The South's Best Pools

Check out the inns, resorts, and hotels featuring the region's most spectacular swimming spots.
Article by Stephanie Granada
Keswick Hall Pool
The serene setting at Keswick Hall at Monticello.
Photo courtesy of Orient-Express

Keswick Hall at Monticello, Charlottesville, VA: Set on 600 acres in Jeffersonian wine country, Keswick's 25-meter infinity pool mirrors the rolling footlhills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You'll find everything you could ever want at the tranquil aquatic escape: chilled fruit and towels, poolside reflexology massages, an underwater sound system playing soothing tunes...and the glorious absence of screaming kids. or 888/778-2561

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville, NC: In this underground grotto of pools (part of the resort's famous spa facility), a thundering cascade separates the languid mineral lounging pool from the cool lap pool beneath a ceiling of simulated stars. Both feature underwater music and chlorine-free waters. or 800/438-5800

Wilderness at the Smokies, Sevierville, TN: This water-park resort in the Smoky Mountains has family-friendly amenities: zero-entry (gradual, no stairs or ladders) splash parks for toddlers, tucked-away spas for mom and dad, and the Southeast's only indoor "surf pool," inside the Wild Water Dome complex, which is covered with a clear dome that lets in plenty of sunlight while sheltering guests from the elements year-round. or 877/325-9453

Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX: Cantilevered 8 feet off the Joule Hotel's 10th story, this architectural marvel lets you swim in the sky. Made of a transparent acrylic polymer, the deep end has uninterrupted views of downtown's Main Street far below. By night, the fiber-optic lighting sets the pool aglow as the centerpiece of a rooftop bar. or 214/748-1300

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL: Even in the land of theme-park opulence, this half-acre, lagoon-style pool stands out, with 12 waterfalls, a 45-foot slide, a suspension bridge, caves, grottoes, and a bar. The GPS-equipped lounge chairs make ordering mai tai refills and shrimp cocktails just a simple click away. or 407/239-1234

Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel, Atlanta, GA: You can see--but barely hear--the jets taking off on the runway right outside this cool-for-kids indoor pool. The floor-to-ceiling windows are virtually soundproof, insulating you from engine roars. or 800/468-3571

Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA: This heated rooftop pool overlooks the French Quarter, 17 floors above the street noise below. To commemorate the hotel's 125th anniversary, the Italian villa-inspired pool underwent a $50,000 renovation this year, with new mosaic tiling, an eco-friendly towel valet, tropical flowers, and cooling fans. or 866/338-4684

Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami, FL: Just minutes from Lincoln Road, the Fontainebleau's 10 oceanfront pools--from small dipping lagoons to a 10,294-square-foot, bow tie-shaped pool--reflect the uber-glam that is Miami. Flat-screen TV-stocked cabanas, poolside butler service, and fruit-infused water stations are just a few of the draws for the celebs and dignitaries who flock to this Miami Beach hot spot. or 800/548-8886

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.: Only 3 1/2 feet deep throughout, this resort pool lets nonswimmers wade easy. Toddlers can splash around in a separate 1-foot-deep kiddie pool, and photo-happy parents will appreciate the picturesque setting: a landscape lush with thousands of petunias and mums. The hotel outfits kids with reusable backpacks stuffed with games and treats, making this an ideal family hotel that's just a 10-minute stroll from The National Zoo. or 800/843-6664