Arizona

8 Luxurious Hotel Lazy Rivers in the USA to Float Away On

Let your everyday worries drift away when you enjoy a vacation to one of these hotels with the most exceptional lazy rivers in the USA.

There’s just something about the allure of a lazy river that can’t be found anywhere else in the watery world of recreation. For me, it’s meditative. You climb into your tube, settle into a nice flow along the river, and drift into a dreamlike state where all your worries are carried away on the breeze that laps at your face. Every now and then, you look up to enjoy the new scenery you’re passing. You float away from other people and find yourself in a world of your own – carefree, relaxed, and full of peace.

Up to a couple of years ago, I only ever found this lazy river respite at highly organized and sprawling waterparks. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered that some hotels have them too—and to me, there’s no better way to unwind from a packed day of sightseeing than lazing around the pool area of my hotel on an innertube.

Catch a peaceful wave of your own at these eight hotels with luxurious lazy rivers to carry away the stresses of the day.

Enjoy an Ever-Changing Lazy River View

The Hotel L’Auberge in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was my first introduction to lazy rivers at hotels and has remained my favorite. It isn’t too crowded, plenty of innertubes are available, and the scenery constantly changes along the river, whether you’re looking at a stunning panorama of the hotel itself, floating under local plant life, or passing the rows of private cabanas. The lazy river also takes you directly to the poolside bar if you need a refreshment for the rest of the path around the pool area. Enjoy a float until the pool closes at 8 p.m.

After the lazy river, try your luck in the on-site casino, or hit the spa for a relaxing Dirty South Salt Scrub and mud mask. You could also go to the arcade to play video games without the threat of emptying your bank account or empty it on purpose at the hotel’s shopping mall, complete with home goods, apparel, accessories, souvenirs, flowers, and a pro shop.

Hotel L'Auberge Lake Charles

Top rated
Lake Charles
8.5 Excellent (3538 reviews)

A Lazy River that's More Like a Party

If you’re looking for more of a party than ultra-relaxation, get into the water at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The 1,000-foot-long river winds throughout a 6.5-acre paradise of four pools, waterfalls, three whirlpools, cabanas, and a poolside restaurant. A few things to keep in mind before your float: you can bring your cocktails and beer into the lazy river for a party ride, but you may end up walking—tubes have to be rented and they run out fast. Also, the lazy river is only open seasonally and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you need a place to chill out after a day in the pool and a night out on the Vegas strip, book one of the MGM Grand’s StayWell rooms. These rooms are packed full of wellness essentials, like aromatherapy, special lighting, infused shower water, and air purifiers. They were designed to maximize self-care using principles of leading clinics and wellness doctors (we mean you, Dr. Deepak Chopra).

MGM Grand

Las Vegas
7.9 Good (56297 reviews)

A Shaded Float Away From the Summer Sun

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio is distinctly Texas—you can tell by the big Texas-shaped pool. After you’re done lounging stateside, hop into the lazy river. It’s 950 feet long and shaded by big oak trees to keep the hot Texas summer sun at bay. For a bit more action, try out the two-story waterslide or the surfing simulator, and close out your day in your own private cabana.

You may feel secluded at this hill country retreat, but you’re actually in a surprisingly busy neighborhood. SeaWorld is next door and in 20 minutes, you can be at the San Antonio River Walk. You’re also only 15 miles from Six Flags and 18 miles from the Alamo. Of course, if you don’t want to leave, you can take advantage of the resort’s daily activities, including campfire s’mores, bike rentals, lawn games, special tee times, and extensive walking trails. Why not get the most out of your stay?

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa

Top rated
San Antonio
8.8 Excellent (1604 reviews)

Take Rivers and Rapids to Nine Different Pools

How do you appropriately navigate 25,700 square feet of pool? Easy—separate it into nine parts and connect them all with a languid lazy river. That’s what the Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii did. And it’s not just any lazy river – this one navigates white water rapids, gentle currents, and six different levels of pool space. You’ll float in and out of groundbreaking water features, like caves, an actual sandy beach, waterfalls, and the world’s first water elevator. The resort also has a pool dedicated to scuba training – the only resort-designated one in the state.

