CultureMap Houston | 06.11.2018
Houston has plenty of hot patio bars and parks, but locals know one of the best ways to beat the scorching summer is by hitting up a cool pool. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite hotel spots to take a dip — some of which you can jump in without being a hotel guest. Expect poolside cocktails, movie screenings, plus summer deals, promos, and more. (Don’t forget your shades, sunscreen, and wide-brimmed hats).
Marriott Marquis Houston
It’s the Texas-shaped lazy river in H-Town that we all want to navigate. This rooftop pool is perched 110 feet in the air and surrounded by Houston’s soaring downtown skyline. The Marriott Marquis Houston’s amenity deck features a full-service poolside bar and grill. Check this off as arguably the most Instagram-worthy pool in all of Houston.
What to drink: The Refresh: a delicious cocktail perfect for poolside featuring Effen Cucumber vodka, lime, simple syrup, and soda.
How to access: Hotel customers only (registered hotel guests are given wristbands at check-in). But: book a minimum 50-minute spa treatment at the in-house Pure Spa (excluding salon treatments) and voila — access granted.
Post Oak Hotel
The Post Oak Hotel is owned by Houston’s favorite billionaire, Tilman Fertitta, so you know the pool is out of this world, like everything else on the property. (The white-and-black-accent decor truly sets this stylish and luxurious pool apart.) Our favorite feature: Order anything to eat or drink from anywhere on property — you can even order sunscreen— and it will be delivered to your poolside chair (or cabana).
What to drink: The Post Oak Margarita: tequila, fresh lime juice, Hibiscus cordial
How to access: Hotel customers only
Hotel ZaZa Museum District
Representative of the city’s big-Texas style, the event dubbed Poolside at ZaZa is a place to see and be seen among outdoor bars and pools in Houston. With indulgent specialty cocktails and a boutique-like atmosphere, Poolside at ZaZa provides a luxurious pool retreat among H-Town’s scenesters.
Cabanas: Yes (and villas)
What do drink: Splurge for bottle service (or indulge in their daily offering of adult popsicles).
How to access: Other than being a hotel guest, a day pass to use Hotel ZaZa’s pool is available for a $150 service (minimum), one hour before and three hours after any spa treatment at ZaSpa.
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Lounge poolside at one of Houstons most old-guard, resort-style pools. Refreshing cocktails and tasty snacks are available to order at the pool deck café and due to its brand popularity, you may even find yourself lounging poolside next to a celeb or two. The saltwater pool is truly an oasis in the heart of downtown Houston and is a five-star experience across the board.
Family-friendly: Yes. Four Seasons even offers Family Movies by the Pool on Saturday nights with fresh popcorn, candy, and a veritable Willy Wonka-style buffet to keep kids entertained.
What to drink: Try the Strawberry Sales ($12): grapefruit vodka, strawberry, lemonade or the Cucumber Cooler ($8): cucumber, rosemary, lemonade
How to access: Hotel guests only — unless you book a 50-minute treatment at Hotel Spa, where you’ll be granted access to the pool/fitness areas
West Houston’s Hotel Sorella (in CityCentre) reigns supreme when it comes to the westside, and boasts a rooftop, infinity pool that creates an instant oasis of relaxation. With some clever planning, you may find that you have the place all to yourself — except for the friendly bartender who’s ready to serve you.
What to drink: Beat the heat with a Cosmologic pop tail: citrus vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice served with a house-made cranberry/orange/lime popsicle.
How to access: Hotel guests only
Book a stay at Hotel Granduca to experience the pool at this true Italian-style getaway. Hotel Granduca’s saltwater pool — which is always set to a perfect temperature of 78 degrees — offers a picturesque escape right in the heart of Uptown. (Granduca is Houston’s only hotel to make TripAdvisor’s 2018 list of top 25 luxury hotels in America.) Nestled amidst a collection of lush greenery, the intimate and serene venue is enhanced with ornate Italian-style cabanas. Enjoy poolside dining at the hotel’s restaurant, Il Giardino.
What to drink: The Granduca Spritz: a mix of Elderflower liqueur, lemon, and prosecco.
How to access: Hotel guests only
Get ready for this intimate and sophisticated rooftop getaway with one-of-a-kind panoramic downtown views. Alessandra offers a dedicated food and drink menu at the pool, making this is one of Houston’s newest and most raved-about spots.
Family-friendly: Kids are welcome, however the pool caters more to adults.
What to drink: Try the Poolside Peach poptail for ultimate refreshment.
How to Access: If you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can book a spa treatment, which provides all day access to the pool.
SPLASH at Hotel Derek
Offering everything you could want or need when it comes to luxury and poolside amenities in the Galleria area, Hotel Derek has opened their Splash Pool and Movie Wall to locals for a little “float and flick.” Revolve Kitchen + Bar’s summer menu, fruity cocktails, and local craft beers are available to attendees.
What to drink: Tap & Pour is a pop-up craft beer bar serving more than 20 rotating Texas craft beers on tap, such as a locally brewed 8th Wonder seasonal beer.
How to access: Hotel customers only, except for the summertime series Float & Flick, which is open to public for $20 per person (July 6, August 3, and September 7).
The Woodlands Resort
Travelers seeking a lush, green oasis this summer will find it, and then some, in this family-friendly escape. The resort offers the spectacular Forest Oasis: Lazy River & Waterpark, which is perfect for kids (and adults) of all ages. The ideal place to spend a hot afternoon, it features a 30-foot Tower with a double-helix waterslide, as well as a 1,005-foot lazy river that weaves through the forest.
Cabanas: Yes: four new luxury cabanas are available to rent, offering guests their own personal lap of luxury. Each cabana provides shaded seating for up to six in roomy, chic and private space with contemporary interiors complemented by modern conveniences, like cable TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.
What to drink: Try the Frozé All Day: Elk Cove Vineyards rosé, fresh lemon, and strawberry puree, topped with a New Amsterdam Red Berry floater
How to access: Resort guests only
Market Square Tower
When it opened, Market Square Tower’s pool quickly went viral with its heart-stopping views. Get ready to be the envy of all your Instagram followers by taking a dip in this luxury downtown Houston apartment’s clear-bottom pool that hangs 500-feet above downtown Houston.
How to access: Locals need to move in or become besties with a resident — as only residents and their guests get to enjoy this stunning beauty.