Enjoy a Northern California Summer at These Serene Hotel Pools

Though wine tasting, hiking and sightseeing might take up most of your time while exploring California’s northern coast, being able to lounge poolside is a necessary summer activity.

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While Southern California tends to get all of the attention for its sunny weather, warm temperatures and pristine beaches, Northern California has plenty to offer during the summer. The diverse landscape ranges from the dramatic bluffs of Big Sur to the rolling vineyards of wine country, ensuring that there is just as much, if not more, to see and do. You’ll also find plenty of high-end hotels that offer more space and privacy, as open land is easier to come by in NorCal. Though wine tasting, hiking and sightseeing might take up most of your time while exploring California’s northern coast, being able to lounge poolside is a necessary summer activity. 

Although NorCal has a reputation for being colder and cloudier than its southern counterpart, places like Napa Valley, Sonoma and Lake Tahoe get pretty toasty in the summer, with temperatures reaching as high as the mid-90s. Most luxury hotels, however, have heated pools, allowing you to swim even in cooler temps and bypass the whole indoor pool situation. Whether you’re hoping to lounge poolside with a good book while surrounded by towering pine trees or want infinity-edge Pacific Ocean views, these are the most serene hotel pools for your next getaway in Northern California. 

Post Ranch Inn

  • 47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Post Ranch Inn sits on the edge of a scenic bluff in Big Sur. Though the tree-lined lap pool offers a picturesque peek of the Pacific, the infinity-edge pools by the spa and wellness center will take your breath away—and don’t forget to book a spa treatment and make a trip to the sauna afterwards. The small but stunning Jade Pool offers unobstructed views of the ocean, while the Meditation Pool has a sleek, circular design that surrounds guests in a sea of pine trees while sitting thousands of feet above a rocky beach. All of the pools are heated so you can partake in an early morning swim or watch the sunset as the temperatures drop. Keep in mind that Big Sur faces road closures and lane blockages frequently, so always plan ahead and have an alternate route. 

Post Ranch Inn. Post Ranch Inn

Rosewood Sand Hill

  • 2825 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Located just outside of Palo Alto near the Santa Cruz Mountains in the Bay Area, Rosewood Sand Hill is a five-star resort that seamlessly blends business and pleasure. The swimming pool acts as the heart of this Silicon Valley property, offering a peaceful oasis in the middle of one of California’s most innovative and influential areas. It’s also less than a 45-minute drive from San Francisco. The Hawaiian-inspired food and drink menu features everything from poke to fish tacos, and you can also sip island-esque libations like the Kona Mai Tai and refreshing Cocojito. 

Rosewood Sand Hill. Rosewood Sand Hill

Carneros Resort & Spa

  • 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559

Napa’s lush vineyards set the scene at the Carneros pool. This chic farmhouse-style property has a sense of privacy and exclusivity that also extends to the pool deck, making this the perfect property for travelers hoping to feel off-grid while still enjoying all of the amenities of a five-star hotel. The rectangular swimming pool also has a separate hot tub that looks straight onto the vineyards, but you can also post up on one of the plush daybeds or recliners with your laptop or favorite novel. 

Carneros Resort & Spa. Carneros

Auberge du Soleil

  • 180 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573

From the moment you check in, the 33 acres of olive and oak trees and French-inspired architecture at Auberge du Soleil offer a South of France-esque ambiance. Stone steps lead to the quaint and charming deck that features a simple square lap pool along with a round jacuzzi. While you can easily spend the day lounging here, the spa and fitness center is also home to infinity-edge soaking pools that offer a tranquil experience with a stunning view of wine country to match. 

Auberge de Soleil. Auberge de Soleil

Alila Ventana Big Sur

  • 48123 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

With the redwoods on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the Alila Ventana Big Sur, about an hour from Monterey, is an epic escape for outdoorsy travelers. And after a long day of hiking, mountain biking or even archery, nothing beats lounging by the charming Meadow Pool. Since coastal Northern California can be a bit chilly, even in the summer, the infinity-edge hot tub makes for the ultimate soak. If you get too toasty, cool off with some frozen fruit and aromatherapy towels from the dedicated pool attendants. You can also visit the Mountain Pool, which sits next to 104-degree Japanese hot baths, where you’ll find a co-ed area along with separate sections for men and women. 

Alila Ventana. Alila Ventana

Montage Healdsburg

  • 100 Montage Way, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Montage Healdsburg exemplifies the best of Sonoma County. There are two pools on-site; one that is family-friendly and one that is exclusive to adults. The main pool hovers just over the property’s lush acreage, and the zero-edge adult pool offers a more secluded and quiet ambiance. And what better way to admire the surrounding cabernet sauvignon vines below than with a glass of vino in your lounge chair? You can also order more refreshing cocktails and fresh seafood from Hudson Springs Bar and Grill while hanging at the adults-only pool. 

Montage Healdsburg. Montage Healdsburg

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

  • 13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Ct, Truckee, CA 96161

Enjoy a breath of fresh mountain air when you visit The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. While you’ll certainly find yourself preoccupied with a plethora of outdoor activities ranging from paddle boarding in the lake to hiking and biking, this mountain-side property boasts a crystal-clear outdoor pool that looks out onto rolling green hills scattered with picture-perfect pine trees. The shady private cabanas offer an ideal respite from the blazing sun, and you can also utilize the poolside service for craft cocktails and casual bites. Since the main pool is open until 10 p.m., take some time to soak under the stars and admire the spectacular views of the Milky Way.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. The Ritz-Carlton

Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

  • 200 Stanly Crossroad, Napa, CA 94559

Since opening in 2022, Stanly Ranch has won the hearts of locals and visitors alike in Napa Valley. Take in mountainous and rolling vineyard views while swimming morning laps or lounging in the cushioned recliners at the Halehouse pool, which is open to guests from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. When in wine country, nothing beats a glass of local vino poolside, and you can also enjoy a farm-fresh salad or Mediterranean fare from Basin Bar. Take your experience to the next level by renting a private poolside cabana and get welcomed with a glass of sparkling rosé. 

Stanly Ranch. Stanly Ranch

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