The California East Bay's 4 Best Hotel Pools

Roz Warren

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Lafayette Hotel and Spa Poolwebsite photo. used with permission

I’m a swimmer who visits San Francisco’s East Bay Area often, which means that I’ve enjoyed (or failed to enjoy) a lot of the area’s hotel pools. When selecting a hotel, the swimming pool is always a crucial consideration for me. Is it big? Clean? Suitable for lap swimming? Sufficiently heated? Will it be available during the hours when I want to swim? 

If you’re a swimmer who will be traveling to San Francisco and want a hotel with a great pool? I’m here to help. Here are my four favorite hotel pools in the East Bay Area.

The Lafayette Park Hotel

Lafayette Hotel and Spa Poolwebsite photo. used with permission

A large clean outdoor pool situated in a spacious third floor courtyard, surrounded by foliage and trees, under the beautiful California sky. Despite the low hum of traffic passing by the hotel, this is a calm and relaxing spot. No lane markers. Open daily from 7–10 — but you can actually swim any time. And there’s a hot tub! 

On a recent three week stay, I was in the pool every morning at 6 and swam for an hour. I always had the pool to myself, the pool temperature was perfect, and there were big fluffy towels available for drying off afterwards. Bliss.

Renaissance Walnut Creek Hotel

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Renaissance Walnut Creek Hotel poolwebsite photo. used with permission

Outdoor heated Olympic-Sized Pool. Currently Open 6 AM –9 PM weekdays and 6 AM –8 PM weekends. (Because the pool is part of an in-hotel health spa complex, you can’t swim after hours.) Lanes are marked for swimming. Pool is maintained at 80 degrees. There is a hot tub. Health club ambiance. This is a popular pool and I often had to share my lane with another swimmer. 

The San Ramon Marriott

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San Ramon Marriott poolwebsite photo. used with permission

Heated outdoor pool in a secluded courtyard, with the hotel on one side and a lovely tall stand of trees on the other. Pool is maintained at 85 degrees. No lane markers. No hot tub. Pool hours are 6AM — 10PM. Pandemic Restrictions are currently in place — you must reserve a time slot to swim, and no more than 12 people will be allowed in the pool at any one time. 

When I stay here, I am always able to enjoy a solo early morning swim, although during the day the pool becomes crowded with families and there are no lane markers, which makes lap swimming difficult. The facility also plays really annoying muzak over loudspeakers in the pool area, but if you ask at the front desk, they’ll shut if off for you.

Claremont Club and Spa in Berkeley, California

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Claremont Hotel Club & Spa poolwebsite photo. used with permission

This landmark hotel actually has 3 large, beautiful outdoor pools — two of which are great for lap swimming. (The third is a children’s splash pool.) The Lap Pool has lane markers, is 25 yards long and is kept at 80 degrees. The larger Main Pool is also available for lap swim, currently has lane markers only until 10 in the morning, and is kept at 85 degrees. Pandemic Restrictions are currently in place — you must make a reservation to swim. (Reservations are for 45 minutes.) You will not be required to share a lane if you would prefer not to. There is a hot tub. Pool hours are M-F 6AM — 8PM and S-S 8AM — 6PM. (Swimming after hours isn’t allowed.) 

I love the classic California feel of this historic hotel. You can enjoy a relaxing swim in a beautiful spacious outdoor setting — with palm trees! The only real downside is that the pool is a brief walk from the hotel. 

If you’re traveling to San Francisco’s East Bay — enjoy your stay, and enjoy your swim! Maybe I’ll see you in the water on my next trip to California. (Before you make a reservation, make sure to contact the facility to make sure that the pool remains available, is still heated, and that the hours haven't changed.)

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Roz Warren, the author of JUST ANOTHER DAY AT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, has appeared on both the Today Show and Morning Edition, writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times, and has been included in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Drop her a line at roSwarren@gmail.com.

Bala Cynwyd, PA
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