Last Updated on July 5, 2021 by Katrina
As both the state capitol and a cultural hub, Austin has a sophisticated hotel scene. But this Central Texas city also gets plenty of warm (or downright hot) days, making a good hotel pool an important amenity. A few hotels in Austin’s metro area have family-friendly, waterpark-like pool complexes—but if you’re looking at hotels downtown, expect a pool scene that features a lively bar and cabanas (and may even allow non-hotel guests to come too, provided they pay a cover charge). Here are five hotel pools in Austin that offer different definitions of splashy fun.
JW Marriott Austin (110 E. 2nd St.; 512-474-4777) Downtown
Exuding plenty of Lone Star State attitude, the bottom of the 5th floor pool at this 1,012-room hotel is emblazoned with a giant outline of Texas. The overall pool scene shares that larger-than-life ambience: luxury cabanas come with big screen TVs, speakers, and couches for 6 to 8. Some reviewers notes that the pool can get crowded on weekends, and some felt the actual pool was a little small, giant Texas notwithstanding. But overall, “The pool has a family friendly atmosphere while still appealing to singles and groups that want to have some drinks with a view and great sun,” says one Tripadvisor user. “Amazing view from the pool,” says one Google reviewer, who liked the hotel’s convenience to South Congress and the State Capitol. “Beautiful place. Staff was very attentive to my needs and very friendly!”
W Austin (200 Lavaca St.; 844-631-0595) Downtown
This branch of the chic W hotel chain has a few big perks, beyond its convenient downtown location: “This hip hotel—attached to iconic Moody Theater, where Austin City Limits Live concerts are taped—feels decidedly fitting for Austin,” says Condé Nast Traveler. But its fourth-floor rooftop WET pool—with cabanas, outdoor shows and a fireplace—is its own scene, too. While reviewers enjoyed the pool, keep in mind that it can be a party. “We stayed overlooking the river on the 12th floor, which was an amazing view,” says one Tripadvisor user. “I will say the vibrant pool scene could be heard in our room, so if you want it quiet don’t overlook the pool.”
Austin Motel (1220 S. Congress Ave.; 512-441-1157) South Congress
It may not be new or fancy, but the kidney-shaped pool is the centerpiece of this South Congress motel that embodies the Austin spirit: a little weird, but mellow and fun. “Great pool space in a unique atmosphere—definitely a throwback moment when hanging at this hotel,” says one Google reviewer. A Tripadvisor user, meanwhile, describes the pool scene as “all red and white with fake grass and nice music playing! You feel like you are back in the 70’s on vacation! Loved the pool robes and the towels.” The pool allows day passes from locals, as well as ticketed evening swims. The hotel also has a quirky onsite diner and gift shop, and is walking distance to plenty of South Congress spots.
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa (8212 Barton Club Dr.; 844-623-0149) Barton Creek
Some hotel pools in Austin are truly mini waterparks, and this is one of them. Located on the edge of the city, this 4,000-acre Omni resort offers a taste of the Texas Hill Country, with a golf course and all the perks of a full-service resort. “Barton Creek Resort and Spa has plenty to keep kids busy,” says Travel+Leisure, “including nature hikes, mini-golf, pools and activities like scavenger hunts.” The pool area includes four pools: an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a “‘splash pad” inspired by the area’s natural springs, and an infinity pool just for adults. Some reviewers comment that the resort seems a little more geared toward golfers than families. “It’s a lovely place,” says one Tripadvisor user. “The views are beautiful, especially with the fire pits and twinkly lights at dusk.”
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines (575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd.; 512-308-1234) Cedar Creek
This 491-room, AAA Four Diamond resort sits on 405 acres along the Colorado River, about 25 miles from downtown, and boasts one of the nicest hotel pools in Austin. Thanks in part to its Crooked River pool area— with a water slide and 1,000-foot lazy river—this is the kind of place where you can stay put, especially if you brought the kids. “If you can get your kids out of the water, recreation staffers lead activities like flag football and horseshoe tournaments,” says Travel+Leisure. “We spent most of the time floating in the lazy river, sliding down the water slide or in the family pool and jacuzzi,” says one Tripadvisor user. “Our six year old was thrilled—got to ride horseback and explore on trails. Endless activities to entertain the kids.”