Seven Southern Hotel Pools Where the Water’s Just Fine

There’s a lounge chair with your name on it

Photo: Joe Thomas

The pool at the Ryder Hotel.

A swoon-worthy pool experience requires more than just the main attraction—ambiance matters, as does the view. And while you don’t need a fabulous setting to tempt you into the water when it’s blazing hot outside, it sure doesn’t hurt. Here’s where to soak, float, or swan dive in style this summer.

Omni Grove Park Inn

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The outdoor pool at this historic Asheville resort is lovely, but the spa pools demand your complete attention. Cooling off in mineral water amid cavernous stone walls and arches makes for a relaxing destination before or after a spa treatment—and you must book a spa treatment (and be a hotel guest) to access this kid-free sanctuary. A limited number of day passes are also available to hotel guests. 

La Cantera Resort & Spa

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Texans know how to cool off in impossibly hot temperatures, and the adults-only Topaz Pool at sprawling La Cantera exemplifies that. The resort sits in Texas Hill Country about thirty minutes from San Antonio, and this particular pool (one of multiple on the property) provides a panoramic view of the bucolic landscape. When you’re ready to dry off, cabanas provide extra shade. Resort passes are available to non-guests.

Kimpton Shorebreak Ft. Lauderdale

photo: courtesy of Kimpton Shorebreak Ft. Lauderdale
The rooftop pool at Shorebreak.

Situated in Ft. Lauderdale’s North Beach neighborhood between the Intracoastal and the beach, the Shorebreak offers views of both from its rooftop pool. If you gawk at the yachts cruising by, no one would blame you, but it’s also a great spot to relax in a cabana, sip a cocktail, and tune out the world. Alternately, the courtyard pool on the ground level makes up for a lack of views with tropical lushness. The rooftop pool is under renovation through mid-August; resort passes available.

Keswick Hall

photo: courtesy of keswick hall
The Horizon Pool at Keswick Hall.

You can’t miss the Horizon Pool at Keswick Hall—it’s the literal centerpiece of this grand resort in Charlottesville, Virginia. Swimmers have plenty of room to look out over the manicured golf course to the distant foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains from the T-shaped pool’s edge. It’s an adults-only situation, with cabanas and plenty of lounge chairs in which to enjoy the setting.

The Ryder

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The phrase “a good time state of mind” adorns the bottom of the Ryder’s pool—and it’s easily achievable at this boutique hotel in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. More than just a pretty pool awaits on the sundeck; there’s also Little Palm, the impossibly cute open-air restaurant and bar where the cocktails (frozen or otherwise) delight. If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still book two-hour pool access with a food and drink minimum.

The Greenbrier

photo: courtesy of the greenbrier
The indoor pool at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountain views impress even more when enjoyed from the Greenbrier’s iconic 7,000-foot infinity pool, which is heated to an ideal 80 degrees. Open May to mid-October, the outdoor pool welcomes all resort guests, and when the hunger pangs kick in, Tree Tops Cafe has the snacks. The property’s uniquely beautiful indoor pool, built in 1912, provides a year-round alternative. Draped fabric above adds drama to the serene atmosphere, and the concrete basin, encrusted in thousands of tiles, soothes with its mineral water fed by Alvon Springs. 

Jekyll Island Club Resort

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Born out of the Gilded Age, Georgia’s Jekyll Island Club Resort is no longer exclusive to its wealthy members, but the pool feels reminiscent of a private club thanks to the attentive service and luxe surroundings. Views of the hotel’s turrets, stately oak trees, and the adjacent river impart a sense of place, and the glimmering rectangular pool sparks the urge to dive in on a hot Georgia day. It’s open year-round, but the pool bar serves cocktails and snacks seasonally.