Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   looking for a resort with the MOST amazing swimming pool - in or out of the U.S. (

mamadadapaige Feb 15th, 2006 02:11 PM

looking for a resort with the MOST amazing swimming pool - in or out of the U.S.
will be travelling from Boston using airline miles. we have enough miles on US Air, Delta, or United -- we are planning this for winter 2007 so that we can use the miles without having to use double points.

We will have two little kids with us so a non-stop flight is a requirement, but other than that we are willing to go anywhere and pretty much anytime during the cold months, but as mentioned, we would like the pool to be over the top... beach would be nice but isn't as important.

Places we can get to non-stop are Montego Bay Jamaica, Aruba, Cancun, Nassau Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico .... and in the U.S.: Phoenix, Florida, and a couple of other places, however, I am concerned with having reliably warm weather so have set my sights as far south as possible.

Any ideas for me on resorts with a fabulous swimming pool???? (accomodations should be decent too!)

nickdan Feb 15th, 2006 04:29 PM

The Hyatt Cerromar in Puerto Rico has an awesome pool including a lazy river, two water slides, water falls and swim-up bars.
We took our kids there when they were 4 & 7 and it was great! The hotel is nice too with very nice accomodations and good restaurants. They also have a casino there and a kids club! Check it out.

mamadadapaige Feb 16th, 2006 05:38 AM

thanks nickdan -- i checked it out. pool looks amazing. i read some negative reviews of the hotel on trip advisor. one person suggested staying at the hyatt dorado which is close by and allows one to use the facilities at the cerramar. apparently the Dorado is in pretty good shape as compared to the Cerromar.

Any opinions as to whether this would work?

HowardC Feb 16th, 2006 05:45 AM

Check out Paradisus Punta Cana. Great pool. It's an all inclusive with lots of kids activities

caribtraveler Feb 16th, 2006 06:58 AM

Ok you did say Florida although I wouldn't recommend going there during the winter.
Last September, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Bonita Springs (near Naples). There's a sister property next door called the Hyatt Coconut Plantation. You can use each other's amenities. Fantastic pools (including a lazy river pool). See my review with pictures on Trip Advisor "Great Hotel. Pricey Food" (Review #7). It's a place to keep in mind for the future if you don't want to chance it this winter.

PRnative Feb 16th, 2006 07:26 AM

Just in case you weren't aware, the Cerromar itself is closed. The facilities are open (pools, restaurants, casinos, etc.), but the Cerromar rooms themselves are not. Instead, there are newer buildings next door that are timeshare properties, but available for nightly rates just like hotel rooms through various websites, including the Hyatt site. It's now called Hyatt Hacienda del Mar. So if you are reading reviews about the old Cerromar rooms, those are no longer applicable. Just want to make sure that your research, the reviews you're reading, etc., are about the Hacienda del Mar or the Dorado Beach property next door, which are the ones that are currently open.

rqf Feb 16th, 2006 07:26 AM

I agree with the reply that the river pool at the Hyatt Cerromar is one of the best I have seen. However while the pool still is open the Cerrromar closed down years ago. The Hyatt Dorado is right next door. A shuttle bus will take you the pool. There is a Hyatt time share on the Cerromar site but I can''t recall the name. You can get info on the Time Share at the Hyatt website.

mamadadapaige Feb 16th, 2006 07:53 AM

geez, i feel like a dope! didn't realize the Cerromar was closed - thanks for the info.

any opinions on whether the time share or the Dorado offers more in terms of food service and nice accomodations?

also, i researched the atlantis in nassau bahamas. i don't think i would risk it... too many negative reviews.

i suppose any place that is going to be REALLY wonderful for kids will have other tradeoffs in terms of food or accomodations. too bad

AnneSm Feb 16th, 2006 08:25 AM


SAnParis Feb 17th, 2006 07:14 AM

Let me get this straight, you are planning a travel destination/vacation based on the pool ?!?

