The Hottest New Ideas and Products for Hosting a Pool Party

Here are some of the latest splashy concepts in teambuilding, corporate gifts, and more to keep your guests cool this summer.

At Engage!19, held at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, June 10 to 13, guests gathered for an afternoon pool party.
At Engage!19, held at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, June 10 to 13, guests gathered for an afternoon pool party.
Photo: Paul Morse

With the summer season in full swing and a heat wave currently spreading from the central U.S. to the East Coast, pool parties are top of mind for event planners.

Of course, in some parts of North America, outdoor events are always hot. “Groups are not looking at coming to Miami, even in the summer, and have indoor events. The request is, ‘let’s see all your outdoor options,’” said Peter Woods, director of catering and event management at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida.

The property recently debuted its new luxury waterpark, Tidal Cove, which is available for corporate events and features the first FlowRider Triple surf simulation pool in the country, a kids’ splash park, a lazy river, and a maze of water slides, as well as private cabanas, a V.I.P. pool area for adults, and two private event lawns. “Groups and social events are looking for ‘orchestrated serendipity.’ They have been in meetings all day and outside events get them out of the typical ballroom and restaurant setups,” Woods explained.

The new luxury waterpark, Tidal Cove, recently debuted at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida.The new luxury waterpark, Tidal Cove, recently debuted at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida.Photo: Ricardo Mejia

Need a Pool? There’s an App for That
Rolling out nationwide throughout the summer, Swimply is an online marketplace for pool sharing, with booking available in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Users can read about available pools in their area and check out the amenities such as lounge chairs, grills, and hot tubs; see reviews; and book directly through the site and soon-to-be-released app. Owners can list their pools and include information on availability, rules, and prices. Each pool is inspected for safety prior to listing and owners can make in-app purchases for services like pool cleanings and maintenance.

“When we launched Swimply, we assumed most bookings would be for individuals looking to escape. It turned out that a large percentage of bookings were for what we call ‘event-based bookings,’ including corporate events, birthday parties, and more,” Swimply co-founder and C.M.O. Asher Weinberger said. “We’ve had 10,000 people attend pool parties in our pools.... [The site] offers a previously unattainable party venue option to just about anyone.”

Pools listed on the site can host groups of as many as 100 people and vary in size. Weinberger explained that hosts often charge a higher price for event-based bookings. The average pool costs $45 per hour, with pricing based on pool size, amenities, timing, and demand.

The new Unicornzilla float serves as the centerpiece of Inflatable Island in the Philippines.The new Unicornzilla float serves as the centerpiece of Inflatable Island in the Philippines.Photo: Courtesy of Inflatable IslandYour Team vs. UnicornzillaInflatable Island's Sunflower Lounge is a section of the beach that is covered in 1,500 yellow daybeds with sunflower umbrellas.Inflatable Island's Sunflower Lounge is a section of the beach that is covered in 1,500 yellow daybeds with sunflower umbrellas.Photo: Courtesy of Inflatable Island
Giant, ‘gram-worthy floats and inflatables have been a big trend at pool parties over the last few years. But one company in the Philippines has really blown up the idea. Known as Inflatable Island, this 45,000-square-foot obstacle course (about the size of 10 basketball courts) contains inflatables, slides, towers, bridges, human launchers, swings, and more, and it offers teambuilding packages with gladiator battles and timed challenges. New attractions for this year include the massive Unicornzilla float and the Sunflower Lounge, a section of the beach that is covered in 1,500 yellow daybeds with sunflower umbrellas. There are currently two Inflatable Island locations, Subic Bay and Mactan, Cebu, which is a more pared-down version minus Unicornzilla and the sunflowers, but it does have floating cabanas, daybeds, slides, and an obstacle course. An all-day pass starts at $17.

At the Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como in Lake Como, Italy, guests can perzonalize a pair of Persol sunglasses with their initials.At the Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como in Lake Como, Italy, guests can perzonalize a pair of Persol sunglasses with their initials.Photo: Franco PizzocheroMade in the Shades
The newly opened Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como in Lake Como, Italy, has partnered with Italian eyewear brand Persol to offer personalized sunglasses. Guests can choose from a selection of sunglasses that they can personalize with their initials on the metal frames. The pairs are engraved on site. The Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como is the first hotel to provide the service, which will debut at other properties later this year. 

By the Pool, Day and Night
At the recent Engage!19, which was held at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, June 10 to 13, 400 wedding and event industry professionals gathered to attend speaker and panel sessions, as well as networking activities including two on-site pool parties, one in the evening and one in the afternoon. This year, the luxury-wedding business summit, which is produced by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Celebration, Florida-based Engaging Concepts, was designed by Emily Clarke Events, and featured an updated tropical look with pastel shades. (BizBash executive vice president Nicole Peck was a speaker at the conference.)

See some ideas from the conference's pool parties:

Long-time collaborator Vanessa Kreckel and her team at TPD Design House curated and designed the event’s selection of gifts including colorful pouches by Stoney Clover Lane that guests could customize with patches.Long-time collaborator Vanessa Kreckel and her team at TPD Design House curated and designed the event’s selection of gifts including colorful pouches by Stoney Clover Lane that guests could customize with patches.Photo: Corbin GurkinOnline marketplace Minted provided custom sunglass cases for guests.Online marketplace Minted provided custom sunglass cases for guests.Photo: Paul MorseLove Life Images20763During the afternoon pool party, the theme of which was inspired by photographer Slim Aarons, guests could pack a branded tote with sandwiches and snacks for a to-go lunch.Photo: Love Life ImagesAt the poolside welcome party, costumed entertainers from Elan Artists performed inside open structures atop the pool, while a large screen projected psychedelic images throughout the evening.Photo: Paul Morse

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