Say Goodbye to Summer Crowds and Take a Dip in These Sparkling Swimming Holes
America’s Finest City might be bordered by miles of beautiful beaches, but when the heat hits, nothing says fabulous like kicking back poolside—and even better when there’s a chic hotel involved. Think less sandy toes and more frosés all day long! Thankfully, San Diego is home to a slew of fine hotels with sparkling swimming pools. From trendy downtown rooftops to contemporary North County haunts—many with cabanas and swoon-worthy sea views—we’ve rounded up the best San Diego hotel pools to dive into when you don’t want summer to end.
A bookend at the very northern edge of San Diego County, Oceanside is an up-and-coming seaside town thanks to chic new hotels like The Seabird Resort. If location is king, then this property rules with its ocean views and third-floor rooftop pool. Guests can not only enjoy a front-row seat to watch local surfers catch waves near the pier, but they can also kick back on plush lounge chairs and take a dip in the hot tub.
Order poolside drinks and snacks from The Shelter Club, a retro-inspired space with a sophisticated coastal theme—think framed vintage swimsuits, potted palms and a pool table, should anyone feel like playing a few frames. In terms of pool access, only those with a room key are allowed to hang poolside; however, spa guests are granted access too. The Seabird’s Sunny’s Spa offers two membership options: the Club Level and the Luxury Level. Each come with their own perks, but both allow use of the pool and beach facilities.
Local Insight: Mention LOCALE Magazine to get the initiation fee waived for your spa membership!
If you can’t get to Tulum any time soon, just head on over to Techo Beso for some serious sunny day below-the-border vibes. The pool deck is perched above the city, so you can enjoy the view while sipping on a spritz, enjoying some tacos or indulging in Mexican-inspired desserts. DJs are also on stage here, solidifying the communal party vibe. Whether you show up day or night, the design of Techo Beso is intended to separate you from the world below and immerse yourself in the here and now. Starting at 11 a.m. on most weekends, show up early for Poolside Saturdays—a full day of fantastic house music and a hopeful promise for a rooftop kiss. You can also book a VIP cabana in advance.
At the newly remodeled Lafayette Hotel, leopard print and chaise lounges are always in style. Inspired by the Italian Riviera and once host to many a starlet from Old Hollywood, the scene here invites you to lay back and let the pool boys come to you. While the pool seating is reserved for hotel guests, those with a Swim Pass can lounge poolside on a towel and enjoy service from the Pool Bar. If you get hungry, step inside to the Beginner’s Diner for a casual bite or Quixote for some Oaxacan-inspired sips and bites, then return to the pool for a much-deserved siesta. The pool opens at 10 a.m., and passholders can stick around until dusk.
San Diego’s skyline frames showstopping views from this swanky rooftop pool, where private cabanas provide the perfect base for a day of swimming, sunning and sipping with friends. Each cabana comes with flat-screen TVs plus complimentary fruit plates and bottled water. 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 while visiting DJs spin club anthems.
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
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 in a cabana and take in coastal views for an afternoon. Order seasonal drinks and poolside plates from Cassara Kitchen & Bar after noon or roast s’mores by one of the fire pits while getting 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).
With its iconic pink façade, courtyards and tropical gardens, this San Diego landmark—known as the “Pink Lady”—is where Old Hollywood glamor meets the Mediterranean Riviera. But the hotel’s stunning 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”). There are also extras like poolside bites and cocktails—we recommend the Torrey Tea or Windansea Lemonade.
Location: La Jolla11/17
The Pool House at Pendry San Diego boasts a sun-swept SoCal vibe with pretty cabanas and some of the best views in the Gaslamp. You’ll also find a menu of light bites, such as oysters on the half shell, and specialty cocktails. Book a table for Pool House Sundays for vibey daytime digs or swap sunshine hours for an evening poolside soirée. Check out the Pool House calendar to stay on top of event dates.
Location: Downtown San Diego
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 alfresco 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 Mar11/18
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 pool with waterfalls, umbrella-shaded loungers and private poolside cabanas. Order snacks and cocktails from the outdoor pool bar while soaking up the sunshine—along with considering whether to take a stroll along the scenic Mission Bay Park boardwalk.
Location: Mission Bay