karameli Feb 17th, 2006 08:20 AM

I would vote for the Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas -- the pool area IS the hotel. I don't even remember how many freeform pools there are, plus a grotto-style hot tub, a sand pool fed from the ocean, and two water slides -- one freefall, and one winding tube slide that goes through a shark tank. It's very kid-friendly, which some people consider a drawback, but I think it's perfect -- the kids will be having too much fun to interrupt your pool lounging :)

liza Feb 17th, 2006 09:25 AM

I'm guessing you want a place that's warm in winter so you can do outdoor activities but if not, Sandusky, Ohio has 3 indoor waterparks and I've been to two with my kids - Kalahari (Afriacan theme) and Great Wolf Lodge (wilderness lodge type thing). The third is owned by Cedar Point and is called Castaway Bay and has a tropical theme.

There are more slides and lazy rivers and water rollercoasters and such than you will likely find in the Caribbean, and all 3 are full-on resorts with many options for suites, rooms, meals, drinks, entertainment, etc.

In summer the beach is actually pretty nice but it's definitely not warm there right now ;)

schmerl Feb 17th, 2006 10:16 AM

Check out the Barcelo Maya Tropical in the Riviera Maya. You would fly into Cancun. It just opened last month. They have a great pool area and a water park for the children.

TexasJill Feb 17th, 2006 11:57 AM

Anywhere but Atlantis. The pools are pretty, I guess, but very crowded and the hotel itself is like a facade. Everything looks first class but it has no atmosphere, if that makes any sense. Restaurants are top notch, though. We went to San Juan and stayed at the Dorado over Christmas one year when my kids were 9 and 5 and they loved it. The ocean was a little rough but the pool was great, they loved touring Old San Juan and the hotel was safe and easy to get around in. Casino downstairs with a bar area in the lobby that was great for people watching after the kids went to bed.

mamadadapaige Feb 21st, 2006 04:48 AM

hi and thanks for all of the posts. as we are researching the options, I have started to wonder if limiting ourselves to only destinations that are non-stop is wise. We will be travelling with a 15 month old and an almost 5 year old, so I thought that the non-stop flight is a necessity, but considering how expensive some of these resorts are, I am wondering if we should toughen up and deal with one stop. If that were the case, we could add islands like Tortola, Barbados, St. Bart's, etc. I haven't been to any of those islands, but they seem fairly family friendly and civilized enough that we can leave the resort without fear of anything bad happening.

We have been to Turks and Caicos and St. John already and loved those islands but want to try something new.

As to the Atlantis, I don't think I have the stomach for that... the pools look amazing though. As to SanParis' post: since we will be with two little kids and since we like swimming ourselves, yes, we are really hoping to find an amazing swimming pool as we will be in it everyday. Certainly we aren't the first people to use this as criteria for trip planning.

faithie Feb 21st, 2006 05:13 AM

I think children would be happy with a pretty basic swimming pool at that age . We have always travelled with our children , they are now 7 and 9 . I think what SanParis is trying to say is that by stating that you will only go to a place with a super duper pool , you are in fact limiting your options .

SusanMargaret Feb 21st, 2006 05:34 AM

The Crane, Barbados, has the most spectacular pool. High above the ocean and named one of the "ten best beaches in the world". (

fishee Feb 21st, 2006 08:13 AM

I think this pool is amazing...

but maybe not so kid-friendly.

SAnParis Feb 21st, 2006 11:18 AM

As a parent w/a 10 month old & 3 1/2 year old, faithie understands exactly where I am coming from. The sooner children learn about the ocean, the better off they will be. I guess my real question is what else are you looking for on this trip ? It seems a bit of a waste to fly all that way to sit by a pool...(?)You are certainly limiting your options if you are basing an entire trip on that criteria alone. I'm just looking for other interests, goals, something...that's all.

Kristen1206 Feb 21st, 2006 11:53 AM

There is no better swimming pool than the huge turquoise caribbean sea!! We have never once set foot in a pool when in the caribbean.

If you go somehwere with calm, shallow water, that beats any pool anyday. Try Grace Bay Beach, Seven Mile beach or Shoal Bay Beach.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:43 AM.