Chicago is situated on Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois and is among the largest cities in the U.S. An international hub for finance, culture, commerce and more, it was largely destroyed in 1871 by the Great Chicago Fire. From the ashes of the previous wooden structures arose more modern constructions made out of steel and stone that set a precedent for worldwide construction. Home to the world's first skyscraper, built in 1885, the city's current skyline is accented by iconic skyscrapers and high-rise buildings housing not only major companies but hotels as well. With more than 50 million domestic and international visitors each year, Chicago offers a dazzling selection of accommodations for budget travelers, luxury seekers and everything in between and features more than 135 hotels in the Central Business District alone.
Due to the city's location next to lake Michigan, the summers are warm and humid making it necessary for visitors to find and book a hotel offering a swimming pool. However, in densely populated, urban areas such as Chicago, outdoor space is limited so a large pool in a sprawling garden is hard to come by. The solution to this problem is relatively easy: take advantage of the vertical space and go up! Build the pool on the very top of the building.
Rooftop pools can provide a unique and luxurious experience for guests, as they offer stunning views of the surrounding cityscape. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they generally feature modern design elements such as infinity edges, glass walls and lounge areas with outdoor seating. They may also include amenities such as hot tubs, bars and restaurants. However, it is important to note that building and maintaining a rooftop pool can be costly and it requires specialized engineering and construction expertise to ensure that the pool is safe and stable. For this and other reasons such as building codes or other regulations, many hotel pools are located on lower floors rather than the actual rooftop. These pools are usually situated on an elevated deck or terrace that is above street level.
Here at Travelmyth, we strive to be as accurate as possible with the accommodation recommendations we offer so our results only show the hotels with true rooftop pools. We are flexible though, and we understand that not all destinations are the same. We therefore took into account the unique morphology of Chicago to give a special shout-out to several hotels who feature an outdoor, elevated pool that is just shy of the building's roof.
Take for example The Robey, a 4-star, luxury hotel with a swimming pool located on the 6th floor. This level offers 180-degree views of city skyline and while the triangle-shaped rooftop pool is only available to hotel guests, it does share space with the Cabana Club bar which is open to the public so anyone can join the relaxing atmosphere and enjoy a refreshing cocktail or two.
Another option is the centrally located DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile. Spanning over 26 floors, the outdoor pool can be found on the 5th level and features comfortable sun loungers and umbrellas for a day of relaxation. Only guests of the hotel may use the pool and terrace area so the quiet atmosphere is all but guaranteed.
The award-winning Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago could not be missing from our list, since it features not one but two swimming pools. The indoor pool is perfect for guests wanting to swim some laps and keep up with their fitness regime while the 25-meter outdoor pool is perched on the 3rd floor. That might not sound as high up enough, especially when considering the fact that the hotel occupies the first 18 of the 81 floors in the building, however, it does offer breathtaking views of the surrounding buildings making visitors feel like they're swimming in the clouds.
The last, but certainly not least entry, is The Penthouse at Grand Plaza. Occupying a 50-story skyscraper, this is a condo and vacation rental complex that is located in downtown Chicago. The nine Penthouse units feature stately two-level living rooms with fireplaces and plenty of recreational amenities. The seasonal outdoor pool is situated on the 4th floor and is surrounded with a spacious sun deck complete with sun loungers and umbrellas.
For the Travelmyth team, and when it comes to Chicago and its stunning skyline, it doesn't really matter if a pool is located exactly on the roof or on a lower yet elevated floor. We would love to relax by any of the available pools with a signature cocktail in hand and just enjoy a summer breeze while gazing down at the world busily going by. Having said that, even if we end up at a hotel without an outdoor pool, the outdoor lounges, restaurants and bars on offer in the city will suit us just fine on a hot summer day. When winter comes around, it's another story altogether since at that point we will be looking for Indoor Pools.