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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.
At the Grand Wailea, “grand” is truly an understatement. One of the best all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii, 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.
Catalonia Punta Cana is an adults-only haven that 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.
Crystal Cove is an all-inclusive resort that features 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.
One of the most romantic resorts in Tahiti, InterContinental Resort Tahiti is a Polynesian oasis that 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 is a perfect couples getaway in Costa Rica, as the tropical resort was once voted one of Travel and Leisure’s 100 Best Hotels in the World. It 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 Guanacaste 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 herbs, followed by a jaunt to one of the swim-up bars, of course.
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.
Warwick Fiji 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.
The Palms Turks and Caicos, 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. This top-rated resort in Turks and Caicos also offers all types of other premium amenities, including a wellness center and fitness complex.
Located on Wailea Beach among plumeria trees, Four Seasons Resort Maui 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.
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.
Once named one of the Best Hotels in Mexico 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 at this popular resort in Mexico.
Moon Palace Cancun is one of the best resorts in Cancun. The largest of the Palace properties around the world lies along the Mayan Riviera, with its rooms spread over three different sections. Each section has its own unique amenities, including a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. The property also hosts a lavish spa that offers a wide range of treatments, a fantastic hydrotherapy experience, and multiple pools, including one with a swim-up bar, water slides, and a Flowrider machine. There are over 20 restaurants and bars as well as nightly entertainment, from shows at the amphitheater to the glamorous NOIR Nightclub.
One of the best resorts in Bali for couples, this contemporary resort is located at the heart of all the entertainment, shopping, and beaches in Legian. It boasts a fabulous swim-up bar at Padma in its lagoon-style swimming pool that’s surrounded by lush greenery. Guests can also expect to find stylish interiors and sleek rooms that include everything one would expect from a premier five-star resort, like minibars, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and balconies. The S.K.A.I. Beach Club serves cocktails and light fare and is a great spot to watch the sun go down families with kids will appreciate the kid-friendly activities like fish feeding and contests in the family pool that has two water slides.
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.
The free-form saltwater pool at The Raleigh 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.
Set in a unique desert-like landscape, ClubHotel Riu Karamboa is an all-inclusive resort that 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 glamorous 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.
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.
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.