You wouldn’t expect anything less luxurious than nine pools at such a posh resort. The Grand Wailea embraces the glitz and exclusivity of the Waldorf Astoria name (the resort’s parent company) and offers a private club area of 100 rooms right in the middle of the resort, luxury vacation villas, a chapel on the seaside, a distinctive art collection, three golf courses, and its own tennis club.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Wailea-Mākena
8.3 Very good (10053 reviews)

Wintertime? No Problem for this Lazy River

Why stop at one lazy river when you can have multiple? Inside the Chula Vista Resort‘s Lost Rios Indoor Water Park at Wisconsin Dells, you’ll float past waterslides, a water coaster, and water-based games on the twisty Rio Rapids Action River. It has its own gentle rapids and waterfalls, and is a great way to escape the weather outside. The outdoor waterpark has a second lazy river—one that’s only six inches deep and designed for kids.

Chula Vista just finished a massive renovation and overhaul, and now has two new buildings for resort guests. The Bennett building’s rooms are inspired by and feature the work of historical photographer H.H. Bennett, complete with new landscaping and fire pits outside. In The Pines, which houses budget lodging and family suites, some guests will get river views.

Chula Vista Resort

Wisconsin Dells
7.4(1235 reviews)

Laze Past Native Vegetation While Inside

Weather in the Catskills will never hinder guests at The Kartrite in New York, which boasts both the state’s largest indoor waterpark and the world’s largest texlon transparent roof. The lazy river, called Empire Bay, winds through the waterpark surrounded by native vegetation—bringing New York State inside for a relaxing float. You can also take advantage of an indoor beach, four waterslides, a surfing simulator, water basketball, and a calmer pool to just chill out in.

Waterworks aren’t the only entertainment at the resort, though. There’s also an arcade, a bowling alley, a ropes course, a zip line, a climbing wall, laser tag, virtual reality experiences, and 3D gaming. If you really want your kids to have a memorable time, let them fill up bags of sweets to take home from Pop’s Sweet Shoppe.

The Kartrite & Indoor Waterpark

Kiamesha Lake
8.0 Very good (620 reviews)

Float 900 Feet and Take Surfing Lessons

Arizona’s Westin Kierland Resort and Spa has more than just a lazy river—it has an entire Adventure Water Park. Hop in your innertube and float throughout all of it, past an adult pool with lap lanes, shaded cabanas, a waterslide, and even a private island with lounge chairs and a covered poolside bed. Once you’ve taken in all the scenery, get a bit more active in the FlowRider Simulator, which allows you to catch some waves in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Check the time before you go, though; the adult pool is open 24 hours, but the waterpark, lazy river, waterslide, and FlowRider simulator close at 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Once you’ve had your fill of pool time, you can either retreat to your room (with your choice of mountain, pool, resort, or golf course views), stay on resort grounds (to visit the spa, take in a round of golf, or visit the scotch library with more than 300 styles), or head into Scottsdale to shop or go horseback riding. You could also take advantage of the special activities at the Westin Kierland. Parents, try out the Play Date Night—you get to enjoy a nice dinner while the resort hosts a pajama party for the kids.

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Top rated
Scottsdale
9.3 Excellent (4137 reviews)

Build Your Own Innertube for a Custom Float

The Legoland Hotel in Florida has more than 2 million bricks scattered throughout the property—most are in the 200-plus Lego sculptures, but others are for guests’ benefit in places like the lazy river. The 1,000-foot attraction features a Build-a-Raft feature; the innertubes are fitted with Lego bases on top so you can use larger blocks to build your own floating creation. The bricks spill over into the pool area as well, allowing guests to build their ultimate waterworld while enjoying some sun.

If you haven’t had enough Lego at the theme park and the pool, each room at the resort is Lego-themed as well. Hang out with your buddies from the movies in The Lego Movie room, sail the seven seas in the Pirate room, or even have a Lego-themed sleepover in the Lego Friends room. Each stay comes with Lego sets to play with and an in-room Lego treasure hunt.

Legoland Florida

Winter Haven
8.3 Very good (14 reviews)