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Miami's Ten Most Magnificent Hotel Pools, Mapped

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The great and luxurious swimming pool is an architectural statement immediately associated with a few unique resort cities: Miami, L.A., Palm Springs, the South of France. Specifically, it's the destination where the workaholic finally gets to lay back and live the fantasy life, if for only a seven-day, six-night package deal, airboat ride, parasailing, and roundtrip airfare included. The swimming pool is the dream, and Miami dream-building (the architecture of fantasy, baby) has brought it to new heights.


· Outdoors Week 2014 coverage [Curbed Miami]

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1. Raleigh Hotel

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1775 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 534-6300
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The Raleigh Hotel's bodacious pool is a Miami classic, perhaps the Miami classic. Built for Esther Williams, it's curvaceous, sensual, and for hotel guests only. But, by all means, sneak in. The future of the pool is bright, albeit mysterious, now that Tommy Hilfiger is planning a huge restoration/renovation of the hotel.

2. The Standard Spa Hotel

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40 Island Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 673-1717
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When Andrez Balazs, the Zeus of boutique hotels, decided to expand his Standard Hotels to Miami Beach, who knew the local variant would be better than the L.A. original? The pool, at the far end of a surreal garden, is certainly one for the gods. Plus, there's a full spa, with hammam, and if you're a local, with no need to get a room, you can buy a day pass too. Of course sneaking in is still fun.

3. W Hotel and Residences South Beach

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2201 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 938-3000
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Among South Beach pool scenes, WET, which is what the W's set of pools is called, is a a little younger and more bohemian than the Setai's, a little wilder than the Delano's, perhaps a bit more sedate and significantly more cultured than the Shelborne's, about half the age of the Ritz Carlton's.

4. Biltmore Hotel and Country Club

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1200 Anastasia Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 445-1926
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The Biltmore Hotel's huge pool was once largest in the world, and employed Johnny Weismuller before his Tarzan days, as a swimming instructor. The old high dive is now a waterfall.

5. Fontainebleau Hotel

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4441 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(305) 538-2000
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The Fontainebleau's grounds, including its series of pools, cabanas, lawns, terraces, and other resort activities, have been designed, built, used, and then ripped out and completely done over three times in its history. This third incarnation is very see-and-be-soon, and was built at about the same time as the latest towers.

6. Vagabond Motel

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7301 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138

The Vagabond Motel's central piece-de-resistance, its large, blue swimming pool with dolphins and a mermaid made out of tiles swimming about, is back to its original splendor thanks to developer Avra Jain. It's scheduled to be open in the coming weeks.

7. Delano Hotel

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1685 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 672-2000
Visit Website

Ian Shrager's white palace, the Delano Hotel, is famous for its tableau of a baroque garden table and chair in the very shallow end of its long pool. The hotel is still in its prime, decades after being one of the early major boutique hotels to establish itself in South Beach, with the poolside scene playing a staring role.

8. EPIC Hotel

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270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 424-5226
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Of Downtown Miami's various hotels, most but not all of which are new, the Kimpton Epic may have the most awe inspiring pool and amenity offerings. Raised high above the street, the pool is right on the precipice of the Miami River as it widens to the bay. The hotel also has access to the pool and beach facilities of its sister Kimpton hotels over in South Beach, the Surfcomber and Angler's.

9. SOHO Beach House

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4385 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(786) 507-7900
Visit Website

Soho Beach house is an old English private club for modern creatives in our subtropical beach resort. The pool is very, oh, akin to that which might be found at an English expat's midcentury modern flat in Barcelona or the Caymans.

10. Shore Club

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1901 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 695-3100
Visit Website

The Shore Club calls itself "An Art Deco labyrinth of gardens and alcoves in the heart of South Beach", which is quite accurate. Designed sort of like a Moroccan pleasure garden, or an Egyptian lost oasis, the Shore Club is a babylonian garden on a ziggurat of levels connected by stairways, reflecting pools, loggias, dense plantings, and plush outdoor furniture.

1. Raleigh Hotel

1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Raleigh Hotel's bodacious pool is a Miami classic, perhaps the Miami classic. Built for Esther Williams, it's curvaceous, sensual, and for hotel guests only. But, by all means, sneak in. The future of the pool is bright, albeit mysterious, now that Tommy Hilfiger is planning a huge restoration/renovation of the hotel.

1775 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

2. The Standard Spa Hotel

40 Island Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

When Andrez Balazs, the Zeus of boutique hotels, decided to expand his Standard Hotels to Miami Beach, who knew the local variant would be better than the L.A. original? The pool, at the far end of a surreal garden, is certainly one for the gods. Plus, there's a full spa, with hammam, and if you're a local, with no need to get a room, you can buy a day pass too. Of course sneaking in is still fun.

40 Island Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

3. W Hotel and Residences South Beach

2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Among South Beach pool scenes, WET, which is what the W's set of pools is called, is a a little younger and more bohemian than the Setai's, a little wilder than the Delano's, perhaps a bit more sedate and significantly more cultured than the Shelborne's, about half the age of the Ritz Carlton's.

2201 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

4. Biltmore Hotel and Country Club

1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

The Biltmore Hotel's huge pool was once largest in the world, and employed Johnny Weismuller before his Tarzan days, as a swimming instructor. The old high dive is now a waterfall.

1200 Anastasia Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134

5. Fontainebleau Hotel

4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

The Fontainebleau's grounds, including its series of pools, cabanas, lawns, terraces, and other resort activities, have been designed, built, used, and then ripped out and completely done over three times in its history. This third incarnation is very see-and-be-soon, and was built at about the same time as the latest towers.

4441 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140

6. Vagabond Motel

7301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

The Vagabond Motel's central piece-de-resistance, its large, blue swimming pool with dolphins and a mermaid made out of tiles swimming about, is back to its original splendor thanks to developer Avra Jain. It's scheduled to be open in the coming weeks.

7301 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138

7. Delano Hotel

1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Ian Shrager's white palace, the Delano Hotel, is famous for its tableau of a baroque garden table and chair in the very shallow end of its long pool. The hotel is still in its prime, decades after being one of the early major boutique hotels to establish itself in South Beach, with the poolside scene playing a staring role.

1685 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

8. EPIC Hotel

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami, FL 33131

Of Downtown Miami's various hotels, most but not all of which are new, the Kimpton Epic may have the most awe inspiring pool and amenity offerings. Raised high above the street, the pool is right on the precipice of the Miami River as it widens to the bay. The hotel also has access to the pool and beach facilities of its sister Kimpton hotels over in South Beach, the Surfcomber and Angler's.

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131

9. SOHO Beach House

4385 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Soho Beach house is an old English private club for modern creatives in our subtropical beach resort. The pool is very, oh, akin to that which might be found at an English expat's midcentury modern flat in Barcelona or the Caymans.

4385 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140

10. Shore Club

1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Shore Club calls itself "An Art Deco labyrinth of gardens and alcoves in the heart of South Beach", which is quite accurate. Designed sort of like a Moroccan pleasure garden, or an Egyptian lost oasis, the Shore Club is a babylonian garden on a ziggurat of levels connected by stairways, reflecting pools, loggias, dense plantings, and plush outdoor furniture.

1901 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139