Of the myriad reasons people vacation at luxurious beachfront resorts, getting out of the water to wait for a drink at the bar is not one of them; thus, choosing a resort with a swim-up bar is a top priority. And to help you pick the best one, we've put together this handy guide to the world's hottest pools with easy-access libations.
The Four Seasons Hualalai features a new adults-only swim-up bar that's set on a sprawling lawn and overlooks the beach. Not only that, but the Palm Grove pool is 40ft long and offers guests both signature "shaved ice" and nature-inspired cocktails.
The Caribbean has a healthy ensemble of notable swim-up bars, from Anguilla to Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to Tobago. If pressed to pick one, however, we might be inclined to go with the elegant Regent Palms in gorgeous Turks & Caicos. A class five-star property all the way, with a terrific infinity pool.
With a gorgeous infinity pool featuring ocean views and two popular swim-up bars, five restaurants serving international cuisine, live entertainment, a great spa, and a wonderful kids’ club, the Hard Rock screams "all-inclusive Cancun megaresort."
Tucked away in a lush, tropical landscape, this 15-acre, 56-suite resort stares right at the Arenal volcano. While it's easy to get lost wandering around the nature paths, you'd be well advised to follow the talking parrots and make haste to the resort center, where — hidden behind palm fronds and fountains — you'll find the heated hotel pool and bar.
Crystal Cove in Barbados
This all-inclusive resort features three lagoon-style pools, one of which rocks a swim-up bar tucked comfortably behind a waterfall and inside a cave! Yes, in a cave. There're only a handful of bar stools, though, so get there early, as saving seats for your buddies would clearly make you a... Neanderthal.
It would be downright criminal to ignore the South Pacific in a roundup of top swim-up bars. In fact, we could just as well focus solely on Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia and run down a dozen top spots. Do yourself a favor though and check out the splendid Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, where even the restaurant is in the water.
There is nothing ordinary about the 260-room Le Blanc Spa Resort: Everything from the wine lists to your workout has been tailored to be top notch. It feels more South Beach chic than Cancun party, with a hip, gorgeous aesthetic throughout the entire pristine white property. And while there is no shortage of pool bars at which to party in Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort eschews the wild and crazy sombrero-wearing, tequila-shooting masses, in favor of a quieter crowd. But while the palm tree-shadowed swim bar may be G-rated, that doesn't mean that free, premium-label booze isn't being poured.
While the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa garners all the attention, it's her sister spot on the island of Tahiti that rocks the thatched-roofed swim-up bar. Set on a lagoon, this watering hole's built into Le Lotus infinity pool — which has the largest sand bottom in the South Pacific — and offers sweet views of the island of Moorea.
Detoxing in a geothermal lagoon is much more relaxing with a drink in hand. With that in mind, this famous Icelandic spa maintains an outdoor bar that not only allows you to charge in-water beverages — like their signature blue curaçao cocktail — to your entrance bracelet but also peddles easy-to-apply volcano scrubs and algae face masks.
The Cape offers what is arguably the region’s best view of Cabo’s iconic El Arco from the edge of its infinity pool and bar. Soak up the scenery from one of six partially submerged bar stools, or opt for a chaise lounge plopped right in the shallow end (waiter service is available). The standard daytime libations (Pacifico, margaritas, bubbly) are all on offer, but you should reserve at least one round for the hotel’s namesake cocktail. The Cape—an herbal infused mescal mixed with grapefruit, pineapple, lime juice and Angostura bitters—is a fresh take on a margarita, with just enough fruit juice to temper the smokiness of the mescal.