10 of America’s Most Incredible Desert Oasis Pools

by Elissa Garay

10 of America’s Most Incredible Desert Oasis Pools

by Elissa Garay
Smart Luxury

No, that’s not a mirage: America’s deserts are home to some of the most phenomenal pools in the country, where sun-soaked days and dramatic desert landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to a poolside escape. Spanning prime desert resorts in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah, these 10 dreamy pool picks offer the endless-summer sanctuaries that you seek.

No, that’s not a mirage: America’s deserts are home to some of the most phenomenal pools in the country, where sun-soaked days and dramatic desert landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to a poolside escape. Spanning prime desert resorts in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah, these 10 dreamy pool picks offer the endless-summer sanctuaries that you seek.

10
Main pool / JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Princess pool
1 of 10
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ

You’ll not want when it comes to getting wet here, thanks to this sprawling Scottsdale resort’s six pools, like its family-friendly “Sonoran Splash” zone, with two twisting waterslides, or its freshly revamped “Princess” pool, featuring an expanded deck and new whirlpools and cabanas. But “Sunset Beach” may just be its splashiest, where towering palm trees, a kids’ splash pad, and 9,000 square feet of imported white sand converge to dazzling effect.

You’ll not want when it comes to getting wet here, thanks to this sprawling Scottsdale resort’s six pools, like its family-friendly “Sonoran Splash” zone, with two twisting waterslides, or its freshly revamped “Princess” pool, featuring an expanded deck and new whirlpools and cabanas. But “Sunset Beach” may just be its splashiest, where towering palm trees, a kids’ splash pad, and 9,000 square feet of imported white sand converge to dazzling effect.

Pool
2 of 10
Amangiri, Canyon Point, UT

In a remote and protected section of southern Utah’s red rock country, this 600-acre, ultra-high-end hideaway stuns with its main pool, which wraps around an enormous natural sandstone formation. After a hike through the surrounding Wild West landscapes—or perhaps following an indulgent Navajo-inspired spa treatment on site—while away the day soaking up the sun-scorched desert scenery from the sandstone-brimmed pool and its adjacent chaise-lined terrace.

In a remote and protected section of southern Utah’s red rock country, this 600-acre, ultra-high-end hideaway stuns with its main pool, which wraps around an enormous natural sandstone formation. After a hike through the surrounding Wild West landscapes—or perhaps following an indulgent Navajo-inspired spa treatment on site—while away the day soaking up the sun-scorched desert scenery from the sandstone-brimmed pool and its adjacent chaise-lined terrace.

Pool and cabanas
3 of 10
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ

This Phoenix mega-resort caters to all aquatic appetites with five outdoor pools spanning four acres, as well as two Jacuzzis and a kids’ splash pad; try the “Wildfire Pool”—so-named for its crowning fire-lit beacon—or the serpentine “Sidewinder Pool.” But the showstopper is the resort’s meandering lazy river, offering 1,600 feet of inner tube- and relaxation-ready twists and turns, as well as a waterslide, adjacent pool, and brand-new cabana suites.

This Phoenix mega-resort caters to all aquatic appetites with five outdoor pools spanning four acres, as well as two Jacuzzis and a kids’ splash pad; try the “Wildfire Pool”—so-named for its crowning fire-lit beacon—or the serpentine “Sidewinder Pool.” But the showstopper is the resort’s meandering lazy river, offering 1,600 feet of inner tube- and relaxation-ready twists and turns, as well as a waterslide, adjacent pool, and brand-new cabana suites.

Mandalay Bay Beach wave pool
4 of 10
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV

In over-the-top Las Vegas, you wouldn’t expect anything less from its pools, and on that front, Mandalay Bay’s 11-acre pool complex delivers in spades. The tropical-inspired “Mandalay Bay Beach” brings a rub-your-eyes-worthy pool spectacle to the midst of the Mojave Desert, with several watery oases, including a massive wave pool and quarter-mile-long lazy river—all trimmed with a white-sand “beach,” tall palm trees, bars, a concert stage, and 100-plus cabanas for make-a-day-of-it diversion.

In over-the-top Las Vegas, you wouldn’t expect anything less from its pools, and on that front, Mandalay Bay’s 11-acre pool complex delivers in spades. The tropical-inspired “Mandalay Bay Beach” brings a rub-your-eyes-worthy pool spectacle to the midst of the Mojave Desert, with several watery oases, including a massive wave pool and quarter-mile-long lazy river—all trimmed with a white-sand “beach,” tall palm trees, bars, a concert stage, and 100-plus cabanas for make-a-day-of-it diversion.

Pool
5 of 10
The Saguaro Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA

Mod, colorful, and chic, it doesn’t get more #InstaReady than poolside at this reimagined ‘60s-era Palm Springs motel. Pull up your flamingo float for the hippest pool party in town, where one of the largest pools in Palm Springs fills in the property’s central, palm-dotted courtyard. Bustling bar service, bright yellow parasols, weekend DJs, and new poolside cabanas help color in the lively scene.

