The 10 Best Rooftop Pools in Texas, From Dallas to San Antonio
Some include lazy rivers, others include tequila-spiked popsicles
If you’re currently stuck to your chair or have simply melted into a new, liquid form, we hear you — it’s brutal out there. The only good news for overheated Texans is that pool season is very much upon us. In order to help you find the nearest body of (chlorinated) water, we’ve rounded up a collection of our favorite rooftop pools across the state.
A handful of the hotel pools are for guests only, but you can often score a day pass via Resort Pass and enjoy the scenery without staying the night.
Now, let’s get you on a roof and in a pool. Sure, that puts you even closer to the sun, but submerging yourself in water with a frozen drink is the best way to fight the rays. Well, that plus sunscreen.
The Otis Hotel is known for having a primo record collection, record players in each room and even a “vinyl ambassador” to help you curate your evening’s soundtrack. All great. But don’t forget to check out the Otopia Rooftop Pool and Lounge. Flanked by green turf and comfortable seating, the sunny pool looks out at downtown and the UT campus, so you can take in your surroundings while having a dip. Even if you’re not swimming, you can enjoy the view from the attached bar, which serves tacos, sushi rolls and frozen cocktails.
Stroll out to the sixth-floor terrace at the Marriott Marquis Houston, and you’ll find the Altitude Rooftop and Pool with its Texas-shaped lazy river, plus an infinity pool and whirlpool. Hop into the river and float your way around the state — it takes about 15 minutes for one lap — then adjourn to a lounge chair or private cabana and request provisions from the adjacent High Dive bar and restaurant.
There’s a lot to do at the Thompson in downtown Dallas, including a handful of good restaurants and one of the better 49th-floor bars in this town or any other. But the ninth-floor terrace has the pool, so that’s where you should go. When it’s time for a break from the water, you can retreat to a sunny lounger or a shaded cabana — the latter have TVs and mini fridges. And the poolside bar is always ready with cold drinks and snacks.
Take a trip to the seventh floor of the Fairmont Austin, and you’ll quickly forget that you’re in Austin. The pool and its Rules & Regs bar feel straight out of a tropical paradise, with palm trees and greenery everywhere you look. The massive pool is surrounded by lounge chairs, so there are plenty of places to stretch out with a plate of lobster tostadas and a local beer.
The aptly named Sky Pool sits high atop Market Square Tower, floating 500 feet up, with a glass-bottom, infinity-edge pool that extends 10 feet off the side of the building. If you’re scared of heights, this might not be the pool for you — but for everyone else, it’s one of the best perches in the city. You might need to befriend a resident to gain access, or find another way in, but the results are worth the effort.
Hotel Van Zandt’s fourth-floor terrace offers views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake. And when your eyes are tired of viewing the surroundings, you can float in the cool water, lounge under an umbrella or sip a drink at the adjacent bar. Said bar is serving beers, wine, spritzes and Ranch Water, and the food comes from Austin favorite Geraldine’s, so you can eat a spicy fried chicken sandwich, carnitas tacos and one of the better poolside burgers around. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a tequila-spiked popsicle.
Sitting atop the Canvas Hotel just south of downtown Dallas is one of the best rooftop bar/pool combos you’ll find in the city. Sink into the water, reserve a cabana or just hang at a bar stool. All three offer prime views of the skyline, plus easy access to pulled pork nachos, crispy wings, flatbreads and drinks. You don’t have to cram all your good times into the next couple months — the pool is heated when it needs to be, and there are fire pits, so your season for enjoying this place is longer than just the hottest days of summer.
Another year-round option, the Omni’s heated infinity pool is ready with lounge chairs and fire pits, whatever the season requires. Situated right in the heart of downtown, the pool provides scenic views of the city, and the attached Uptown Terrace Pool Bar and Grill is stocked with all the things you want to eat and drink beside a pool. We’re talking watermelon salads, burgers, spritzes and bubbly.
This fifth-floor, resort-style hangout is an oasis in the middle of downtown. The oval-shaped pool is tiled in Turkish travertine, while the Brazilian wood deck is lined with shady palm trees and live oaks. The Pool Deck Café serves salads, sandwiches, tacos and tuna poke, and drinks include a range of frozen and draft cocktails, plus sparkling wine and craft beers. Stick around for a while, and you’ll likely receive a few surprises throughout the day, like smoothies, chilled towels, frozen grapes and popsicles.
If circumstances call for a dose of sun-plus-altitude when you’re strolling along the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Hyatt Regency has you covered. Perched high above the bustling strip, its rooftop pool is a prime spot to lose yourself for a couple hours. Swim, lay out and have a drink to check all the pool-related boxes. And if you happen to be visiting when it’s not absurdly hot, you’re still in luck: The pool is open year-round and heated in cooler months.
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