White sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters — there’s a reason Hawaii remains the preeminent, dreamy destination for any vacationer seeking tropical R+R. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of aqua-based tranquillity in the Hawaiian Islands, especially when it comes to resort pools. From oceanside infinity set-ups to throwback designs that pull you into another era, there’s a poolside escape for every type of traveler. Order up a mai tai and get ready to dive in.
10 Stunning Hotel Pools in Hawaii to Experience Pure Luxury
Aulani, A Disney Resort + Spa | Kapolei, Oahu
Mickey Mouse’s Hawaiian abode isn’t just for kids. Water slides, a lazy river, a romantic infinity pool, and a ring of cabanas are just a few of the details that make the pool at Aulani, A Disney Resort And Spa one of the best for beating the heat.
The zero-entry Waikolohe Pool is the crown jewel of the resort, dominating an impressive 8,200 square feet of oceanside real estate and is a great place to start. Get here early to grab a chair (or make a cabana reservation in advance) since it’s a popular spot to drop-and-go for both the pool, lazy river, and splash zone. If you left the kids at Aunty’s Beach House (the on-site kid’s camp), head to the backside of Wailana Pool Bar for a dip in the adults-only infinity pool or to lounge peacefully poolside. It’s only open to those 18 and older, so order up a Green Flash while you’re there and drift into oblivion.
Hotel Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa
Sheraton Waikiki | Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Worlds collide when guests of Sheraton Waikiki arrive at The Edge, a heated infinity pool that looks out over Waikiki’s turquoise waters. Aptly named, sitting on one of the pool’s bright yellow floating bean bag cushions makes guests feel like they are on the edge of the world. Sink into one of the bright yellow, floating beanbag cushions and order the Frozen Mo’o — a blend of Bacardi Superior, coconut cream, lime sour and mint. Pause to take in the unobstructed views of Diamond Head Crater. Seats at this spot fill up fast (both in the water and out), so come early or head to the adjacent family pool that boast a 70-foot water slide and a multitude of lounge chairs in both the shade and the sun.
The Surfjack | Honolulu, Oahu
“DE PLANE! DE PLANE!” Any Fantasy Island fans? One glance into Aqua-Aston’s Surfjack will have you thinking you warped back into another time. A boutique hotel and swim club, Surfjack’s retro color scheme and attention to detail is a product of local Honolulu visionaries who wanted to make every guest feel like they’re part of the ohana or family.
The circular pool, with mid-century style lounging options sprinkled around the perimeter, is an Instagram favorite for the “Wish You Were Here” inscription on the bottom. With a locally-made Wailua pineapple soda in hand, head to the top floor of the hotel for the best view of the inscription and watch the Insta-likes roll in.
Not just for hotel guests, this pool is often home to parties that celebrate the music of local artists (Jack Johnson has shown up) and movies broadcast on the wall each night that can be viewed from the water, adjacent pool cabana, and in-house restaurant, Mahina & Suns.
The Modern Honolulu | Honolulu, Oahu
Walking past The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki Beach, you would never know that this trendy, yet tranquil, resort existed. Directly off busy Ala Moana Boulevard sits The Modern Honolulu, a property that opens up to incredible views of Ala Wai Boat Harbor and the Pacific, while offering the Honolulu cityscape for travelers who prefer a metropolitan vibe.
Two pools on the property were established with relaxation in mind — Sunrise (for guests of all ages) and Sunset (18-plus only). The Sunrise pool, surrounded by teakwood decking and chaise lounges, is unique because even though the Honolulu skyline paints the backdrop, tropical foliage and fauna strategically planted poolside give a cozy garden vibe. And if you think the Sunrise pool is welcoming, head upstairs to the rooftop Sunset pool, trademarked by plush daybeds in the sand and known as the epicenter for The Modern’s famed daylong pool parties, a Waikiki favorite for tourists and locals alike.
Hotel The Modern Honolulu
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina | Kapolei, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s west side within the resort community of Ko Olina away from bustling Waikiki, Four Seasons Resort Oahu is the place to live your out of office fantasy. Three oceanside pools for relaxing and a lap-pool in the Naupaka Spa & Wellness complex for sweating off vacation calories are open to guests of the resort. The main pool, the first one you see as you walk through the open-air hotel toward the ocean, sits at the center of the property’s bars and restaurants. The second pool, tiered down toward the ocean from the main circular pool, is a rectangular family pool with a few lounge chairs and reservable cabanas.
