10 Favorite Pools in Metro Phoenix

In the 2015 edition of our Summer Guide, we've rounded up our 10 favorite pools for a summertime splash.

Talking Stick Resort

The Main Pool is the place to get tanned and tipsy with no cover, private cabanas and daybeds with bottle service, traveling DJs, and cheaper drinks than you'll find at many other Scottsdale soirees. For those looking to let off steam in a more subdued environment Talking Stick also offers a shallow Lounge Pool and a family-friendly West Pool.

Big Surf

Since 1969, Big Surf has been bringing in the big crowds with water-based attractions that are few and far between in the Valley, including the Waikiki Beach Wave Pool, 2.5-million-gallon wave pool that serves as a surf substitute for landlocked locals. High-speed rides like the Hurricane Slides, The Black Hole, Tornado Twisters, White Serpentine Slide, or the Mauna Kea Zip Line, are big Big Surf fun.

Maya Day and Nightclub

This wet place has been making a big splash in the Scottsdale clubs scene, thanks to world-renowned music acts, massive parties, scantily clad staff, and more alcohol than you can shake a pool noodle at.

Arizona Biltmore

The water-based amenities at this luxury oasis in central Phoenix include poolside food and drinks, a 92-foot water slide, private cabanas, seasonal Splash Cinema, and a multitude of pools. From the large-scale Paradise Pool to the private Catalina pool, the Arizona Biltmore Resort ranks high on the list of poolside staycation destinations.

The Clarendon Hotel

Located in the center of the boutique hotel, the Oasis Pool serves as a strong focal point for guests and visitors alike with bright mosaic tiling, decorative fountains, blooming foliage, and a glass water wall. Here, guests can enjoy a refreshing margarita while they alternate between taking dips in the main pool complete with underwater speakers and water jets or the jacuzzi that holds up to 50 guests.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort While it may not be as shiny and new as some of the other poolside retreats in the Valley, this Sunnyslope-adjacent resort still reels in its fair share of locals seeking underwater entertainment with four acres of water park amenities including pools for sport and relaxation, a water slide, waterfalls, a lazy river, day beds, and poolside refreshments.

The Saguaro

This brightly colored oasis features two pools surrounded by cabanas, daybeds, lounge chairs, outdoor dinning, cocktails by the pitcher, and weekly sets of live music. If you stop by the Saguaro for Aqua Sundays, you can enjoy poolside DJs, no cover for ladies before 2 p.m., and cabana and daybeds starting at $350 and $125 respectively.

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa

This hotel pool water park is the kind of place where you can spend your whole day with poolside drinks, dining, and daybeds, plus a lazy river, whirlpool, water slide, and several pools to choose from including the Mesa Pool, the Wildfire Pool, and the Sidewinder Pool.

Hotel Palomar

The Lustre Rooftop Garden at the Hotel Palomar is located on the third floor of the CityScape hotel and overlooks the downtown city skyline. Features include weekly Saturday and Sunday pool parties as part of Lustre's 100 Days of Summer, poolside yoga for Sweat Your Asana Off Tuesdays, plus cabanas, day beds, a full bar, outdoor eats, TVs, games, and music.

Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch

This one’s long considered of the best pools in the Valley, no doubt because of its abundant amenities: Ten pools, 20 fountains, 45 waterfalls, a sand beach, a three-story high-speed water slide that sends guests spiraling at 25 miles per hour, water volleyball courts, private cabanas, and poolside food and drink from the H2Oasis restaurant.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela