A Splash­ing Good Time

Flor­ida ho­tels fea­ture some im­pres­sive pools

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Not all pools are cre­ated equal—some have fullser­vice ca­banas for a day of pam­pered at­ten­tion, some have mas­sive wa­ter­falls with hid­den slides, and some are wrapped with a beau­ti­ful lazy river. Swim­ming pools can be en­joyed year-round in the Sun­shine State, so cap­i­tal­iz­ing on that, Flor­ida ho­tels have cre­ated some fan­tas­tic wa­ter fea­tures. For a ho­tel pool to be counted as awe­some, it needs to ap­peal to ev­ery age group. Here are a few of my fam­ily’s fa­vorites. Keep in mind that all of these pools re­quire you to be a guest of the ho­tel (or pur­chase a day pass)— so, no sneak­ing in!

1. Fon­tainebleau

You can choose to play or re­lax at one or all of the 11 pools (yes, 11) at Fon­tainebleau on Mi­ami Beach. This lux­u­ri­ous re­sort of­fers full-ser­vice ca­banas and premium ameni­ties from any pool­side spot. The en­tire fam­ily will think the out­door area here makes a fan­tas­tic wa­ter day, from the small dip­ping pools to the large oa­sis pool or the in­ter­ac­tive chil­dren’s wa­ter­scape with a slide. 4441 Collins Av­enue, Mi­ami Beach; 800-548-8886; fon­tainebleau.com

2. Gay­lord Palms Re­sort and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter

The heated pool at Gay­lord Palms in Kis­sim­mee fea­tures an Ever­glades-in­spired fam­ily wa­ter park that in­cludes a zero- en­try swim­ming pool with four slides, a mul­ti­level wa­ter-fun tree house and an ac­tive la­goon where kid-friendly mu­sic and games take place daily. There’s also a South Beach pool that is adults-only with a serene at­mos­phere and two hot tubs. 6000 W. Osce­ola Park­way, Kis­sim­mee; 407-586-0000; gay­lord­palms.com

3. Hy­att Re­gency Co­conut Point

There is no lack of wa­ter fun at this Hy­att Re­gency with a la­goon-style pool, adults-only pool, lap pool, 5,000-square-foot Ad­ven­ture Pool with a 140-foot corkscrew slide, and the Lazy River com­plex, fea­tur­ing three wa­ter­slides! The palm-tree-lined sun­deck of­fers ca­banas, lounge chairs and a cov­ered pavil­ion in case you want to trade in the sun for some shade. 5001 Co­conut Road, Bonita Springs; 239-444-1234; co­conut­point.re­gency.hy­att.com

4. Palm Beach Mar­riot Singer Is­land Beach Re­sort and Spa Singer Is­land

This beach­front ho­tel has two great pools. While both are beau­ti­ful, the la­goon pool is ideal for kids with its zero en­try, large shal­low end and a fun wa­ter­slide. The in­fin­ity pool has more of an adult vibe—this is where you will find the hot tub and un­der­wa­ter mood light­ing. 3800 N. Ocean Drive, Riviera Beach; 561-340-1700; mar­riott.com/ho­tels/travel/pbisg-palm-beach

5. Semi­nole Hard Rock Casino and Ho­tel

You will feel like you are in Ve­gas at this rock-star-in­spired pool.

The 4.5-acre la­goon-style heated pool oa­sis in­cludes a 182-footh­igh wa­ter­slide, wa­ter­falls splash­ing over moun­tain rocks, an el­e­vated jet­ted spa, hot tub and pool­side restau­rant. 1 Semi­nole Way, Hol­ly­wood; 866-502-7529; semi­nole­hardrock­hol­ly­wood.com

6. Le­goland Beach Re­treat

The new­est Le­goland re­sort opened in 2017 with a fan­tas­tic beachthemed, zero-en­try pool. The large Lego soft bricks float­ing in the pool are a fun ad­di­tion. The ex­pan­sive sandy area is per­fect for build­ing sand­cas­tles and has a giant play struc­ture for kids to run off some en­ergy. Daily ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude dance par­ties, and bean­bag toss and chalk-art com­pe­ti­tions. 100 Le­goland Way, Win­ter Haven; 888-690-5346; legoland­beachre­treat.com

7. South Seas Is­land Re­sort

En­joy the is­land life with a pool day at South Seas. There is no bet­ter way to en­joy a pool than to be beach­front as well, and at this Cap­tiva re­sort the beach is never far away. The prop­erty’s three pools, two wa­ter­slides, lux­u­ri­ous ca­banas and tiki bar al­ways cre­ate a mem­o­rable day. 5400 Plan­ta­tion Road, Cap­tiva; 239-472-5111; south­seas.com

8. Hil­ton Or­lando

The tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled swim­ming pools and lazy river at the Hil­ton Or­lando make you feel like you are in a wa­ter par­adise in the mid­dle of a crazy theme-park des­ti­na­tion. This Hil­ton has more than 10,000 square feet of pool deck, with plenty of lounge chairs that guar­an­tee you a spot to re­lax and en­joy the beau­ti­ful sunny weather. If you are with the kids, you will want to hang out at the main pool for its ze­roen­try ac­cess and wind­ing wa­ter­slide. If this is a grown-ups’ get­away, some peace and quiet can be found at the adult­sonly pool. 6001 Des­ti­na­tion Park­way, Or­lando; 407-313-4300; the­hiltonor­lando.com

9. Uni­ver­sal’s Ca­bana Bay Beach Re­sort

By far, my kids’ fa­vorite ho­tel pool—and my wal­let’s choice—is Ca­bana Bay in Or­lando. This rea­son­ably priced re­sort has two spec­tac­u­lar pools that will tempt you to skip the theme parks. The ca­bana ren­tals have a great price tag. At the Ca­bana Court­yard, there is a tower wa­ter­slide, kids’ splash pad and sandy play yard full of out­side games. The Lazy River Court­yard fea­tures a zero-en­try pool with a sandy beach, as well as a lazy river with wa­ter­falls and wa­ter can­nons. Each pool has its own pool­side bar. 6550 Ad­ven­ture Way, Or­lando; 407-503-4000; loew­sho­tels.com/ ca­bana-bay-ho­tel

Mandy Carter is a lo­cal mom with a pas­sion for fam­ily travel, a pop­u­lar travel blog­ger, in­clud­ing her own fam­ily blog at acup­ful.com, and the man­ag­ing edi­tor for TOTI Me­dia.

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