“All pools are created equal,” said no one ever.
There are aboveground pools. There are in-ground pools. There are pools that inflate and kill the grass under them for the rest of the summer, and hell, some people throw a liner in their pick-up truck’s bed and turn that into a pool. For urban dwellers, however, the Holy Grail has always been the rooftop pool.
When it comes to rooftop pools, St. Louis is seriously lacking. They are so scarce that the few that are around have limited access due to demand and usually come with a premium. There is still one beacon of hope for the St. Louis city-dweller searching for an oasis: the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
The Four Seasons Hotel pool, located on the eighth floor, features a sweeping view from the Mississippi Riverfront — including the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and the Arch — to the downtown skyline. The pool itself is four feet deep throughout. It’s perfect for wading with a cocktail while soaking under the sun.
Nearby is a hot tub and shallow lounging pool, all surrounded by lounge chairs or private cabanas.
If you spring for the Sunset Swim package, of course we did, there might be some immediate sticker shock with the $225 price tag, but if you break it down, it covers two guests and includes a hell of a lot for a little over $100 a person. In addition to pool access, you also receive complimentary valet parking, spa access and a three-course dinner.
Inside the spa are men’s and women’s locker rooms so you don’t have to arrive in your swimsuit or, worse, have dinner in wet clothes. Plus, there are all the standard amenities that have made the Four Season’s spa one of the best in St. Louis: relaxation lounges with views overlooking the Mississippi River and Illinois countryside, whirlpools and steam rooms with eucalyptus-infused steam. Oh, and I guess we should mention the fitness center — if that’s your idea of relaxing.
Back by the pool, the attention to details is stunning: From the gorgeous landscaping to the attentive wait staff, the entire experience is truly first class. Throughout the day, pool treats were complimentary, which included frozen fruit to keep you cool under the sun and coconut milk straight from the coconut.
As the day winds down, the experience only grows: There’s a three-course dinner at a poolside table while the sun sets; your first glass of sangria is included, but after a long day in the sun, you will want more. As for the food itself, it’s a standard that can only be upheld by the Four Seasons. A stunning seafood tower is the perfect opener after spending all day in the heat; it’s fresh and light.
For the main course, you are offered a choice of roasted branzino or strip steak. Having just had seafood, I opted for the strip steak. I was worried this might have been too heavy, but the serving was perfectly portioned. I didn’t feel too full for the final offering of the “coppa gelato” — a divinely sweet finish to a day that is also described as, well, sweet.
Summer officially ends Sept. 22, but this offer is only available Monday through Thursdays. Don’t be that guy who’s wishing he spent more time at the pool once those leaves start falling. M