In Hawaii, a state surrounded by warm waters of the Pacific, many visitors make swimming pools a factor in where they book a room. I’m not quite sure why.
But the pools, which come in seemingly every shape and size, are wildly popular. Unless you’re on Waikiki Beach, you’ll often find as many people sunning on a chaise longue beside the pools — many resorts have more than one — as you will find stretched out on a towel on the sand.
I decided to explore some of the pool options awaiting travelers to Hawaii. A thorough list might be about as long as that novel you’ll read on vacation, so here are a few island-by-island suggestions.
Guests at the Sheraton Waikiki need not rub their eyes – yes, that’s a mermaid beside the kids’ pool at the Helumoa Playground.
OK, it’s a resort employee wearing fake fins, but young kids are in awe of Mermaid Citrine and Mermaid Sirenity.
They take turns poolside, posing for photos and playing games such as diving for rings and “Red Fish, Green Fish,” the mermaids’ version of “Red Light, Green Light.”
Mermaid Sirenity even hops into the pool to swim with the children. Both mermaids wrap up their sessions with stories from the deep.
The activity is open to guests at the Sheraton Waikiki and the neighboring Royal Hawaiian Resort. It takes place from 1-2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through August.
The resort, which opened in July 2016, features an infinity pool on the eighth floor, overlooking the greenery of Fort Derussy with views of the Pacific Ocean. (Despite its name, the hotel is not on the beach.)
The hotel claims the distinction of having the highest infinity pool in Waikiki.
Maybe best of all, newly married couples can pose for pictures, gown, bouquet and all, underwater. The hotel can provide a photographer with waterproof gear.
About 30 miles to the south, guests at the Grand Wailea are spoiled with choices.
The Wailea Canyon Activity Pool consists of nine pools with features such as a beach, caves, waterfalls and water slides. There’s even a unique elevator that transports people between pools on different levels.
Grown-ups can ditch the hyper-excited youngsters with a dip in the adults-only Hibiscus Pool, covering nearly 5,000 square feet.
That means there’s plenty of room for some serious swimming.
Don’t forget to look down, The hibiscus flower at the bottom of the pool was crafted using 630,000 mosaic tiles.