Remember the days when a hotel pool was just… well… a hotel pool? It was usually kidney-shaped with maybe a diving board but nothing else. After all, who went to a hotel for the pool anyway?!

Boy, how times have changed! Nowadays, tourists are drawn to certain hotels for the pools alone! And, this year’s list of Coolest Pools by shows us why. Some of the pools in Hawaii are downright outrageous!

Two Hawaii pools made it into the top 20 this year, and here’s a breakdown of why they’re so amazing:

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu (Kailua-Kona, Big Island):

Swim with the fish at the Four Seasons, where the ocean pool is built within the coast’s lava rock. The 1.8-million gallon aquarium pool, called King’s Pond, is home to more than 4,000 tropical fish. The resort even offers snorkel gear and fish ID cards, so you can get to know the resident sea life.

the ocean pool at the four seasons hualalai at historic kaupulehu

Photo: Four Seasons Resort

Kings Pond at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu got good marks because it features a 1.8 million gallon pool with more than 4,000 fish.

Grand Wailea Resort (Wailea, Maui):

At the Grand Wailea Resort, you can spend the day in this 2,000-foot-long, 25,700-total-square-foot, 770,000-gallon pool that consists of nine pools on six different levels. The pools are connected by a river that carries swimmers along whitewater rapids and gentle currents. Wailea Canyon includes four jungle pools, four intertwining slides, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, a sand beach, six waterfalls, caves, three Jacuzzis, an infant pool, the world’s first water elevator, the Lava slide, Ana Puka slide and a swim-up bar.

Besides these two fantastic pools, we decided to give a few pools in Hawaii an honorable mention:

Hilton Waikoloa Village (Waikoloa, Big Island):

One of the many reasons I love swimming at the Hilton Waikoloa Village is simply variety. During a week-long stay, you can spend a couple days at each of the resort’s three pools and never get bored. The resort features the:

  • Kona Pool – The largest pool, featuring a 175-foot waterslide, a waterfall, the Kona Pool Bar and the Orchid Marketplace.
  • Kohala River Pool – Perfect for families! With four interconnected pools, waterslides, cabana rentals alongside and a Pool Bar serving refreshments, this pool is a great one-stop location.
  • Ocean Tower Pool – An adults-only pool offering a peaceful, secluded retreat for swimming and relaxation.
the kona pool at the hilton waikoloa village

Photo: Hilton Waikoloa Village

You never get tired of the pools at the Hilton Waikoloa Village! Three pools features many different activities and things to do, so even your children won't get bored.

Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa (Poipu, Kauai):

Some of my fondest memories include stays at the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa. I can still picture my 65 year-old father swooshing down the water slides along with my husband. These enchanting “river pools” wind through waterfalls and grottos into pools perfect for swimming and playing a game of water volleyball. Kids of all ages will love the 150-foot slide that lands you with a refreshing splash into the crystal clear waters.  Sun lit decks woven throughout the river-like pools offer spectacular places to take in the beautiful Hawaiian scenery.

Turtle Bay Resort (Kahuku, Oahu):

I’m going on heresay from friends, but they’ve told me Turtle Bay Resort has a spectacular pool. The kiddie pool is home to a waterfall and a waterslide — open to and fun for all ages! Both resort pools operate using saline which is composed of natural salt water rather than chemically-based chlorine, which is much easier-on-the-eyes than chlorine.

We’ve spent more than one vacation indulging at the resort pool for the entire trip. And, why not? These pools in Hawaii are destinations in their own right, not to mention refreshing, enterataining, and cool!


  1. The coldest pool (temp-wise) was the pretty little pool at the Holualoa Inn during our March stay a few years back! Has a lovely view of the Kona coast.

    • Oh wow! Yes, a lot of the Hawaii pools can get quite chilly, especially in the winter. Better in the summer, but for some of us, all pools are a bit cold!

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