Credit: The Cassara
Credit: The Cassara

The 9 Coolest Pools in San Diego for “Locals Summer”

Say Goodbye to Summer Crowds and Take a Dip in These Sparkling Pools

America’s Finest City might be bordered by miles of beautiful beaches, but when the summer heat hits, nothing says fabulous like kicking back poolside—even better when there’s a chic hotel attached. Think less sandy toes and more keep the frosé coming! Thankfully, San Diego is home to a slew of fine hotels with equally sparkling swimming pools. From trendy downtown rooftops and a historical 1920s-era gem along the coast to contemporary North County haunts with cabanas and swoon-worthy sea views, we’ve rounded up the best hotel pools to dive into in San Diego. Best Pools San Diego

 

The Cassara Carlsbad

Set on 12 acres overlooking North County’s seasonal famous flower fields, The Cassara Carlsbad is the place for a San Diego summer staycation–and a day spent poolside, of course. The design and decor of the luxury rooms and spacious suites channel a modern Mediterranean vibe and create a lovely home-away-from-home feel for a night, weekend or longer. Sportier types will appreciate the handful of dedicated swimming lanes at the resort’s Quiet Pool, but it’s also perfect for anyone looking to chill out with a cabana and coastal views for an afternoon. Order seasonal drinks and plates poolside after 3 p.m. (think tacos, salads and cheese boards from Cassara Kitchen & Bar) or roast s’mores by one of the fire pits and get comfy on a lounge chair at sunset. Scheduling a treatment at the nearby Ocean Pearl Spa also includes access to its heated pool and jacuzzi (plus the hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to and from).

Location: Carlsbad

Best Pools San Diego

Andaz San Diego

Credit: Andaz San Diego

San Diego’s skyline frames show-shopping views from this swanky rooftop pool, where private cabanas (they come with flat-screen TVs plus complimentary fruit plates and bottled water) provide the perfect base for a day of swimming, sunning and sipping with friends. Later, get cozy around a fire pit with sundowner cocktails and small plates from buzzy spot The Rooftop by STK. If you visit on the weekend, pop bottles and boogie down when visiting DJs spin club anthems.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

The Seabird Resort

Credit: The Seabird

Enjoy the best of both worlds at The Seabird Resort, where the third-floor rooftop pool boasts lounge seating and a hot tub alongside front-row seats to watch local surfers riding waves at Oceanside’s historic pier. Order poolside drinks and snacks from The Shelter Club, a retro-inspired space decorated in a sophisticated coastal theme with framed vintage swimsuits, potted palms, sofas and comfy chairs–plus a pool table should anyone feel like playing a few frames.

Location: Oceanside

Best Pools San Diego

La Valencia Hotel

Credit: La Valencia Hotel

With its iconic pink façade, courtyards and tropical gardens, San Diego landmark–known as the “Pink Lady”–is where Old Hollywood glamor meets the Mediterranean Riviera. But the hotel’s show-stopping ocean-view swimming pool isn’t only accessible to overnight guests; La Valencia Hotel’s fantastic day passes are a great way to spend an afternoon with lounge chairs, towel service and Wi-Fi (so you can “WFP”) alongside extras like poolside bites and cocktails. We recommend the Torrey Tea or Windansea Lemonade. 

Location: La Jolla

Best Pools San Diego

Pendry San Diego

Credit: Pendry Hotels

Pendry San Diego’s chic Pool House boasts pretty cabanas and some of the best views in the Gaslamp; plus, it offers access to a menu of light bites like oysters on the half shell and specialty cocktails. Book a table for Pool House Sundays or swap sunshine hours for an evening poolside soirée. DJs, cocktails and “summer in the city” vibes draw crowds to Pendry’s Pool House at Night, which runs every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 p.m. 

Location: Downtown San Diego

 

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Credit: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

One of San Diego’s top luxury resorts, the majestic Fairmont Grand Del Mar boasts four picture-perfect pools, including the serene adults-only pool adjacent to the spa. With its private cabanas, underwater music and towel service, the main pool is its unofficial hub. Order drinks and snacks from the al fresco bar and look out for the poolside pop-up Summer Cantina, which serves dairy-free gelatos, including a limited-edition flavor made with wildflower honey from beehives on the property.

Location: Del Mar

Best Pools San Diego

Mission Bay Resort

Credit: San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Located just steps from the sand along San Diego’s pretty Mission Bay Park waterfront, this local gem is all about that SoCal barefoot beach lifestyle. Surrounded by palm trees, Mission Bay Resort’s 4,000-square-foot outdoor pool area features a large main resort pool with waterfalls, umbrella-shaded loungers and private poolside cabanas. Order snacks and cocktails from the outdoor pool bar while soaking up the sunshine, and maybe take a stroll along the Mission Bay Park boardwalk.

Location: Mission Bay

 

Solamar San Diego

Credit: Hotel Solamar

Whether celebrating something special or just because, another downtown pool day go-to this season should be Solamar San Diego. The hotel’s rooftop pool deck features private cabanas and chaises (both of which can be rented daily) along with a spacious terrace and lounge area with fire pits and games. Look forward to amenities like fresh towels, ice water and other cool treats. And at rooftop bar Upper East, it’s all about craft cocktails and tasty small bites. 

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

Best Pools San Diego

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Photography Provided By: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

For wild weekend parties, this hip Gaslamp Quarter hotel has long been a haven for celebrities and 20- and 30-somethings who come for a slice of the action at the Float Rooftop Bar. Guests receive complimentary VIP access to the pool, but it’s possible to nab a private cabana or daybed thanks to ResortPass. Day clubbers love Liquid Sunshine on Saturdays (think beats and bites), while yogis will appreciate the poolside Sunday Yoga Series. 

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

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Keri Bridgwater is a freelance writer covering travel and lifestyle. Her work has been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Marie Claire, Matador Network and InsideHook, among other outlets and publications.

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