10 Gorgeous Resort Pools That Make A Big Splash


After long days of sightseeing or wine tasting this summer, chill-out, and down, in California’s coolest pools. Whether you lap, dunk or dip your toes, here are ten statement-making resort pools from the valleys to the coast that make a big splash.

Oceanside Luxury: Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito

Opened this spring, the Rosewood Miramar Beach epitomizes the old Hollywood glamour that gave Santa Barbara the moniker the “American Riviera”. The Cabana Pool’s serpentine-edge reflects the gentle surf and mirrors the gracefulness of the curved staircase in the grand foyer of the property’s Manor House, the design a nod to iconic Southern California “architect to the stars” of the time, Paul R. Williams. One of two pools on the property, it’s surrounded by luxury cabanas where guests can relax with cocktails or light fare from the Cabana Bar.

Steps away is the pristine beach with all-encompassing beach service such as complimentary access to chairs and umbrellas, numerous activities and food and cocktail service, or stay in one of the 26 beachfront accommodations with private terraces directly over the sand. Rosewood Miramar Beach, 1759 South Jameson Lane, Montecito

Lush and Peaceful Country Setting: Meadowood

As part of its ongoing investment in one of Napa Valley’s finest resorts, Meadowood recently completed the first of a three-phase renovation of its pools and fitness facilities that caters to the needs of all of their guests. In April, Meadowood opened the Family Pool for families with children, and relocated its Club Pool, a deeper and longer lap pool, to the center of the collection. The nearby Bath House and Snack Bar offer the convenience of changing facilities and access to quick food and drinks, while a new Kids Play Area and activity lawns are situated south of the Bath House, a quieter distance from the pool area. Guests also now have the option for Creekside Dining as an option to poolside.

Later this summer, Meadowood plans to complete the project designed by Backen & Gillam Architects, with a completely revamped Fitness Center, the adults-only Hotel Pool and new Pool Terrace, a casual, palm-shaded outdoor restaurant and bar. Until then, Meadwood guests have access to a fully-equipped temporary fitness center and complimentary fitness classes. 900 Meadowood Lane St. Helena

Urban Rooftop: Archer Hotel, Downtown Napa

For those looking to chill rather than plunge, Archer Hotel offers guests a shallow, 6-inch water deck on its private Sky Terrace to relax, providing the complete pool experience with ledge loungers, food and drinks service and semi-private stone cabanas with fireplaces overlooking historic Napa.

Adjacent to the pool are fitness and spa facilities. 1230 First Street, Downtown Napa

1930s Glam: The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Mirroring Santa Barbara’s classic Spanish Colonial look, the Ritz-Carlton Bacara exudes coastal luxury with its own 2-mile private beach and three heated, saline, zero-edge pools, dotted with towering pines that frame the ocean view.

Serious poolside dwellers can reserve spacious Oceano Cabanas accommodating six, complete with television, fridge, dining and lounging furniture, added privacy and direct access to the Cabana Pool. 8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara

Mid-Century Modern: Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, Napa Valley

This classic roadside motel re-imagined by NY studio AvroKO reverberates with mid-century nostalgia of fancy-free summer road trips, simple pleasures and cool, quenching pools to dive into after a long day’s drive. The design is pure retro with mid-century inspired poolside furnishings in a fresh palette of navy and white stripes, woven fabrics, and strung lights. Lounge in your own trellis-covered cabana or play vintage analog games. But the three pools – main pool, wading and indoor Jacuzzi – are uniquely Calistogan being fed by geothermal hot springs below. 1880 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga

Breathtaking: Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

High on a cliff overlooking the rugged coastline and stunning sunsets, guests at Post Ranch Inn can escape in one of two “basking” infinity pools that are heated to a comfy 104 deg.

For a different ambiance and for swimming laps, a more traditional pool is set in a peaceful meadow with mountain views. 47900 Highway 1, Big Sur

Green in Healdsburg: H2HOTEL

The building of eco-conscious, LEED Gold certified h2hotel designed by David Baker Architects reclaims the site of a former gas station and was a key part in restoring the riparian habitat of Foss Creek which flows through Healdsburg. Designed by Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, the hotel’s solar-heated pool now enjoys a peaceful creekside location, next to a lush meadow of native grasses, bio-swale and repurposed wood viewing decks. 219 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

Harmon Guest House

Adjacent to its sister property h2hotel, the boutique Harmon Guest House spans Foss Creek and continues its ongoing restoration. The solar-heated pool is tucked behind the hotel, even more secluded and serene than h2hotel, nestled up against trees and the creek where a foot bridge allows guests to cross over to a park where protected trees and native plantings thrive. 227 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

Country Sophistication: Hotel Healdsburg

Nestled among olive trees, roses and hydrangea, minimalist hardscaping and poolside furnishings, Hotel Healdsburg’s 60-foot Garden Pool and Jacuzzi epitomizes Healdsburg wine country sophistication. The design by SF studio Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture focuses on the local agricultural tradition, using a holistic approach to connect indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly. 25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg Plaza

Coming Soon: Four Seasons Napa Valley in Calistoga

Anticipated to open later in the year, Four Seasons Napa Valley is spectacularly situated at the base of the Palisades, surrounded by Calistoga vineyards. For refreshing morning swims or afternoon wine-downs, the resort offers an adults-only Serenity Pool, a 75-foot long, heated lap pool, a nearby hot soaking tub and five “super cabanas” accommodating four and featuring flat-screen TV, Bluetooth access, WiFi and other amenities, nibbles and drinks catered by dedicated attendants. A separate Family Pool features shallow splashing areas perfect for children. 400 Silverado Trail, Calistoga