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Moon Palace’s lazy rivers, spas and swim-up bars invite all-day lounging and imbibing.

By Vince Font

If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s a great pool. Not your average, run-of-the-mill swimming hole — but a bona fide, grandiose pool that makes wading on the shores of even the most pristine beach seem like a step down in quality. The four Riviera Maya hotels below all share the one thing in common that brings the aquaphiles running: pools that might pass for water parks.

Viva Wyndham Maya Resort All Inclusive
Possibly one of thegreatest inventions known to man, coming in a close third behind the wheel and the electric light, is the swim-up bar. What the Viva Wyndham Maya Riviera Resort has to offer by way of a pool area that not only has a swim-up bar but also a large freshwater pool, a kids’ pool and large open-air Jacuzzis are about as close to aquatic heaven as you can get without shuffling off your mortal coil or launching headfirst into the surf that lays just within reach.

Iberostar Paraiso All Inclusive Complex
Iberostar doesn’t translate to anything in English, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a word infused with deep meaning. In this case, you could supplant the word Iberostar to mean “unbelievably incredible swimming pool” and you’d find few people who would disagree, with the exception of a few uptight linguists who’ve never vacationed at this particular Riviera resort. The pool area of the Paraiso has been described as “imaginatively designed” but even then, that description doesn’t quite cut it. The pool itself meanders through the grounds of the resort like a gorgeous blue serpent, giving way to not one, not two, but three swim-up bars that’ll keep you paddling until your paddles are worn out. When you’re done there, if you have any energy left, you can hit the wave pool and test your mettle against the artificial surf.

Grand Palladium Riviera Maya All Inclusive Complex
For some, the ultimate pool experience has everything to do with design and scoring high on the “cool” factor. But to others, it’s quantity that really floats their life preserver and gets their proverbial fins flipping. The vacationers staying at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya All Inclusive get the best of both worlds, with — count ‘em –five large pools that have partially submerged relaxation seats and in-water pillar islands that jut out like sunken ruins. Surrounded by cement walkways, shaded cabanas and dozens upon dozens of incredibly satiated aquatic worshippers, you’ll be hard pressed to find good reason to leave once you’ve arrived. Now that’s what we call swimming.

Moon Palace Golf Resort and Spa All Inclusive
Moon Palace is one of those Riviera Maya hotels where golfers with an affinity for poolside wallowing go to determine which of their guilty pleasures takes precedence when it comes right down to it. The swimming pools here — of which there are eight, six of them being pool bars — will compete for even the most avid golfer’s attention, and rightly so. But who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, especially when you’re footing the bill for the vacation in the first place? Best recommendation:Golf early and long, then finish up with an afternoon spent splashing around and traversing the resort grounds by way of breast stroke.

Insider tip: Prefer pearly white beaches to swim-up bars? Book by May 2 to score up to 50 percent off at during our beach attractions promotion.

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Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

Tagged: Mexico

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