Fun in the Sun: DC Hotels’ Outdoor Pools Offer Relief from Heat

Summer in Washington, DC often brings with it the year’s most valuable hotel rates, but it can also bring steamy weather. Visitors arriving in town with youngsters in tow can find relief from the heat at several DC hotel properties that offer outdoor—and in some cases, rooftop—swimming pools.

If you’re looking for a location near the National Mall, try the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, whose giant rooftop pool allows visitors to swim no matter the season. The pool is covered during the winter months, but opens up in the summer for a spectacular view of the city. Planning a parents’ night out on the town? The hotel also provides baby-sitting services for your convenience. Nearby, the Holiday Inn Capitol also offers its guests a swim with a view with a seasonal rooftop pool. Closer to the U.S. Capitol, the newly redesigned Holiday Inn on the Hill’s rooftop pool and spacious deck appeal to vacationing families and lobbyists alike.

Downtown’s Thomas Circle neighborhood is home to two additional hotels with outdoor pools. Truly an urban oasis, the pet-friendly Washington Plaza’s outdoor pool is surrounded by a rare DC commodity: greenery. It’s also a popular gathering place for neighborhood residents. Just around the corner, the Holiday Inn Central’s rooftop pool offers panoramic views of the National Mall, Washington Monument and the White House, which is located just six blocks away.

Several properties with outdoor pools can be found points northwest of downtown. Visitors staying in Foggy Bottom or Georgetown have a few refreshing options. Check in to the One Washington Circle Hotel, which recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation. Beyond its outdoor pool, kids will also delight in its in-room Nintendo video game equipment. The DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel’s rooftop pool gives swimmers perfect photo opportunities with views of the Kennedy Center, the Watergate complex and the nearby Potomac River. Guests at the Holiday Inn Georgetown can top off a hot day of shopping and sightseeing with a swim or relaxing poolside nap.

In Dupont Circle, lap swimmers will enjoy the Hilton Washington’s Olympic-sized pool, located amid the shade of trees within the arc-shaped hotel’s courtyard, which also features tennis courts. And coming this June is a brand new Kimpton Group hotel—and Washington, DC’s first Kimpton with a pool—the Hotel Palomar. Located just off Dupont Circle, the Palomar will have an outdoor lap pool, complete with a sundeck and private cabana. Outdoor pools can also be found at Courtyard by Marriott Northwest and Swann House Historic Dupont Circle Inn. The rooftop pool at Hilton Washington Embassy Row affords another great view of the city, along with a poolside menu for adults and children alike.

North of Dupont Circle, the four-star Omni Shoreham Hotel capitalizes on its prime location; its heated outdoor pool is situated amid the lush greenery of Rock Creek Park, a wooded, 1,755-acre recreation center that attracts bikers, joggers, dog-walkers and more. Nearby, the historic Wardman Park Marriott Hotel is the city’s largest hotel, complete with two heated outdoor pools and matching sundecks.

With all these choices, ranging from well-known national brands to privately-owned historic hotels, visitors can choose the property with the price and level of comfort most suitable to them. Check for spectacular summer rates and packages at many of these properties.

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