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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 9, 2006

Splashy resorts let you swim up to your room

USA Today

Thousand-dollar suites with private plunge pools have long been lapped up by big-spender vacationers.

Now, swim-up rooms easier on the wallet and just a dive away from resort pools are making a splash.

At the adults-only El Dorado Royale resort in Punta Brava near Cancun, Mexico, guests can slip out of their rooms into a meandering artificial river that leads to one of the main pools.

Chaise longues can be placed in the shallow water outside rooms for sunbathing or reading.

Or you can paddle to a nearby swim-up bar. Cost of the "swim-up suites": from $400 for two a night, including meals, activities and alcoholic drinks.

Contact: (866) 527-4762 or karismahotels.com/doradoroyal.

Other resorts are in the swim, too:

  • The year-old Coco Palm boutique hotel on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia offers some ground-level rooms that are just a belly flop from the pool. Cost: from $175 nightly. Contact: (758) 456-2800 or coco-resorts.com.

  • At the Hidden Beach Resort near Cancun, where clothing is optional on the property, swim-up suites start at about $500 a night for two, including meals, drinks and activities. Contact: hiddenbeachresort.com or (888) 754-3907. The nearby El Dorado Seaside Suites offers swim-up suites from $360 a couple a night, including meals, drinks and activities. Contact: karismahotels .com/seaside or (866) 527-4762.

  • Secrets Excellence in the Dominican Republic, an adults-only all-inclusive resort near Punta Cana, has "swim-out suites" with direct pool access. They start at about $400 nightly for two, including meals, drinks, airport transfers and activities. Contact: (866) 467-3273 or secretsresorts.com.

  • The budget-friendly Hotel La Tortuga and Spa in the Mexican playground of Playa del Carmen has a meandering pool with a half-dozen swim-up rooms a few feet from the water. They start at $114. Contact: hotellatortuga.com or 011-52-984-873-0626.

  • Jamaica's Hedonism III, an uninhibited adults-only all-inclusive on Runaway Bay, offers swim-up rooms, too. Cost: from about $350 a night double this spring, including all meals, premium-brand cocktails, airport transfers, and land and water activities. Contact: (877) 467-8737 or hedonismresorts.com.