Mod, colorful, and chic, it doesn’t get more #InstaReady than poolside at this reimagined ‘60s-era Palm Springs motel. Pull up your flamingo float for the hippest pool party in town, where one of the largest pools in Palm Springs fills in the property’s central, palm-dotted courtyard. Bustling bar service, bright yellow parasols, weekend DJs, and new poolside cabanas help color in the lively scene.

Pool
6 of 10
Enchantment Resort, Sedona, AZ

Surrounded by Sedona’s signature red rocks and verdant vegetation, the outdoor pool at Enchantment Resort offers front-row seating to Mother Nature’s inspiring handiwork. Swim in serenity in the shadows of the rugged, towering walls of Boynton Canyon, before slipping in to sun in one of the surrounding chaises. Bonus: Upgrade to one of the resort’s pool suite accommodations for access to your very own private outdoor mini-pool, or continue the watery vibe inside, thanks to the indoor pool at the resort’s renowned Mii Amo Spa.

Surrounded by Sedona’s signature red rocks and verdant vegetation, the outdoor pool at Enchantment Resort offers front-row seating to Mother Nature’s inspiring handiwork. Swim in serenity in the shadows of the rugged, towering walls of Boynton Canyon, before slipping in to sun in one of the surrounding chaises. Bonus: Upgrade to one of the resort’s pool suite accommodations for access to your very own private outdoor mini-pool, or continue the watery vibe inside, thanks to the indoor pool at the resort’s renowned Mii Amo Spa.

The Mirage, main pool
7 of 10
The Mirage, Las Vegas, NV

A mirage manifested indeed, the tropical pool area at this classic Vegas resort has held staying power for good reason. Step outside where two saltwater pools and whirlpools transport guests from the frenetic Strip into a lushly landscaped and laid-back world of foliage, waterfalls, and artificial rock formations. Upgrade your pool day with a private cabana or lunch at the outdoor café. (Tip: If you really want to beat the heat, consider the adults-only, tops-optional Bare Pool Lounge area.)

A mirage manifested indeed, the tropical pool area at this classic Vegas resort has held staying power for good reason. Step outside where two saltwater pools and whirlpools transport guests from the frenetic Strip into a lushly landscaped and laid-back world of foliage, waterfalls, and artificial rock formations. Upgrade your pool day with a private cabana or lunch at the outdoor café. (Tip: If you really want to beat the heat, consider the adults-only, tops-optional Bare Pool Lounge area.)

Pool, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
8 of 10
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ

Overlooking a serene Sonoran Desert setting, the pool at Tucson’s Loews Ventana Canyon Resort capitalizes on its prime perch amid tall saguaros and the surrounding Catalina Mountains. Between dips, indulge in some poolside pampering on deck, via a poolside concierge at the ready with chilled hand towels and bar service; cabana rentals are available, too. Bonus: There’s an adults-only lap pool and hot tub at the resort’s spa, too.

Overlooking a serene Sonoran Desert setting, the pool at Tucson’s Loews Ventana Canyon Resort capitalizes on its prime perch amid tall saguaros and the surrounding Catalina Mountains. Between dips, indulge in some poolside pampering on deck, via a poolside concierge at the ready with chilled hand towels and bar service; cabana rentals are available, too. Bonus: There’s an adults-only lap pool and hot tub at the resort’s spa, too.

Pool, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
9 of 10
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, AZ

Terraced on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley (just outside of Scottsdale), this swank poolside retreat could be mistaken for paradise indeed, thanks to its infinity-edge design and sweeping desert-and-mountain views. Bunker down in a poolside cabana or get in a workout at the separate 25-yard lap pool. (Just note that the main pool is adults-only on weekends: Look to the property’s two satellite pools for an alternative dip if traveling with kids.)

Terraced on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley (just outside of Scottsdale), this swank poolside retreat could be mistaken for paradise indeed, thanks to its infinity-edge design and sweeping desert-and-mountain views. Bunker down in a poolside cabana or get in a workout at the separate 25-yard lap pool. (Just note that the main pool is adults-only on weekends: Look to the property’s two satellite pools for an alternative dip if traveling with kids.)

Pool
10 of 10
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, CA

Choose from five pools at this Palm Desert, California, resort, including a saltwater spa pool and dedicated kids’ pool. The main heated “Oasis” pool is the hub of the action, though, flanked by two additional pools (including one just for laps) and surrounded by a network of lakes, rolling green golf courses, and palm tree-lined walkways. The superb desert sunsets—and frequent flamingo sightings—add on to the surreal effect.

Choose from five pools at this Palm Desert, California, resort, including a saltwater spa pool and dedicated kids’ pool. The main heated “Oasis” pool is the hub of the action, though, flanked by two additional pools (including one just for laps) and surrounded by a network of lakes, rolling green golf courses, and palm tree-lined walkways. The superb desert sunsets—and frequent flamingo sightings—add on to the surreal effect.

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