10 Best Family Hotel Pools in the World

I’m a sucker for a good hotel pool. Give my family a pool with waterfalls and a kids’ splash area, and we’re in heaven! To compile this list of the best family hotel pools in the world, I spoke to travel experts in the know. I couldn’t help but include a couple of my family’s favorites, too. Now, let’s dive in!

10 Best Family Hotel Pools in the World

Best Pool for Toddlers and Little Kids

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Maui, Hawaii

For a splashing good time for toddlers and preschoolers, you can’t beat the Hyatt Regency Maui’s Keiki Lagoon. This children’s pool features leaping water fountains, a twisting waterslide and an island center where tots can play with sand toys. My family whiled away many happy vacation hours at this pool when my daughter was nearing age two and I’ve been dreaming about returning ever since. (Pictured above.)

Pools at Tabacon Grand Spa and Thermal Resort

Pools at Tabacon Grand Spa and Thermal Resort (Photo courtesy of Tabacon Resort)

Best Pool for Big Kids

Tabacon Grand Spa and Thermal Resort
Arenal, Costa Rica

Laura van Hoff of Juicy Hotels asked her teenage sons where they would go if they were to return to any destination solely for its pool. Both replied, “That’s easy, Tabacon Springs!” Costa Rica’s Tabacon Springs is intimate and relaxed. Laura loves its “thermal pool, heated by natural springs in a tropical setting.” She said, “It’s got a waterslide, but not a fancy American waterslide. It’s more simple, but boy is it fun!” Laura recommends this pool for bigger kids since it might be too toasty for tiny tots. She said, “It’s like a big, hot Jacuzzi.”

The daily "sliming" at the Nickelodeon Hotel pool in Orlando, Florida

The daily “sliming” at the Nickelodeon Hotel pool in Orlando, Florida (Photo by Theresa Jorgensen)

Best Pool for Wacky Fun

Nickelodeon Hotel
Orlando, Florida

SixSuitcaseTravel’s Theresa Jorgensen recommends the water park at the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando for non-stop fun for big families. With seven slides and flumes, and easy access zero-entry, there is something here for children of any age. A 400-gallon tank spills water on splashers throughout the day but the highlight is when kids are “slimed” at 4:45 pm daily.

View of the Atlantis Resort's pools and aquariums

View of the Atlantis Resort’s pools and aquariums (Photo by Colleen Lanin)

Most Unique Pool

The Atlantis Resort
Paradise Island, The Bahamas

This sprawling pool complex is resplendent with waterslides, one of which sends swimmers through a shark tank in a see-through tube! Atlantis recently added a children’s water play area with a Mayan-themed play structure featuring multiple slides, cargo nets, rope bridges, water cannons, and fountains. My husband and I stayed at the Atlantis once without the kids and we can’t wait to bring them with us next time!

Four Seasons "Nuna" pool at Punta Mita, Mexico

Four Seasons “Nuna” pool at Punta Mita, Mexico (Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons)

Best Oceanside Pool

Four Seasons Punta Mita
Punta Mita, Mexico

The “Nuna” pool is the centerpiece of the Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita, Mexico. It is a free-form infinity edge pool with views of Puerto Vallerta’s horseshoe-shaped Banderas Bay. Amie O’Shaughnessy of Ciao Bambino said, “The illusion is that the pool extends right into the ocean, particularly at sunset—it’s truly breathtaking.” The pool also offers shallow splashing areas for young children.

The Azul Sensatori lazy river pool in Cancun, Mexico

The Azul Sensatori lazy river pool in Cancun, Mexico (Photo courtesy of Azul Sensatori)

Best Lazy River

Azul Sensatori
Cancun, Mexico
Laura loves the Azul Sensatori in Cancun, Mexico for its lazy river, which encircles the property. Swim-up suites have lazy river access just steps from the door. Children will love the splash park and kids’ pool with waterslide. If they tire of the water, there’s a playground, Azulitos Kid’s Club, and Breeze Teen Club.

Pool at Le Case del Borgo, Tuscany

Pool at Le Case del Borgo, Tuscany (Photo courtesy of Ciao Bambino)

Best Pool with a View

Le Case del Borgo
Tuscany, Italy
Le Case del Borgo has a voluminous pool in an idyllic setting surrounded by the rolling green Tuscan landscape. Amie said, “I’m a view person and love pools surrounded by sensational scenery. I can be by the pool there and still know and appreciate that I’m enjoying Italy.”

