What Is A Swim-Up Pool Bar?

Swimming pools are great things to have in the backyard at any time, whether you like to use them for exercise, entertaining, or just lazing about on a sunny afternoon or evening.

If your preferences lean more towards the leisure possibilities of a home pool, then you might want to consider just how much your life could be improved with the installation of a swim-up pool bar.

swim up pool bar illustration

What is a swim-up pool bar?

You may not immediately recognize the name ‘swim-up pool bar’ – after all, it’s not one that trips easily off the tongue – but you may well have come across the concept on vacation, as this is becoming an increasingly popular addition to pools at many modern resort hotels. 

Just imagine a typical bar – with a long, curved counter, a space on the other side for a bartender to serve the drinks, and a comfortable stool for you to sit at that bar and enjoy a cold beer, a cocktail, or a nice glass of wine. Now place those elements at the edge of your pool and you start to get the idea.

Basically, a swim-up pool bar is a bar you can enjoy in your pool without having to take a step out of the water (as long as you’ve got someone on the other side to serve you!). As a luxurious and decadent addition to a backyard pool, it takes some beating.

What features would you find in a swim-up pool bar?

There are several features you want to include to create the perfect swim-up pool bar. These will include:

  • A bar counter – you need somewhere to put your drink down, so naturally the top will need to be a few inches above the water line, otherwise your drink would just float away.
  • A few bar stools – sitting up at a bar counter with a nice drink, chatting with your friends and/or a friendly bartender is one of life’s great pleasures. Trust us – doing it in a pool makes it even more enjoyable.
  • A canopy – whether there’s an unseasonal shower you want to dodge or the afternoon sun is just getting that bit too strong, having a shaded area to retreat to is a sensible option.
  • A serving area – this will, of course, be located in its traditional place on the other side of the counter to the stools, but more crucially it needs to be out of the water. Serving drinks and mixing cocktails can be tricky if you’re concentrating on keeping your head above water at the same time.

A swim up pool bar with stools within the swimming pool

The pros and cons of a swim-up pool bar

Let’s start with a few of the many pros:

  • Great for entertaining – a pool is already a wonderful place for socializing with family and friends, but just imagine how popular you’ll be if you can throw a well-stocked pool bar into the mix.
  • Brings your socializing areas together – add a kitchen or barbecue area to the dry side of the counter to complete the ultimate pool, food and drink leisure combo.
  • Great for kids’ parties too – okay, so you’ll have to swap the cold beer and cocktails for sodas and other soft drinks, but they’ll still have a whale of a time in their own party bar area.
  • Customize your bar with your own design – whether you want to recreate your favorite local hangout, form a practical and aesthetically-pleasing space or just go crazy with your own design, you can make it exactly how you want it.

However, there are a couple of possible downsides you might need to think about as well: 

  • Less swimming space – unless you have a massive pool, a swim-up pool bar will almost inevitably reduce the amount of room you’ll have to swim in, something to consider if you’re the type that likes to put in a few lengths before enjoying your leisure time.
  • Filtering issues – add too many elements into the water or put them in the wrong place and you may start reducing the effectiveness of your filtration system. That shouldn’t be a problem if you get the advice and engage the services of a reputable pool installer before going ahead.
  • Cost – not necessarily in terms of having it installed (unless you do go crazy with those custom design elements), but think of all the drinks you’ll have to stock up with to cater for all those extra visitors you’ll suddenly be getting!


At Aqua Blue Pools, we design, install, and maintain luxury pools for customers across South Carolina. We can also add a wide range of desirable extras, including swim-up pool bars and water features such as waterfalls and fountains that will take your pool to the next level.

Get in touch with our friendly team now to find out more.


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