You know what can make an awesome mountain resort even better? An awesome pool. That’s right: winter or summer, snow or sunshine—a pool can create amazing memories during your vacation. Whether you’re soothing tired muscles after an epic day in the powder or cooling down after an epic day of mountain biking, it’s the perfect place to relax. Not in the mood for anything super strenuous? There are few things that can beat a long, leisurely day at the pool complete with cabanas and fruity drinks with the requisite paper umbrella.
Because the paper drink umbrella is the physical manifestation of the concept of vacation.
To make your vacations easier, we created a list of the perfect ski resort pools. To determine this list of most perfect pools, we used a very scientific process, which including months of research, hours of sitting in the hot sun, various chemical tests on the construction of the fruity drinks…that’s a lie. It was very unscientific, in fact.
Our pasty personages did what any self-respecting journalist would do: we asked our friends. And then we thought, “Where would we be willing to eschew all other mountain activities to hang out there ALL DAY LONG?”
With this criteria in mind, here is the list of perfect pools found at ski resorts across North America. The beauty of it is that you can visit these pools in both winter and summer—and have a totally transformative experience, whatever the season.
1. The St. Regis Deer Valley Resort, Park City
Why it’s awesome: Not only does this pool allow for lots of time staring blankly at the incredible views, but the split-level infinity pool lets you gaze into out into infinity forever (because that’s what infinity means). Don’t worry—there’s also food and beverage service so that you don’t simply melt away from pleasure.
2. Montage Deer Valley, Park City
Why it’s awesome: Featuring a view of the majestic mountains of Empire pass, this heated pool also has a private sundeck. If that’s enough, the indoor pool was modeled after the pool at Hearst Castle in California. It’s perfect for enjoying a dip while wondering what the little people are doing back at home. Because, castle.
3. Amangani, Jackson Hole
Why it’s awesome: Amangani, which is a portmanteau of words meaning “peaceful home” in Sanskrit and Native American Shoshone, (respectively aman is Sanskrit and gani is Shoshone word for “home”) might be one of those places where you forget the mountain adventures that are waiting atop East Gros Ventre Butte and nearby Jackson Hole. However, you just don’t care. You’re at the pool. This 115-foot, heated outdoor swimming commands magnificent mountain views, especially around sunset. Be prepared to fall in love.
4. Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole
Why it’s awesome: If you want to have your cake and eat it, too, make plans to luxuriate at the infinity rooftop pool at Hotel Terra in Teton Village. Located slopeside to Jackson Hole Mountain, the third floor location lets you overlook Teton Village and Rendezvous mountain while you sip on a cocktail and rehash the fabulous day you just enjoyed. The fact that it’s LEED-Silver Certified just reinforces the fact that you are the smartest person for the planet.
5. The Sky Hotel, Aspen
Why it’s awesome: there are few mountain towns that have embraced the pool scene like Aspen. Year-round, it’s a place to socialize and imbibe—with some swimming thrown in, if you feel like it. The Sky Hotel’s pool, and the adjacent 39 Degrees lounge, is a favorite après spot in Aspen during the winter. Summer sees people partying until late night, dancing to DJs on the weekend.
6. The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Avon
Why it’s awesome: Sometimes, to get the best views of the mountains, you need to remove yourself just a smidge. In Beaver Creek, the best pool situation is found at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon. Featuring expansive Beaver Creek and Eagle River views, this pool (and three hot tubs) is nice to the environment, incorporating a saline-filtration system that uses 90% less chemicals than a traditional pool. So, since you’re saving the environment, you can take advantage of the expanded pool bar that just opened this summer. You deserve it.
7. The Little Nell, Aspen
Why it’s awesome: Is it the impeccable design, which includes curving stone walls and gorgeous lighting? The 360 degree views of Aspen? The fact that it’s on the freakin’ roof? Nah. The reason it’s so awesome is the water garden. It’s like the Garden of Eden, interspersed between the jigsaw like nature of the architecture. Super modern and swanky, it’s a pool that needs to be seen to be believed.
British Columbia, Canada
Why it’s awesome: Bigger is better sometimes and, in addition to amazing views, Panorama also has the largest complex of heated slope-side pools in Canada. Featuring a warm pool, a large cold pool, waterslides, hot tubs and saunas, the area is located so close to the lifts that you could probably splash the folks on the lift if you really wanted to. Not that we’re recommending that at all.
9. Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Why it’s awesome: Can you say cabana? Not only does the Fairmont Chateau Whistler have the largest pool deck in town with hot tubs, a lap pool and swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, and views of Blackcomb mountain, it also has private cabanas in the summer for keeping shaded while sipping on craft cocktails and beer. For those who actually want to swim instead of lounge, don’t worry about bringing waterproof headphones: the lap pool has music piped in underwater.
10. Squaw Valley
Why it’s awesome: The High Camp Pool & Hot Tub at Squaw Valley was designed for partying: live music, cocktails from the Umbrella Bar (umbrellas!) and spectacular views of the High Sierras. This high-elevation pool—8,200’, to be exact—is the perfect place to enjoy your summer daze… Just remember to wear plenty of sunscreen.
11. Killington Grand Resort
Why it’s awesome: the only full-service mountainside hotel at Killington, the pool at the Grand Resort is no less full-service. Featuring huge views of the Green Mountains, you can lounge by the pool and just picture yourself racing down the slope…which is a nice thing to do…some other day.
Why it’s awesome: One word: geyser. Snowshoe Mountain Resort’s Split Rocks Pool has a geyser, plus gorgeous views, slides and an indoor/outdoor pool that you can swim through via a water channel. Which is infinitely easier than swimming the English Channel. Not that you were considering that particular swim.
Why it’s awesome: The Bavarian Beach Pool is a lagoon-like heated pool located right next to the Bavarian Beach bar, at the base of the slopes.
Oh, you need more?
The Beach bar has daily specials as well as live entertainment on the weekends. It’s an oasis of coolness in Pennsylvania. How often do you get to say that?
They’re not pools, per se, because they’re actually water parks (and we’re all about semantics here). However, these resort pools have something that the other pools on this list don’t have: some pretty freakin’ cool water features and, in one case, a chance to go wakeboarding.
1. Bristol Mountain, NY
The first of its kind in the Northeast, Roseland’s Wake Park is taking the boat out of wakeboarding. Part of Bristol Mountain, this new water sports complex opens July 11 and features a five-tower cable system where wakeboarders, kneeboarders and water-skiers can take a ride around Canandaigua Lake at a blistering 18 mph. Take that, boat people.
2. Greek Peak Ski Resort, NY
Say what you want about the country: Greek Peak ski resort has the Cascades Indoor Waterpark, which remains a temperate 84 degrees year-round. Wave pools? Check. Three-story slides? Check. Cove where you can play basketball in the water? Check. Play on, Wayne.
3. Silver Mountain Ski Resort, ID
Idaho’s largest indoor water park is Silver Rapids at the Morning Star Lodge. Featuring a wave machine for body surfing and a 315-foot lazy river for body floating, the park also features an obstacle course, family raft ride and other elements to keep you and your family entertained until maximum prunage occurs.
4. Jay Peak Indoor Pump House, VT
With features like “La Chute,” a 65-foot slide; the “Double Barrel Flowrider,” which is kind of like a cross between skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding; a river to float and much more, a visit to the Pump House will entertain the entire family for as long as you’d like. Don’t worry—there’s a restaurant and bar there, too—for sustenance, of course. View Jay Peak tickets.