make you feel like those sophisticated 1950s jetsetters. It’s the pool bar that keeps guests returning, but you can also enjoy rooms and suites with chic vintage furniture and luxurious linens as well as large picture windows for taking in glorious sunsets and balmy ocean breezes.
Hotel Monte Mulini, Rovinj, Croatia (prices & photos)
Set within a tranquil cove on the picturesque Istrian coast of Croatia, this boutique hotel boasts a state-of-the-art pool with jet fountains and a swim-up bar with magnificent views to complement your favorite beverage. The opulence doesn’t stop there, you can also choose from hydro-massage and heated or cold water, indulge in the wellness spa and dine at the elegant wine-cellar restaurant to add to the serene experience. While all of the rooms and suites offer views over the harbor, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time at the swim-up bar, and perhaps an occasional stroll to the part-rock, part-pebble beach, accessible via a short path from the pool area.
The Kee Resort & Spa, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand (prices & photos)
This resort in Phuket offers a slice of luxurious, tropical paradise, with its highlight including a vast, lagoon-like swimming pool with exotic features like the sunken swim-up bar that serves up cocktails to be enjoyed from submerged stools, while a grand fountain shoots water nearly 40-feet into sky. After dark, the pool lights up in moving colors, and tucked into a secluded corner is a waterfall and cozy reclining area. Some of the chic rooms and suites not only include soaking tubs and balconies, but offer direct pool access. Guests can also enjoy the sky rooftop bar/restaurant, and with the resort in the heart of Patong’s legendary entertainment area filled with bars, discos and other popular nightlife venues, it offers the ultimate base for enjoying the famous party scene.
Intercontinental Hotel Tahiti Resort, Tahiti (prices & photos)
This Polynesian oasis offers some of the best views of Moorea on the horizon and is surrounded by 30 acres of lush gardens that include an enclosed lagoonarium. Watch fish and rays being fed in the morning and spectacular sunsets over Moorea at the end of a day spent at the Lotus Bar which sits partially submerged in a sand bottom infinity pool. You’ll also find a man-made white sand beach and Tahitian women making handcrafts alongside the pool, which are available for purchase. There are 31 overwater bungalows to spend the night in, as well as hotel rooms that have handcrafted wooden beds and large bathrooms. The resort also hosts the most popular Tahitian dance show on the island every Friday night at its Tiare Restaurant.
Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica (prices & photos)
This tropical resort, voted one of Travel and Leisure’s 100 Best Hotels in the World in 2013, comes with well-stocked swim-up bars at both its stunning infinity pool and its beach pool, offering what is surely one of the most magnificent views on earth, including both the ocean and forest-covered hills in the distance. This ultra-remote hideaway in the Guancaste area is “luxury incarnate,” as Fodor refers to it, complete with villas, casitas, suites and expansive rooms dotted across the bougainvillea-bedecked hillside. You can easily overdo it with all the activities that await, including horseback riding, mountain biking, golfing and zip-lining tours, but that’s okay, because afterward you can just head to the tranquil garden spa for sybaritic massage treatments using local herb, followed by a jaunt to one of the swim-up bars, of course.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, Hawaii (prices & photos)
The Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa on Maui makes the most of its breathtaking, tropical surroundings, lining the sands of Ka’anapali Beach on the west coast. Its stylish suites enjoy magnificent ocean views, but one of the best ways to connect with the natural beauty of the area is to have a drink in the secluded swim-up grotto bar. Swim underneath the waterfalls in the Lahaina Pool, and you’ll find yourself in this beautiful, cave-like bar, hidden from view. Like a cave, it’s dimly lit, adding to its romantic, tranquil feel. In addition to spending lots of time in the pool, you can enjoy a host of activities right at this 40-acre resort, including scuba diving, pro tennis lessons, hula demonstrations and lei making classes.
The Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos Islands (prices & photos)
The Regent Palms, just a stone’s throw from Grace Bay Beach, renowned as one of the most beautiful on the planet, has been voted the most luxurious resort in the Caribbean, in part thanks to its lavish pool bar. Framed by a striking Serpentine infinity pool, the Plunge Bar and Restaurant features innovative in-water seating booths that allow guests to dine on a variety of Caribbean cuisine delights without ever leaving the water. Thirst-quenching cocktails are available throughout the day and a sunken dining terrace surrounded by a tranquil waterfall and garden offers additional al fresco seating. The resort also offers all types of other premium amenities, including a wellness center and fitness complex.
Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, Viti Levu (prices & photos)
The Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa allows you to truly enjoy the South Pacific and all that it has to offer, including enjoying a drink at the submerged, outdoor swim-up bar. It even offers the chance to dine on a gourmet meal in the award-winning restaurant, all without leaving the pool. Stone steps over water lead to the beautiful spa with a sauna, hot and cold pools, while the resort’s lagoon setting allows for all-day swimming off the mainland’s largest beach too.
Four Seasons Resort Maui, Hawaii (prices & photos)
Located on Wailea Beach among plumeria trees, this luxurious resort boasts three saltwater pools, one with a large, gorgeous swim-up bar that’s submerged in an infinity pool offering a view of the ocean and the often mist-shrouded mountains in the distance. It also features an underwater music system, bubble loungers (chaises built into the water), an infinity-edge and lush greenery surrounding it. When you aren’t in the pool, you can enjoy treatments at the spa, or if you can’t tear away, just indulge in a poolside mini-treatment.
Kivotos Club Hotel, Mykonos, Greece (prices & photos)
If you’ve ever envisioned that perfect, illuminated brilliant blue pool where patrons are served refreshing drinks among stately Grecian pillars, the white-curtain swim-up bar at Kivotos Club Hotel may be the closest to making your fantasy come true. Located in the hotel’s main saltwater pool, it offers a truly epic experience, complete with in-water barstools and underwater tunes. This deluxe and architecturally ambitious property is stylishly arrayed around its impressive pool, while all of the guest rooms display local crafts and fine antiques like ships’ steering wheels. Most offer views overlooking the bay.
Lagoon Bar at Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Iceland (prices & photos)
The Blue Lagoon is one of the Iceland’s most famous attractions, a geothermal spa, located in a lava field that contains waters ranging from 98 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, surrounded by ice and snow. Even when the weather outside is frightful, the warm water temperatures make it a heavenly place for a soak – and, the water is also rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, believed to heal skin conditions such as psoriasis. By bathing in the Blue Lagoon, you’ll have access to the Lagoon Bar, which means you don’t have to leave the soothing waters to get a drink. Nothing beats having a beer or a glass of wine while relaxing in the heavenly lagoon.
Ventanas al Paraíso, Los Cabos, Mexico (prices & photos)
Named one of the Best Hotels in Mexico for 2014 by U.S News and World Reports, Ventanas al Paraiso offers the ultimate in pampering. From a private butler who will greet you with a margarita and escort you to the spa for a massage to the amazing swim-up bar in one of seven infinity pools where you might catch a glimpse of frequent guest and Hollywood A-lister, Jennifer Aniston, everything here is bound to exceed your expectations. Even if a star isn’t sitting at the bar, you’ll still enjoy an incredible ocean view along with your cocktail.
ClubHotel Rui Karamboa, Cape Verde, Africa (prices & photos)
Set in a unique desert-like landscape, this all-inclusive resort offers the ultimate oasis in a gorgeous location on a white, sandy beach. Explore the surrounding volcanic landscape and then cool off by taking a dip in the large pool with a glamourous swim-up bar. You’ll also enjoy dining at several restaurants right onsite, offering a variety of African, Cape Verdian and Asian cuisine as well as treating yourself to a massage at the spa.
Bel Air Collection Resort and Spa, Cancun (prices & photos)
The Bel Air Collection overlooks an idyllic white sandy beach near the southern tip of the Hotel Zone. This adults-only resort offers the perfect tranquil escape with chic, minimalist rooms, a beautiful spa with an extensive list of treatments and a magnificent infinity pool with ocean views as well as a well-stocked swim-up bar. Spacious rooms include thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers, high-tech amenities and balconies.