When the temperature starts climbing, and the sun is shining brightly, the only place you want to be is poolside with a delicious drink in hand. So, whether you’re planning a getaway or just dreaming about one, here are some aquatic hotel joints to check out.
Partiers head for this resort’s energetic Addiction Nightclub, but those craving a sedate evening park themselves at a picnic table at the lantern-strewn Bar at Sunrise Pool. Here, shrouded in bougainvillea, they can refuel with tropical concoctions and dishes from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. What to Drink: Siberian Sunset (Imperia Russian Vodka, fresh juices)
After an invigorating swim, you can enjoy a Singapore Sling or Caipirinha while comfortably lounging in a chaise at this South Beach hotspot’s pool bar. But seek sanctuary in its Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant and you’ll be rewarded with even more sophisticated tipples created by Liquor.com advisory board member Jacques Bezuidenhout, best sipped from the terrace overlooking the beachfront. What to Drink: Beet Me in St. Louis (beet-infused Beefeater Gin, Domaine de Canton, honey-tarragon syrup)
Escape the desert heat with an afternoon ensconced inside one of the Valley Ho’s coveted cabanas—that is, if celebrities haven’t already snatched them all up. A mid-century-modern architectural marvel, the retro hotel attracts a myriad of A-list revelers to its Martini-glass-and olive-shaped pool. What to Drink: Wild Mule (Absolut Wild Tea Vodka, ginger beer, lime, Angostura Bitters)
Pool Deck, The Empire Hotel, New York, 212 265 7400:
Tricked out with new tiles, furniture and a grill, the just-renovated deck on the roof of the Empire Hotel is a boisterous neighbor to the adjacent Lincoln Center. After a dip in the plunge pool, take in the heady skyline views complemented by candlelight and flowing pitchers of cocktails. What to Drink: Jalapeño Margarita (jalapeño-infused Corzo Tequila, agave syrup, lime)
Bostonians flock to the 12th floor of this Copley Square boutique hotel for the rooftop pool. If you’re lucky enough to snag a shady perch, admire the 360-degree city panorama while nibbling on bites from the classic French restaurant downstairs, Brasserie Jo. What to Drink: Apricot Ahoy (Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Aperol, apricot puree)
Carved teak benches, deluxe cabanas and a white marble fire pit set a luxurious tone at Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay (pictured above). Visit the pool deck on Wednesday nights and you can pair your beverage with gourmet cuisine from the celeb chef and DJ tunes. What to Drink: Pisco Punch (Pisco 100, lemon, pineapple syrup, vanilla beans)
Thanks to the Omni’s new “Art of Water” menu, you can swim a few laps in the 84-degree pool and then gaze over San Diego Bay while sipping a cocktail created by Liquid Architecture’s Kim Haasarud and snacking on a trendy Coolhaus ice cream sandwich. What to Drink: Blood Orange Basil Collins (Stolichnaya Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, cranberry juice, club soda, basil)
Alia Akkam is a New York-based writer and managing editor of Hospitality Design.
Looking for more great watering holes? Check out our bar guide for the best bars in the world.