For me, traveling is about going somewhere and getting lost—walking around non-stop, only using foot-free transportation if I really need to. It makes for some great experiences, and some fairly tiring days. So when I get back to my hotel at the end of the day, there’s not much more I want to do than sit back and relax. And one of my favorite ways to do that? Hop onto an innertube and float along a lazy river. It’s a nice, calming way to end a great day sightseeing, and even better when you don’t have to go far at all to get back to your room.
If you’re looking for a getaway where you can explore a gorgeous hotel and float all your worries away, grab an innertube and head to one of these 10 spots.
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Villa La Valencia; San José del Cabo, Mexico
This brand new all-inclusive luxury resort in Cabo features the longest lazy river in the region, stretching 1,148 feet throughout the property—and part of it forms an infinity pool right on the Sea of Cortez waterfront. Villa La Valencia offers 308 suites with balconies, and some suites have their own private jacuzzis and large terraces. All the rooms are decorated in tranquil colors. The lazy river itself is just as intentionally planned, with an art mural along the bottom of the path and a route that flows through the gardens and around the resort for a sunset view.
Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau; Nassau, Bahamas
As one of the newest resorts in the Bahamas (it opened in the fall last year), the 300-room Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau has a lot to offer water-lovers. The resort’s lazy river circles and entire waterpark, complete with a SurfStream surfing simulator, a climbing wall, a pool with a 10-foot diving board, and several waterslides. The lazy river has access to them all, so you can just float up, enjoy the experience, and get right back to relaxing on your tube. After a day on the river, relax at the spa or catch a movie at the resort’s private theater.
Gaylord Rockies Resort; Aurora, Colorado
At the Gaylord Rockies Resort, guests get exclusive access to the Arapahoe Springs waterpark, which has three waterslides, four pools, cabanas, its own bar and grill, and a lazy river that winds through it all. Water jets and grottos kick the fun of the river up a notch. Keep in mind, though, that the lazy river is outdoors—and even though it’s heated, it does operate seasonally, open from March to January. The resort itself has more than 1,500 rooms, six restaurants, a spa, shops, and more than 500,000 square feet of convention space, all with breathtaking mountain views and a design that’s peak mountain lodge.
Check Prices for Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, CO
Village Hotel Sentosa; Singapore
Singapore’s Village Hotel Sentosa, on Sentosa Island, has a specific theme for its lazy river: the Amazon. Floating through it takes you through foliage of the Amazon Forest—punctuated with rain curtains, lounges, and benches. The three other pools on the property are themed, as well. The Pamukkale Pool evokes the terraced Pamukkale pools in Turkey, but with views of a Singaporean sunset. The Play Pool is designed just for kids, and the Adventure Pool is designed to be like a set of private islands (with lounge chairs on each small island). The hotel is designed for families, and offers multi-room suites; kid packs with amenities, pint-sized bathrobes, and a Rubix cube; and a slate of scheduled activities the entire family can enjoy, like fitness classes and outdoor movies.
Check Prices for Village Hotel Sentosa by Far East Hospitality in Sentosa Island, Singapore
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah; Muscat, Oman
Centuries ago, Oman had a system to bring water to remote villages. It was called falaj, and at the Barr Al Jissah, you can float through one. The lazy river is designed after these systems, where water flowed through channels cut into the earth. It runs for about a third of a mile, connecting the pools at the Al Bandar and Al Waha hotels on the resort grounds. There’s also three swimming pools overall and a beach that runs for another third of a mile. Families with kids should try to stay at the Al Waha wing of the resort, where there’s practically an entire world for children to enjoy, including camel rides, mini-golf, a game room, and crafts.
Check Prices for Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Muscat, Oman
Angsana Laguna Phuket; Phuket, Thailand
The lazy river at Angsana Laguna Phuket is part free-form pool and part river. It runs around the resort for about 1,060 feet, connecting pools with a swim-up bar, water polo nets, lounge chairs, and an artificial beach. A stay at the resort really allows you to embrace Thai culture—you can take a Thai boxing class, get a spa treatment with local ingredients and massage styles, or eat at Baan Talay, a traditionally styled restaurant that serves authentic Thai cuisine. Some rooms feature access directly on to the lazy river, so be sure to book one if you want to maximize your float time.
Check Prices for Angsana Laguna Phuket in Thalang District, Phuket
Marriott Marquis Houston; Houston, Texas
Embrace the Lone Star State at the Marriott Marquis Houston by literally floating through it. The hotel’s rooftop pool has the world’s largest Texas-shaped lazy river (it’s also the world’s only Texas-shaped lazy river.) For the holidays, the lazy river is decked out with thousands of twinkle lights for a surreal and festive float. Other features on top of the hotel include cabanas, a cocktail bar, and an infinity pool. Throughout the rest of the hotel, guests can enjoy six restaurants and bars, and a club with snacks and drinks available 24/7.
Check Prices for Marriott Marquis Houston in Houston, TX
Beaches Turks & Caicos; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Situated right on Grace Bay Beach, Beaches Turks & Caicos occupies a spot on one of the most popular islands in the territory. The 45,000-square-foot on-site waterpark features a lazy river that runs for 650 feet through the park, past island-specific greenery, waterslides, and a surf simulator. The resort itself is all-inclusive and comprises five different “villages” that represent the Caribbean, France, Italy, Key West, and a beachside town. Many of the rooms have a private butler, and guests can pick from 21 different restaurants.
Check Prices for Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa in Providenciales
Atlantis, the Palm; Dubai, United Arab Emirates
For the epitome of lazy river relaxation, head to Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai—the river there is nearly a mile and a half long and takes 45 minutes to float the entire length. It’s part of Aquaventure, the resort’s waterpark, which is one of the largest in the world. Aquaventure has 105 different attractions across its 55 acres, many of them record-breaking, like some of the world’s tallest slides. Plus, there’s an aquarium with 65,000 sea creatures. The rest of the resort is just as spectacular, from underwater suites with direct views into the aquarium to celebrity restaurants like Nobu and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar.
Check Prices for Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai
El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma; Playa del Carmen, Mexico
What makes a lazy river even better? An adults-only lazy river. You’ll get that at Playa del Carmen’s El Dorado Casitas Royale. You’ll also get a lazy river that allows you to swim right up to the bar—and if you book the swim-up casita suite, you can get there directly from your room. Beyond the lazy river, some of the casita suites have their own pool and bar, and all of them have an outdoor shower. Guests at the resort can also experience the Temazcal, an ancient Mexican steam bath ritual complete with guidance from a Mayan shaman, in the spa.
Check Prices for El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma in Riviera Maya, Mexico
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