Ten Favorite Pools in Metro Phoenix
4. Clarendon Hotel
If you're just looking to swim in some treated water, any hotel pool in the Valley will do. But if you're looking for a bona fide swimming experience -- complete with multi-sensory special effects -- then the Clarendon's pool is the only place to go. This boutique hotel's got the most impressive pool area in town, "The Oasis." In addition to being a work of art, complete with a 20-foot-tall glass water wall and a Sicis Italian mural with platinum and gold accents, the pool is state of the art. It features underwater speakers, water jet massagers, a jacuzzi that accommodates more than 50 people, and bubbling fountains. At night, the pool looks particularly majestic, as nearly a thousand stars become illuminated on the pool bottom. If that doesn't sound hedonistic enough for you, there's also a bar inside that serves fine wine and offers free Wi-Fi, so you can surf the Net for naughty pictures. But we have a feeling that the pool will get your undivided attention.
3. The W Scottsdale
Posh doesn't even begin to describe the indoor/outdoor lounges located next to the W Scottsdale's second-floor WET Deck, which features lavish brown and white couches, Mediterranean-inspired décor, and a fully stocked bar armed with a classy staff tending to whatever boozy need may arise. Waterfalls are located throughout the place, rippling water at just the right volume for conversation among well-heeled types. Across the pool from Shade Lounge is the W's Sunset Beach, consisting of a white-sand landscape occupied by cabanas and daybeds, as well as color-changing lights and blazing fire pits encased in onyx marble. Good luck trying to sneak in, as the doormen at the W are particularly vigilant when it comes to stopping freeloaders.
2. Arizona Biltmore
It's been called the "Jewel of the Desert," and Arizona's Grand Dame. Naturally, this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired property had to be included on our list of places to sneak into. A pool and your money are soon parted at this luxury resort, where non-paying guests will sigh contentedly as your stress and cash quietly drain away under the swaying palms. Spy tanning celebrities, cut in front of children waiting for the 92-foot water slide, or swim up to the bar for an $8 piña colada -- the choice is yours.
1. Spanish Fly
There are plenty of pools in Scottsdale, but smack dab in the middle of Old Town sits Spanish Fly, which features an oasis-like swimming pool encompassing most of the outdoor patio. Where other Scottsdale beach bars boast paltry wading pools, Spanish Fly -- formerly the home of upscale Polynesia place Drift -- trumps 'em all. The proprietors exchanged tiki shtick for chic couches, posh cabanas, and a glimmering waterfall. As its name portends, the joint also serves Mexican-style nosh, but be sure to wait an hour after eating before taking a dip.
4341 N. 75th St., Scottsdale, AZ
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale, AZ
5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