Heat and humidity aside, Miami, as you well know, is refreshingly cool, especially when you’re plunging into some of the city’s splashiest, flashiest pools—which happen to be located in some of the city’s best hotels. While some hotels require you to be a guest to dip, others either charge a cover for the day, or nothing at all, depending on what’s going on. Like the city’s colorful denizens, each of the pools and pool bars at these hotels is an amalgam of chlorine, saline, sunblock, and personality—making an unfortgettable afternoon (or in some cases an evening), and not just because of your suntan.
You don’t have to be a checked-in at the Viceroy Miami to use the pool, which is great news since this isn’t just any downtown hotel pool. The Viceory happens to boast the state’s largest infinity pool, with over 300 feet of soaking and swimming pleasure. As you lounge by the pool and soak up the sun, you commingle with Miami’s elite, and sip mojitos, as you overlook the blues waters of Biscayne Bay. And if that’s not enough for you, head upstairs to FIFTY Miami Ultra Lounge— it’s 50 stories high and sports a sleek, Asian-inflected private pool that plays host to many parties, events, and nightcaps. You grab a drink, as you watch Miami all around you turning from day to night.
The Betsy Hotel
Over on South Beach lies The Betsy Hotel, one that some consider to be Miami’s very own Algonquin because it plays host to a series of literary, cultural, and intellectual events throughout the year. And like the Alonoquin’s legendary lit chick, Dorothy Parker, the pool is huge in personality, yet spectacularly subtle. Tucked away in a courtyard, the hotel-guest-only pool is pretty and private, but without bells and whistles—simply lined with potted plants and palms—with just the view of blue skies overhead. As such, it’s actually an ideal spot from which to pen your own great American novel, or just sip on a hand-crafted cocktail and read the latest trashy summer novel. Whatever you choose, there’s no judgments here—just serene tranquility.
Mondrian South Beach
For a different kind of tranquility, say one with a DJ and sometimes a few reality stars, consider the pool at the Mondrian South Beach, where splashy takes on literal and figurative meanings as pretty young things mix and mingle with locals, visitors, and celebrities—day and night. Though it’s typically a guests-only pool, the Mondrian, located on Biscayne Bay in South Beach’s quieter, residential west side, often has open-to-the-public pool parties on Sunday afternoons. While at the stunning swimming pool you take in the hotbed of haute culture and bask at being a card-carrying member of in crowd. If you’re looking for more privacy, the Mondrian pool also happens to have cabanas, hammocks, and—in their words—”secret pathways and kissing corners.” So find your own spot, and enjoy the party.
W South Beach
At the W, it’s hotel guests only at the appropriately named WET, which encompasses two pools—a mini pool for a bit of serenity and a large pool on the WET deck for a superb, inimitable scene like no other. Why? Well, having one of Miami’s coolest pool bars certainly helps, but it also helps that the crowd is a mix between a swimsuit model convention and, well, the world. It’s lively, social, and heavy on the people-watching—to say the least. Keep an eye open for celebrity clientele. It’s WET and wild, and after a few hours of sunshine here, you will never want to leave.