Skiers know that the best places to stay are slopeside, where they have direct access to the trails. The tropical equivalent is the swim-up room, where you can step outside and right into the warm waters of a swimming pool.
A more affordable alternative to suites with private pools or those located directly on the beach, swim-up rooms are part of a wave of hotel accommodations with unique features that go beyond soaking tubs and patio hot tubs.
Here’s a sampling of resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico’s Riviera Maya where you can dive into a swim-up room:
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, St. Maarten
Lounge on recliners half-submerged in a pool just outside your room at this all-suites resort. All 130 suites have ocean views, and the swim up suites – which have the option of butler service for pool drinks on demand – have large glass walls with sliding doors that open wide to bring the outdoors in.
The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, Dominican Republic
The majority of ground-level rooms at this Puna Cana all-inclusive resort offer swim-up access; guests can choose from one- and two-bedroom swim-up suites.
Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas
The biggest resort on the small island of Bimini in the Bahamas’ “sister islands” has a casino, marina, and Exclusive Suites with private patio leading to a lagoon-style pool.
UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico
The Alcoba Swim-Up Rooms at this all-inclusive resort has king rooms with outdoor decks providing direct access to the pool. Each deck has high walls for privacy from neighbors and twin lounge chairs floating on a shallow platform for cool relaxation.
Sandals South Coast, Jamaica
The Sandals chain of all-inclusive resorts has gotten into the swim in a big way: swim-up rooms can be found at nearly every Sandals in the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Saint Lucia. But brand new are the 20 swim-up Rondoval Suites at the Sandals South Coast; each round building not only has its own plunge pool but direct access to a 17,040-foot, zero-entry swimming pool – said to be the longest in the Western Hemisphere.
Serenade Punta Cana Beach & Spa Resort, Dominican Republic
Long, rectangular pools run along the base of the four-story room blocks at Serenade Punta Cana, accommodating ground-floor rooms with large terraces and step-out access to the water. Rooms have one king or two queen beds.
Sanctuary Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
The distinctive, round Castle building looks more like a fortress to me, especially with its “moat” of a saltwater swimming pool, shared by swim-up rooms that feature king beds, jetted bathtubs, butler service, and furnished living room and terraces.
Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Aqua Club rooms at this Punta Cana luxury resort have patios with jetted tubs that also step down to the club’s private swimming pool. Outside of the hotel-within-a-hotel there are also less-pricy premium swim-up rooms as well.
TRS Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
The Junior Swim Up Suites at this Punta Cana resort have direct access to a semi-private pool, and each has a hammock for lazy swaying as well. The resort is adults-only, so no noisy kids splashing around outside your room, either.
Secrets Maroma Beach, Cancun, Mexico
The Presidential Suite at this Cancun-adjacent resort isn’t the only one with swim-out capabilities; junior suites also have patios with access to a serpentine pool on ground level, which can be booked with or without access to the resort’s Preferred Club.
Calabash Cove, Saint Lucia
Calabash Cove is one of the Caribbean’s loveliest resorts on one of its more beautiful beaches, so the hotel’s swim-out rooms are just the cherry on top. The four swim-up junior suites have 24-hour access the hotel’s infinity-edge pool and also are conveniently close to the swim-up bar.
Hideaway at Royalton Negril, Jamaica
This all-inclusive and adults-only resort on Seven Mile Beach in Negril has swim-up junior suites among its 140 regular and Diamond Club rooms. Swim-up rooms open onto a semi-private pool.