Passion Points: Escape
It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this can be especially true when it comes to traveling with children. Parents spend hours crafting the perfect itinerary that combines culture, history and family bonding, but the whole day can come crashing down when the tired tots turn from travel companions to pint-sized terror mongers. The easy solution is to balance touring with downtime, and there’s no better place for kids to cool off—literally and figuratively—than in a pool. To help avert meltdowns, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite urban hotels in frequently visited cities in Europe, South America and the United States. These properties all combine excellent accommodations with a great swimming pool. Many are indoors, making this round-up applicable for trips in the cooler months as well. See which ones match with your travel plans in August and beyond.
Indoor: Park Hyatt
Outdoor: Four Seasons
Although the Peninsula probably has the most stunning pool – an indoor lap pool with stunning city views through the twenty-foot glass windows surrounding it – parents will appreciate the thoughtful touches such as the poolside basket of swimmy diapers at the Four Seasons.
Indoor: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Indoor: Peninsula Chicago
An outdoor swimming pool is a must for summertime trips to Istanbul. Not much tops the sea views from the pool at the Four Seasons Bosphorus, but the rooftop pool at the new Park Hyatt is also sleek and comes at a lower price tag.
Outdoor: Four Seasons Bosphorus
Outdoor: Park Hyatt
When the Aman decided to open its first spa outside of an Aman resort, it chose London’s sophisticated Connaught Hotel as its partner. The stunning indoor pool has adults-only hours but also allows children in the mornings and late afternoon. Also news- and swim-worthy is the rooftop pool at the hip Shoreditch House, which recently added twenty-six rooms.
Indoor: Aman at the Connaught
Outdoor: Shoreditch House
When David Beckham moved his family to Madrid, they holed up at the discreetly glamorous Santo Mauro, where the kids could splash around in the hotel’s heated indoor pool. Visitors hitting the city during warmer months may prefer to swim at the Hotel Urban’s rooftop.
Indoor: Santa Mauro
Outdoor: Hotel Urban
While New York doesn’t lack stunning indoor pools (the Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental come to mind), the Greenwich takes top prize for its subterranean oasis, set under a reconstructed Japanese farmhouse. The hottest outdoor scene this summer is at the new Gansevoort Park Avenue’s rooftop.
Indoor: Greenwich Hotel
Oudoor: Gansevoort Park Avenue
Our favorite pools in Paris are all indoors, but the rooftop views from the Bristol make guests feel like they are swimming in the sky. Both the Four Seasons and the Ritz are underground and surrounded by grand murals of the city.
Indoor: The Bristol
Indoor: Four Seasons George V
The swimming facilities at the Cavalieri are as legendary as the Eternal City’s famous ruins. Parents rave about the three pools – a 25-meter outdoor pool, a separate children’s pool and an indoor option with a more adult vibe (access limited to guests ages 14 and over).
Outdoor: Rome Cavalieri
Outdoor: San Clemente
Our favorite historic hotels in Washington, D.C. don’t have pools – a big downside for a place that’s so popular with families looking for an educational trip with their kids. Two more modern additions to the city, the Park Hyatt and the Mandarin Oriental, both offer indoor swimming options.
Indoor: Park Hyatt
Indoor: Mandarin Oriental
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