7 hotel pools in the US and Canada that give new meaning to taking a dip
Orlando World Center Marriott
It’s the largest Marriott in the world — picture 2008 rooms over 28 floors with a nine-storey lobby atrium that has no less than 10 restaurants and lounges to ensure no one feels the slightest hunger pang. It’s about two kilometres from Disney World and minutes from SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios and Legoland. But the real reason people stay is the Falls Pool Oasis that features a new slide tower with two 366-metre winding waterslides and one 27-metre speed slide, a kid’s splash park and an interactive game room. The new slides are among the tallest and fastest resort slides in the state. bit.ly/1lL0SRX
Westin Grand, Vancouver
If you can’t stand chlorine pools, the Westin Grand has a soothing salt-water alternative. In 2011, the hotel’s third-floor outdoor heated pool was refitted with a new extraction system that guarantees the water remains 99.9 percent bacteria free without the use of harsh chemicals. Even in winter, the pool’s temperature is maintained at a comfortable 27°C. It’s surrounded by a spacious garden terrace — a nice spot for a break from pounding the pavement. Currently, it’s only one of three hotels in the city that uses the salt-water system. westingrandvancouver.com.
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, Colorado
The 107 rooms at this lodge are certainly comfortable — and have recently been renovated — but it’s the world’s largest hot springs pool that visitors come for. Every day, 13 litres of water from the nearby Yampah Springs flow into one of two bubbling mineral pools. If you’d rather a few laps, the larger pool is the length of two city blocks. The lodge’s website features some interesting package deals; one of the most popular for families is the Tidal Wave that includes double-occupancy accommodation, breakfast and access to two waterslides, the pool as well as an 18-hole mini golf course for US$246. hotspringspool.com.
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure
Montreal’s first premier conference hotel opened to much fanfare for Expo 67. It had, after all, the first heated outdoor pool in the city. More than two decades later, on November 7, 1990, the pool was the setting of Quebec’s most famous unsolved UFO sighting that lasted around three hours. It’s got history, a little bit of mystery and, lest we forget, a lot of class in terms of service in what’s one of the best downtown locations. The rooftop pool is open year-round and surrounded by a one-hectare garden. hilton.com.
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
The Four Seasons’ 12-metre infinity pool may be a little small for serious lap swimmers, but it remains one of the city’s choicest spots to take in the view of Elliott Bay. And no worries if you want to break a sweat: the gym is right next door to the pool. Use the machines, take a dip in the heated pool, snap a vista shot to email home and then sit next to the fire pit with a local newspaper — or just take in some early-morning sun before exploring the Emerald City. When you’re ready, Pike Place Market, one of the oldest public farmers’ markets in the US, is nearby. fourseasons.com/seattle.
Grand Wailea, Maui
This Waldorf Astoria resort seems to have a pool for every developmental stage in life. While the romantic 450-square-metre Hibiscus pool ¬¬¬— inlaid with a glass mosaic of a giant Hibiscus flower — is strictly for adults, the Wailea Canyon activity pool features nine pools on six levels connected by a slow-moving 186-metre-long river and whitewater rapids. There are four jungle pools, four connecting slides, a Tarzan pool with a rope swing, six waterfalls, caves, a whitewater-rapids slide, something called the Lava slide, something else called the Ana Puka slide, an infant pool and the world's first water elevator. Dare devils will love the Fishpipe, the world’s first rotating barrel ride. All this, well, not far from the beach. grandwailea.com.
Sanctuary on Camelback, Scottsdale
This hotel gives new meaning to rest and relaxation: it comes with a healthy dose of fitness. Spend a morning soaking in the serenity at the infinity-edge pool, then move over to the 23-metre lap pool and work your strokes. Looking to seriously improve your swimming? Take a lesson with the coach, Misty Hyman, gold medalist in the 200-metre butterfly at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. If that’s not enough of a workout, there’s also a fitness centre, a movement studio, five championship tennis courts as well as hiking and biking trails. sanctuaryoncamelback.com.
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