The Bay's Top 10 Swimming Pools For An Extra-Cool Summer

Sure, we all know that when summer hits our fair city, we aren’t exactly sweating bullets on the beach. In fact, it’s safe to say that we'll more than likely be found facing the fog-filled months layered to the max, hot toddy in hand. But, what about those jaw-dropping days when the mercury pulls a fast one on us and creeps above 70 degrees?
On those days, sometimes just sitting under the sun isn’t enough, and the only way to remedy the sitch is to get a refreshing pool involved. So, in preparation of when your shining moment does come (and don’t worry, it will!), we think it's only right to to arm you with this roundup of the best places around the Bay to take a summertime dip. From sprawling swimming spots in Napa with killer winery views to a Berkeley cooldown at the Claremont, here are our 10 must-hit pools in the Bay, plus a guide on how to gain entry to them. Trust us, when the temps soar, you’ll be glad you kept this list handy.
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Photo: Courtesy of Phoenix Hotel
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Francis Ford Coppola Winery
The crème de la crème of wine-themed watering spots? All tracks lead to the posh pool of Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Seriously, this swimming sanctuary is giant and has a Euro-fab feel. Reserve a cabine ahead of time to be assured luxe pool chairs. Or, if you want to get your lounging and wine sipping on spur of the moment, note that this Geyserville hotspot works on a first-come, first-serve basis for spots on the lawn. So, get there early unless you want to wait. Trust this is a must to add to your ever-expanding summer to-do list.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, 300 Via Archimedes (at Souverain Road), Geyserville; 707-857-1471.

Photo: Courtesy of Francis Ford Coppola Winery
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Palace Hotel
This storied downtown S.F. hotel is about as classic as they come. With its elegant décor and luxe amenities this old-timey spot is a celebrated Bay Area lodging haven. And the pool doesn’t fall flat either. The large indoor swimming pool sits in the atrium area of the hotel and is ideal for those looking for everything from a mid-afternoon dip to a full-on workout. Plus, it's heated, so if Mother Nature throws a curveball you can still utilize it. We recommend trailing a hotel guest friend for entry to this wow-worthy watering hole.

Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street (between Stevenson and Market streets); 415-512-1111.

Photo: Courtesy of Palace Hotel
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Hotel Healdsburg
If you haven’t peeked into the stunning Hotel Healdsburg, we recommend doing so, stat. This lovely wine-country spot has California design and a warm, relaxed ambiance down pat. But what really blows us away is the gorgeous, yet cozy pool. This one is really as decadent as we could ever hope for — with a 60-foot garden, pool, and Jacuzzi area. Once night falls this pool is nothing short of picturesque. Book a room here to hit up the pool or just enjoy it as an add-on to a treatment at The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg.

Hotel Healdsburg, 25 Matheson Street (at Healdsburg Avenue), Healdsburg; 707-431-2800.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Healdsburg
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H2Hotel
This Sonoma getaway is Hotel Healdsburg’s quirky, modern, and eco-friendly sister. The LEED-certified hotel boasts a lush swimming spot surrounded by succulents and greenery. The pool is quaint and shallow, but with big-time offerings. Catch a tan (while sipping on a Spoonbar cocktail) and lounge poolside on the sleek chairs. If you’re going to splash around in Healdsburg — this is the place to do it.

H2Hotel, 219 Healdsburg Avenue (near Mill Street), Healdsburg; 707-922-5251.

Photo: Courtesy of H2Hotel
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Nob Hill Spa
In addition to the ah-mazing massages, here's another reason to book a spa day at Nob Hill Spa: The gorgeous indoor pool with sweeping city views. Located inside the Huntington Hotel, this sleek swimming pool is the place to chill out. Plus, there's poolside catering and a patio perfect for sunning.

Nob Hill Spa, 1075 California Street (between Taylor and Mason streets); 415-345-2888.

Photo: Courtesy of Nob Hill Spa
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Hotel Nikko
If the temps are creeping up, but it's not quite enough of a scorcher to hit up an outdoor pool, Hotel Nikki is your spot. This downtown destination with an indoor pool offers an airy escape from the city. The filtered sunlight, warm water, and open architecture make this one a go-to — even on those awkwardly mild days. Pop into Anzu for a post-swim treat, and be sure to swing by with a pal cozying up here for entry.

Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street (between Ellis and O’Farrell steets); 415-394-1111.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Nikko
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The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn And Spa
Swanky to the max is the name of this pool's game. The decorative area is nestled in the courtyard and is surrounded by towering palm trees and Spanish-style architecture. But, if you are down for a more relaxing endeavor we suggest scoping out the spa pools. These luxe mineral-water nooks are an ultra-zen alternative to a day of splish splashing. Dive right in to this wine country’s aqua-laden oasis, but don’t forget to follow a friend holing up here (unless you’re up for crashing).

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, 100 Boyes Boulevard (at Sonoma Highway), Sonoma; 707-938-9000.

Photo: Courtesy of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn And Spa
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Claremont Hotel Club And Spa
Nestled atop a hilly backdrop in Berkeley, the Claremont Hotel has been an East Bay lodging icon for eons. This timeless hotel and racket club has managed to gain fans across the board, from Brad and Angelina to the Obamas. But, one standout feature of this vintage haven has to be the pool — hands-down. This expansive swimming area offers guests and spa-goers a trio of hip dips. You’ll know where to find us on the next warm one.

Claremont Hotel Club And Spa, 41 Tunnel Road (near Alvarado Road), Berkeley; 800-551-7266.

Photo: Courtesy of The Claremont
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Phoenix Hotel
If you’re looking for the ultimate day-by-the-pool experience you should probably head over to the iconic rock 'n roll hangout, the Phoenix Hotel (don't let the outside fool you). Poolside brunching is a real deal thanks to the peeps over at adjoining restaurant Chambers Eat + Drink. Nosh, sip, and lounge in the colorful chairs that circle the pool or opt for one of the chill cabanas. Also, Chambers Eat + Drink switches it up by throwing pool parties, too. Fun!

Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy Street (between Larkin and Polk streets); 415-776-1380.

Photo: Courtesy of Phoenix Hotel
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The Westin Verasa Napa
For a no-fuss swimming pool in the heart of downtown Napa, the Westin pool fits the bill. The outdoor area offers up a slew of sleek seating options, a fire pit for chilly evenings, and an expansive hot tub that could probably fit about 30 folks. We recommend popping by this sun-soaked pool to kick it after an afternoon of wine guzzling.

The Westin Verasa Napa, 1314 Mckinstry Street (near Soscol Avenue), Napa; 707-257-1800.

Photo: Courtesy of The Westin Verasa Napa
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