The Bora Bora Pool at the Kona Village Resort

The Bora Bora Pool at the Kona Village Resort (Photo courtesy of Kona Village Resort)

Friendliest Pool

Kona Village Resort
The Big Island, Hawaii

Often cited by guidebooks as the most authentically-Hawaiian hotel, Kona Village has thatched-roof bungalows and two great pools, one for babies and toddlers. It is Hawaii’s only almost-all-inclusive resort. Laura said, “This is my number one favorite hotel for families in the entire world!” She loves the spirit of Aloha exuded by the staff. Her kids love that they can order their own tasty non-alcoholic drinks from the poolside bar, like the “Cookie Monster” and the “Big Bird.”

The infinity pool at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul along the Bosphorous Straight

The infinity pool at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul along the Bosphorous Straight (Photo courtesy of Ciragan Palace)

Most International Pool

Ciragan Palace Kempinki Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey
Amie promises a dip in the pool at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, is one you won’t soon forget. It is situated along the Bosphorous Straight, the channel of water that divides Europe and Asia, and this pool provides stunning views of both continents.

The water elevator at the Grand Wailea, Maui

The water elevator at the Grand Wailea, Maui (Photo courtesy of the Grand Wailea)

Most Popular Pool

Grand Wailea
Maui, Hawaii

No list of fabulous pools would be complete without including the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui. Laura said, “The pool that I hear about over and over again that people love is the Grand Wailea pool.” The water complex at the Grand Wailea offers multiple swim-up bars, is adjacent to the beach, offers a Tarzan-like rope swing, and even has a water elevator for easy access to its numerous waterslides.

More about our panel of pool experts:

Laura van Hoff, Creator of Juicy Hotels
Laura hand-picked over 1,500 of the 111,000 accommodations in the Juicy Hotels database based on her tireless scouring of travel magazines and newspaper reviews, as well as her own experiences. Laura is a mom of two boys (ages14 and 15). She said, “I love researching travel, planning travel, doing travel. There’s nothing about travel that I don’t love!”

Theresa Jorgensen, Creator of SixSuitcaseTravel
SixSuitcaseTravel is a resource website that helps families of five to eight members find hotels that fit their needs by listing pools, room size, breakfast type and family-friendly amenities. Theresa has four children (a 15-year-old son, 11-year-old twin fraternal daughters, and a seven-year-old daughter). About hotel pools, Theresa said, “As a parent I love the free entertainment and the tiring-out-the-kids aspect. (My) kids love hotel pools because they’re not as crowded as public pools and they can swim for hours.”

Amie O’Shaughnessy, Founder of Ciao Bambino
Amie started Ciao Bambino as a planning service for family travel to Italy in 2004. Over time, she built a list of family-friendly options tried and tested by hundreds of families. In 2007 Ciao Bambino transitioned into an online self-service guide to family-friendly properties. Amie is a mom of one son (age six). As a pool-lover, she said, “Hotel pools are the perfect venue for everyone in a family to enjoy themselves. Kids are entertained for hours and parents have that rare opportunity to truly relax.”

Colleen Lanin, Founder of Travel Mamas
The Travel Mama, Colleen Lanin, is the author of The Travel Mamas’ Guide and the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. She teaches blogging classes and gives presentations on how to travel with babies and children. She has given travel tips ontelevision, radio, and as a paid video blogger. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing.

What is your favorite hotel pool? Let us know in the comments!

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About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is a mom of two and the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of THE TRAVEL MAMAS' GUIDE, she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen teaches blogging classes and has given travel tips on television, radio, and as a paid video blogger. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing.

Comments

  1. I have to give an “Honorable Mention” to Stormalong Bay at Walt Disney World’s Beach Club Resort.

    A mini-waterpark for Guests of the resort, it is located adjacent to the Crescent Lake beach and features a sand-bottom pool, lazy river, a “Shipwreck” complete with water slide, tanning deck, poolside activities and so much more. The 750,000 gallon complex of pools offer something for everyone in the family.

  2. The pool at the Hyatt in Maui looks great for little kids! I keep hearing great things about that property lately.

  3. I’d love to see more posts like this! We’re currently scoping out locations for a 2010 January trip, and blogs like this really help narrow our decisions down!

  4. Deb Grossfield says:

    We took a gaggle of children (our extended family) on a family vacation in Punta Cana with Club Med. We went off season when it was hot and rained a lot so the price was good. The rainstorms rolling in off the ocean were impressive. While I cannot recommend Punta Cana-Club Med as a very interesting resort for adults, the kids loved it. There were lots of great pool spaces between several pools and Club Med offered lots of activities for the kids. The kids were the winners on that vacation. Punta Cana is in the Dominican Republic and the poverty outside the resort is intense so vacationers are not encouraged to venture out. And frankly, the contrast between the opulence within and the poverty outside, is painful but an education in what can go wrong in the world.

  5. Susan Piper says:

    While the pool at Kona Village is fab for sure, it is all of the included ocean activities that our family loved. We could snorkel, kayak, sail – and it didn’t cost a penny extra. Kids loved having acres and acres to roam. A real sense of freedom for them…and safety for dad & I. The staff is simply wonderful We’re already planning our return trip there (along with many of the guests who have been going to Kona Village for generations in fact).

