Saltwater pools are becoming increasingly common at luxury hotels and on cruise ships. Saltwater swimming pools contain a tiny fraction of the salt in seawater—3,000 to 5,000 parts per million, compared to 35,000 parts per million in the ocean.

For many swimmers in saltwater pools, that translates to no red, itchy eyes, lung irritation or the asthma-like symptoms often associated with pools with typical chemical chlorine systems. There’s no harsh chemical smell, either, and your swimwear won’t get “eaten up.”

For hotels and ships, maintenance is easier and cheaper. A process called electrolysis converts salt to hypochlorous acid, providing a continuous, just-enough supply of natural chlorine to kill bacteria in the water.

“When guests enter our low-lit Shio Salt room, they can choose one of our sound chairs,” says Stephanie Doud, director of The Spa at Aria. “These chairs create an acoustic reverberation, giving an overall feeling of relaxation and recovery. Slow, deep inhalation while in the room soothes the body, and will not only cleanse the air passageways, but also helps to fight internal bacteria. We recommend spending 25 to 30 minutes enjoying the benefits.” Shio Salt room cannot be booked as a separate therapy, but is available to all guests as part of their spa experience.

Homeowners are diving into the salty trend, too. According to Pool & Spa News, three out of every four new in-ground pools are now saltwater. Of the nation’s estimated 5.1 million in-ground residential pools, about 1.4 million are saltwater.

5 Heavenly Pools for a (Slightly) Salty Dip

California ranks as America’s No. 1 pool state, with more than 1.22 million in-ground residential pools and about 12,000 new pools installed each year. Here are some great choices for saltwater hotel pools in the state.

Terranea, Rancho Palos Verdes: Vista Pool has killer views of the mother of all saltwater, the Pacific Ocean.

Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego: Sitting prettily in the garden spa garden, this heated pool boasts private casitas, and a saline waterfall whirlpool is nearby.

Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, Rancho Santa Fe: After an invigorating horseback gallop over this resort’s 45 acres, the main pool is the perfect chiller.

Montage Beverly Hills:  Cabana packages at this serene oasis overlooking Rodeo Drive can include massages, plush robes and chocolate-dipped strawberries with bubbly.

Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa Barbara: Both pools at this oceanfront, Mediterranean-style resort have saltwater systems, and afford awesome ocean views.


Read more about the benefits of salt online and in the August 2017 issue of Smart Meetings.