Last Updated on October 8, 2019 by Aether
As an avid swimmer, I used to get bored visiting the same pool, week in, week out. Not only that, but my pool had pretty basic amenities. Simple things like having a steam room or sauna were just not present in my local pool. This doesn’t matter to a lot of people, but it mattered to me. I used to go swimming to help me relax, but by the time I got there, it was normally packed full of people. Hardly a relaxing experience.
I then suddenly realized that I had dozens of indoor pools at my disposal, in the form of hotel facilities. These ranged from fairly basic hotels, with fairly basic pools not much better than my current one, to fully kitted out steam, sauna, and spa rooms, with beautiful Roman-style bathhouse pools available to it. The best part was, was that the majority of these hotels would let you use these facilities without having to pay for a room. Some hotels required you to pay per session, others, like regular gyms and pools, required a monthly or annual subscription fee, that granted you unlimited access to all the facilities that the hotel provided.
The benefits of swimming
Before we look into how I chose from the list of hotels near me with indoor pools, let us consider the advantages of swimming in itself.
Hitting the pool and doing a bunch of laps is the most effective way of getting your daily cardio in, as not only will it help strip that unwanted fat, but it’ll also help to tone up your muscles too. The best thing about swimming is that it’s an activity that any fitness level or ability can start, and you don’t need any special equipment except for what you’re wearing.
During your swim, your muscles are under constant resistance from the water around you. Water is many times denser than air, and no other form of cardio will work your whole body like swimming does. The effects of swimming hard have been shown to be similar to that of lifting light weights. The great thing about being in the pool is that you can safely increase your workout just by swimming a little harder.
Are you an asthma sufferer?
Gyms are notorious for having very stuffy and dry air, which makes those who suffer from respiratory problems have a not enjoyable time. The moisture in the air present at indoor pools makes breathing a lot easier. Also, if you have asthma, it’s been shown that repeated indoor pool use can actually improve your asthma symptoms.
Less stress, more work
Water supports your body weight in such a way that it makes it perfect for those who are recovering from injuries, or those who are overweight, a chance to perform cardio safely and without further risk. Better yet, if you’re in a heated pool, which you should be if it’s in a hotel, it’ll help loosen your muscles and joints to help prevent injuries during your workout.
Keeps you flexible
If you visit the gym, you’ll likely spend a lot of time using isolation machines. These teach your body to only operate to a certain distance, which is dictated by the machine. Also, these machines, like the name suggests, only isolate certain muscles at a time. This can often leave muscle groups unused and underdeveloped. Swimming makes you use all of the muscles in the body that are available, as well as using them to the furthest of their natural capabilities. Swimming is the perfect way to elongate and stretch out your body, keeping you flexible, which will result in lower chances of injury. In fact, a lot of people are completely put off by doing cardio due to this reason alone.
As far as cardio goes, swimming is certainly the most relaxing. Sitting on a rower in a gym room is mind-numbingly boring, as well as running around a track doing repeats. Swimming has been shown to give large boosts of endorphins, which mimic the same feeling you get when you practice yoga to a high level. Not only that but when you’re done, assuming you’ve visited a high-grade hotel which has the facilities, you can visit the steam or sauna room to add on another 10-15 minutes of relaxation and tranquillity.
The search for pools
When searching for hotels with indoor pools near me, there were always a few things I took into consideration. By taking all of the following into account, I avoided visiting unsuitable hotels. Depending on where you live, you could have an almost endless supply of hotels with indoor pools near you, so it’s paramount that you find some way of narrowing down your search criteria.
Choosing the correct hotel with an indoor pool can be somewhat tricky, especially if you try and judge them by viewing their websites. A lot of these sites have very well done photos, which may hide the bad points. As an example, the swimming pool could look perfect, but it’s actually got a large window onlooking office buildings, with lots of traffic noise, etc, or you may find that the photos are accurate, but since then the hygiene of the whole hotel, including the swimming pool, has diminished. So, how can you tell if the hotel you’re looking at lives up to its own hype?
The best way of going about this is to assume that you’re going to stay there for a visit. It’s an incredibly unlikely circumstance to find a bad hotel that has a fantastic luxury 5* pool, but a 5* hotel doesn’t necessarily mean that the pool will be good either.
Spa, or no spa?
First, decide whether spa facilities are necessary or not. Having a spa available usually does up the price for using the facilities, and it doesn’t always mean that the pool is going to be the best either. One of the best pools I ever found, didn’t have a spa, or a steam room, etc. Also, pools that have a spa are generally a lot quieter, so if you’re adamant on having peace and quiet, this should be something to look for first.
Does the location matter to you? If it doesn’t, then it gives you more options. However, you may want to find hotels that are just outside your city. These will be more peaceful generally and have fewer people using the facilities. However, these hotels will likely charge a higher rate due to their location.
Also, these pools will usually have a better ambience about them, and you may wish to stay there afterwards to have a meal. Nothing beats looking at the countryside while having dinner, after a pleasant swim.
Certain hotels may have loyalty programs available if they don’t offer a monthly subscription service. While visiting these pools initially may work out expensive, if you’re a frequent swimmer, it should pay off in the long run if you stick to the same hotel. Always inquire about this, as it’s quite often that hotel staff will either forget or not bring it up.
Is it family-friendly?
Looking at whether a hotel and/or pool is family-friendly can work both ways. For those who don’t have kids, or won’t be bringing kids, it’s a good way to make sure that your swim is as splash-free as possible, as well as making sure it’s quiet. On the other hand, if you’re planning on bringing your family along with you, it’s best to find out which pools are accommodating. While all pools ordinarily allow kids during most parts of the day, a lot of hotel pools will have strict guidelines. This is particularly the case for those that have spa facilities connected to them, as their target audience are those who want peace and quiet.
Pick up the phone
After you’ve narrowed down a few hotel pools near you, the next stage is to pick up the phone and give them a ring. Although this isn’t necessary, it may save you on fuel and time, if something they say puts you off. For instance, some websites may not make reference to their stance on having children there, etc. Also, if the receptionist is rude, you can assume that the hotel isn’t run professionally, and that will likely impact the state of the pool and its facilities. You may also hear a lot of background noise and shouting, which of course would put you off if you were opting for the tranquil option.
It’s worth it in the end
Again, if you’re like me and unconditionally love swimming, then spending a little time to help liven up your hobby by visiting other places is unmistakably worthwhile. If I never searched for hotels near me with indoor pools, I think I would have ended up a little burnt out and may have even quit. Hopefully, you’ve taken all of these points on board, and I wish you success in finding a new pool to call home.