  6. My kids especially loved the hot springs and natural hot spring pool at Tabacon in Costa Rica. The variety of temperatures, the water slide, and the beautiful setting made it a truly memorable experience for them. They’re both teenagers and very well traveled, and even they found this to be something unusual in a natural way. Atlantis was fun and BIG, but this was more “real” to them.

  7. Great choices! This article gave me some new spots to put on the vacation list. I agree with your “most popular” choice — the Grand Wailea pool in Maui has a lot of special memories for our family. Our kids first experienced the pools/swing/slides at 8 and 4 years old and years later, they are still excited to visit this amazing resort.

  8. Hyatt Kauaii is fantastic as well! Great list.

  9. In our Entertainment Book I found a discount of 25% at the Nickelodeon Family Suites Hotel by going to their nickhotel.com website. I think a suite makes for a more enjoyable vacation when traveling with kids.

  10. Giulia Rivera says:

    Now, if only I could just get back into my pre-pregnancy bikini!

  11. Sandra Brook says:

    For you So Cal people, Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Desert has a great pool area including a lazy river, water play area, slide, and a pool beach. The beach was great for my 2 and 3 year old girls because they could run in and out without my assistance (close observation of course was still required).

  12. Thanks for sharing this, Ive added your blog to my bookmarks,,

  13. Beaches in Turks and Caicos has a wonderful pool…Add to that the Sesame Street gang and all you can eat!

  14. nice read ;)

  15. I’m sharing this post with my friends. This is just what I’ve been looking for.

  16. Hi – I stumbled on this website by mistake. I was searching in Yahoo for beach suggestions for my trip when I came upon your site, I have to say your website is really informative, I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time at the moment to totally read your site but I have bookmarked it and also signed up for your RSS feed. I will be back in a day or two. Thanks again for a great site.

  17. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the latest stuff you post.

  18. Great Post…..

    I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Thanks for sharing….

  19. I find what you say interesting. I work at a company that deals with marketing for hotels and always love to learn more about the industry. Keep up the great work!

  20. ;o) Nice post :)

  21. Love this post! Thanks for this. I’ll be sure to come back again. P.S: I’ve bookmark your site as well.

  22. I have been to the Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica and I cannot express how FABULOUS it is! its so fun to explore all the different pools and the black lava sand is so cool! At the spa we had a couples massages, a private Hot Tub and fruit & champagne! If I was to go on my Honeymoon again I would go there, so fun and romantic!

  23. I love your posting about the amazing pool hotels in the world. I work for the travel company in UK and always look for the better deals through out the world. Here i found some really important information about hotels with pool facilities to get to know my clients as well. Thanks for great post again.

  24. I have been trying to convince my husband to take the family to Atlantis Resorts, but no luck so far.

  25. I will always love infinity pools.

  26. Thanks for the tips and information. I have been wanting to go to the beach with my kids for ages and just havent been sure if i want to go on the east or west coast and what the best beaches are for kids to play around in. I really appreciate the advice. Now I have a lot more information to gather and to think about!

  27. Hawai’i's history are indelibly woven into the beauty and the bounty of this land – and are ready to be experienced by travelers eager to journey beyond the norm.

  28. Those pools were really nice and relaxing. There are so many wonderful pools around the world. Thanks for sharing some of them and also for the photos and information. I think I like most is the Rope swing at the Grand Wailea, Maui. Very nice surrounding.

  29. very nice travel mamas information……….:):)

  30. Its really nice information you share here i am really thankful to you !! I’d love to see more posts like this! We’re currently scoping out locations for a informative website, and blogs like this really help narrow our decisions down!

  31. The pool complex at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva is pretty amazing! There are 3 pools, the first one has a slide and is surrounded on one side by sand. The other 2 pools are right on the bay with amazing views, fountains, pool games for the kids, plenty of lounging for the adults, restaurant, slushies, pool bar, and cabanas. We loved it and so will your family!

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  1. [...] But if your travel plans aren’t taking you through the Big Sky state, check Colleen’s post out HERE (as well as “honorable mentions” in the comments that [...]

  2. [...] 4.The Travel Mama’s Blogs & Trip Reports – Accommodations, Air Travel, 10 Best Family-Friendly Hotel Pools in the World … To compile this list of the best pools for children, I spoke to three Travel Mamas who are experts in the hotel and travel industries: Laura van Hoff of Blue Hippo Travel (a booking site that allows … 23 Responses to “10 Best Family-Friendly Hotel Pools in the World”… http://142.4.10.17/~travelma/wordpress/10-best-family-friendly-hotel-pools-in-the-world/ [...]

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