14 Amazing U.S. Hotels With Lazy Rivers for Your Next Summer Vacation

These relaxing waterways will please the whole family.

It would be easy to assume that lazy rivers are for kids. But I have met plenty of adults eager to chill out in a meandering, human-made waterway. Even my rather apathetic husband lights up at the idea of one. There’s just something to the sensation of floating, of being buoyed and carried along with no effort of your own. Put a drink in my hand and I’m mellow and light, too. 

View of Poipu beach from Grand Hyatt Kauai

World of Hyatt

This is all to say that a resort with a lazy river can be good for adults and children alike. And since summer is on the way, and with it comes rising temperatures, we’ve rounded up 14 fabulous hotels with lazy rivers to consider visiting on your next vacation. You can thank us later, when you’re vibing in an inner tube under baby blue skies.

01 of 14

Marriott Marquis Houston, Texas

Bird's eye view of a the Texas shaped lazy river at Marriot Marquis Houston

Marriott Marquis

A lazy river the shape of its home state? Only in Texas. This is one rooftop waterway we can’t unsee, and it’ll keep you cool during those swampy summer months. The hotel’s rooftop deck also has an infinity pool, an adults-only hot tub, and a bar called High Dive, which serves up excellent cocktails with a view.

02 of 14

The Grove Resort & Water Park, Orlando, Florida

Parents pushing their child on a tube down the lazy river

The Grove Resort

Access to Surfari Water Park is included with a stay at The Grove Resort, set approximately 10 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort. Among the many attractions here is a 695-foot lazy river with water canons and overhead bridges for floating under. Waterslides and a FlowRider surf simulator are here, too, and guests can book private cabanas or reserve poolside seating in advance.

03 of 14

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, California

Calm lazy river at Omni Rancho Las Palmas

Omni Hotels & Resorts

Confession: Before any of us ever had kids, a group of my grad school friends and I booked adjoining rooms at this Greater Palm Springs resort and had a blast in Splashtopia, the on-site water park with dual waterslides and a lazy river. If you're in this California desert region in the blazing summer months, a lazy river is required. Umbrella-clad tropical drinks can be procured at the poolside Splash Grill.

04 of 14

Sesame Place San Diego, California

Lazy River in Sesame Place with a sign of Big Bird

Sesame Place San Diego

I brought my toddler to this Sesame Street-themed water park and quickly noticed how suitable it was for tweens, teens, and adventurous grown-ups. Big Bird’s Rambling River is one of many water features here; it’s a lazy river that’s more than 1,000 feet long and curls around other park attractions. Complimentary life vests are available at entry points. Don’t miss Big Bird’s Beach, either, just steps away and an impressive replica of a giant sandy shore, minus the kelp. Note that park hours change with the seasons.

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Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Hawaii

View of Poipu beach from Grand Hyatt Kauai

World of Hyatt

Sign us up for a lazy river with views of Poipu Beach, one of America’s most lauded stretches of sand. If you’re not in the gorgeous blue waters of the Pacific, you can float past lava rocks and waterfalls in the resort’s saltwater lagoon and river. Swaying palm trees are your sun shades here.

06 of 14

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

Overview shot of a group in a lazy river approaching a waterfall

Don Riddle Images/Four Seasons

By our calculations, eight hours in a theme park might be best balanced by eight hours lounging at the Four Seasons, and this location has a five-acre water park to help you do just that. Known as Explorer Island, this oasis features a lazy river with a waterfall, two waterslides, a 7,590-square-foot pool with a sandy beach, and a splash pad with choreographed fountains.

07 of 14

MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada

Lounge chairs by the lazy river

MGM Grand

The Grand Pool Complex at MGM Grand is practically a club on a hot Vegas weekend — a 6.5-acre outdoor club. Grab a drink from one of five bars on the pool deck, then nab a neon inner tube and get your float on. Note that this hotel is also home to Nevada’s only Topgolf, yet another place to release your inner child.

08 of 14

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, Texas

A woman walking by the lazy river in the Hyatt Regency Hill Country

World of Hyatt

Surrounded by oak trees and designed with a dark bottom, the lazy river in this oasis is meant to replicate a typical float experience on a real Texas waterway. While you won’t have the fish or a natural current, there is a two-story waterslide in this five-acre park, plus multiple heated pools and a FlowRider surf simulator.

09 of 14

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona

Empty floats in the lazy river

Westin Hotels & Resorts

The Sonoran Desert is a geographical wonder, dotted with mighty saguaro cacti, but if you’re here in the hotter months, you might need the lazy river (and gigantic waterslide) at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa to you cool down after a desert excursion. The on-site Adventure Water Park also boasts a reservable "private island" (the lazy river surrounds it), a surf simulator, and family cabana rentals. There’s an adults-only pool as well.

10 of 14

Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Maui, Hawaii

View of the lazy river with waterfall and palm trees

Grand Wailea

All of the features in the lagoon at this beloved Maui property are linked together by a rocky lazy river. Float from pool to pool (there are nine), relax in the hot tub, or simply enjoy the pull of a gentle current. When you’re ready to get sand between your toes, ditch your float and walk straight out to Wailea Beach.

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Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Colorado

People going down the "chutes" lazy river

Dominique Taylor/Glenwood Hot Springs

This Colorado resort lays claim to the world’s largest hot springs-fed pool, mineral rich and open year-round for a relaxing soak. Then, in the summer, the resort’s seasonal Sopris Splash Zone opens, and it has a not-so-lazy river known as Shoshone Chutes. Ride this open-air, whitewater rafting-like attraction, or opt for something more low-key in the splash area with mini waterslides, fountains, and more.

12 of 14

The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia

Busy lazy river at Omni Homestead

Omni Hotels & Resorts

This resort’s two-acre waterpark, known as Allegheny Springs, is fed by natural spring waters and home to a 400-foot lazy river and dual 100-foot waterslides. There’s also a splash zone and a sandy beach at the pool. Should you need more reason to visit, consider the historical fact that nearly two dozen U.S. presidents sought this location and these waters to wash away their stresses. 

13 of 14

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aerial view of Lazy river at Aulani

Paul Hiffmeyer/Walt Disney World

Disney is unimaginably skilled at creating immersive environments, and Aulani is further proof of that. Known as Waikolohe Stream (Hawaiian for "mischievous water"), this lazy river pushes you past fabulous faux rock formations, through lush tropical landscaping, and under caverns with waterfalls. Numerous swimmable grottos with sea views are here, too, plus waterslides and splash zones.

14 of 14

Camelback Resort, Tannersville, Pennsylvania

A family going down the lazy river at night

Camelback Resort

This resort in the Pocono Mountains has something fun to do no matter the season. Case in point is the on-site, year-round Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. The lazy river, known as the Lost River, becomes quite an immersive experience with LED underwater lighting, sound effects, arching sprays, a path along its edge for spectators, and even sections that lead underground. Among other water park attractions are 13 waterslides, a toddler splash area, a surf simulator, and a swim-up bar.

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