The resort’s outdoor highlight is the adult pool, tucked away from the main leisure area (take a right from the main pool) and facing the western side of the property, which makes it the ideal spot for sunset and solitude. Infinity in style with plenty of white-cushioned loungers to choose from, it’s great for reading a book, having coconut shrimp from The Waterman delivered to your chair, and relaxing before heading to Mina’s Fish House for happy hour. But whatever you do, don’t give up your chair. The adults-only sanctuary doesn’t close until 7 p.m. so head back after happy hour to see one of Oahu’s best shows, a cotton-candy sunset sky lit with hues of pink, yellow, and orange set to the tune of waves lapping against the shoreline.
Four Seasons resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Hotel Wailea | Wailea, Maui
An adults-only oasis is the name of the game at Hotel Wailea, and every guest who checks in can expect top-notch service from beginning to end with an emphasis on romance at this hilltop hideaway. Because the entire property is kid-free (except the restaurant, which is open to the public), it’s the perfect spot for guests to unlock their playful side.
A 10 a.m. cocktail class is taught poolside by the property’s resident mixologist, former radio DJ James Shoemaker, every Saturday. Even if you miss the free class, don’t pass on James’ fresh poolside mai tais (ask for a little bit of extra dark rum) — all made from locally-sourced ingredients. Not interested in sipping? Colorful rafts are set afloat each morning for guests to lounge upon with a good book or for a sun-soaked snooze.
Five shaded cabanas surround the pool, complimentary and available on a first-come-first-served basis, or you can saddle up beneath the sun on a striped-cushion lounger. At night, the pool area is lit up in a deep cerulean hue that makes the entire area glow, which makes a midnight dip a bit more intimate.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort | Wailea, Maui
Walking into the Andaz Maui at Wailea is the epitome of what travelers probably dream about in terms of Hawaiian resorts — beach views and palm trees — but the hallmark of this resort is their pools. In fact, three cascading, ocean-view infinity pools are the focal feature of the beachfront design and two additional watering holes make this property an all-around winner for travelers.
Families will enjoy the spacious design, and the zero-entry style of the lagoon pool is an instant favorite with young kids. Couples traveling alone can enjoy the adult tranquillity pool and guests of all ages can take in the Pacific from the infinity pools, where whales can sometimes be spotted spouting during the migration each winter.
Some suites even offer direct pool access for guests from the lanai, a Hawaiian porch, which is a great upgrade choice if bed-to-pool access is high on your priority list.
Hotel Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Hilton Waikoloa Village | Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is an enormous property that offers a complimentary tram to take guests around, winding from the lobby to the pool area with intermittent stops for guest rooms and restaurants in between. The ride ends at the expansive Kona Pool, the largest on the entire island. Grand in presence, it features waterfalls, a rope bridge and a long, winding slide (monitored by a lifeguard).
Adjacent to the Kona Pool is the smaller, but equally fun sibling, the Kohala Pool, which has a few short slides and a lazy-river vibe. Adults wanting to escape can head toward the Ocean Towers area of the resort where there’s an adults-only swimming retreat, but you can find quiet moments at the main pool just as easily.
Ocean Tower at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu | Koloa, Kauai
Following a complete renovation in 2017, Koloa Landing’s Main Pool is an expertly designed refuge for all weary-eyed travelers featuring waterfalls, a grotto and water slides, plus ample cabana space (must be booked ahead) and pool chairs along the perimeter.
Why expertly designed? The flowing layout from the Main Pool to the Lagoon Pool, a smaller family-friendly spot, to the Tranquility Pool, for guests over 18 only, keeps the family all in one space while providing something for everyone. An abundance of chairs along the perimeter of all pools eliminates the sometimes-annoying jockeying for position of prime-spot pool seats every morning. The villa-rental nature of the resort means poolside BBQ grills are available for guests who wish to shop locally and cook their own meals outdoors. But not to worry; if you prefer table service, the Holoholo Grill on site serves up island favorites (fish tacos!) and tropical libations all day long.
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection
Four Seasons Resort Lanai | Lanai City, Lanai
There are two Four Seasons properties on Lanai (the second — The Lodge at Koele — is re-opening soon following an extensive overhaul) and a third hotel on the tiny island, but the oceanfront pool at Four Seasons overlooking Hulopoe Bay is where you want to be to experience Lanai’s beauty. As close to untouched Hawaii as you’re likely to find, Four Seasons Lanai is situated on a cliff with pristine white sand beach below and only the Pacific Ocean stretching over the horizon.
The best part? Attendants come around to serve up refreshing treats like smoothies and frozen grapes as well as complimentary sunscreen and fruit-infused water.
Hotel Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Featured image courtesy of Tom Grimbert, Unsplash.