The first time I ever saw a swim-up bar was at my best friend’s home. The year was 1977; my friend and I were about to graduate high school, and I would spend weekends at her home. There is no denying that her swimming pool beat every other in a residential area. It was the most expensive neighborhood, and her father was a banker.
Go figure! It had lion heads functioning as gushers while the L-shaped swimming pool served as pseudo-Olympic swimming pool with an awesome bar at the end.
Many hotels follow suit in providing those luxurious amenities, including snacks and hors-d’oeuvres (so much on the theory of eating before swimming).
The swim-up bar is everywhere these days. Some of our clients want a built-in table and chairs in the pool, while others just want the whole enchilada. So now the question is, who invented the swim-up bar.
The Swim-Up Bars Beginning
The swim-up bar originated in Las Vegas in the early 1950’s. As swimming pools started to pop up at hotels across America, these boys from Las Vegas were looking to seep gambling into a suburban vacation. As a way to get free public relations, the Sands Hotel and Casino launched floating craps and blackjack tables. In 1957, the Tropicana opened at the other end of the strip, adding swim-up blackjack tables and tiki bars to generate more revenue from those who were just hanging out by the pool. No wonder that the bar and the pool go hand in hand in Las Vegas these days.
Since its creation, swim-up bars made it possible to enjoy a drink or a snack without getting out of the pool. It would take years to become one of the favorite additions to a swimming pool in residential backyards.
Is a Swim-Up Bar Right for Your Pool?
If you are looking to create a resort setting in your own backyard, enjoy entertaining in a relaxed fashion, and have kids that spend a lot of time in the pool, then a swim-up bar is right for you.
A swim-up bar is not only for those who have a lot of space. If you have a small to medium sized backyard, then a swim-up bar will help you save space. It can go as freestanding, just for drinks. Or, if you plan to serve food, then have it placed next to a cooking center on one side. When you link the two features, you eliminate the need for additional open space for circulation and seating.
Installing a Swim-Up Bar
According to designing experts,
- Swim-up bars go in shallow areas with 30 to 42 inches of water
- The height of the seat must be comfortable for sitting and allow the person to remain partially submerged in water.
- The countertop should be 6 inches above the pool’s coping to provide sufficient knee room.
If you don’t plan to serve meals and just drinks, ensure that you have enough cabinet area to place your beverages and cups. But, if you want accessibility to a kitchen, then the swim-up bar should be accessible on the other side of the counter. This way you can have people out of the pool provide food, drinks, and socialize.
Always ask an expert designer to take you step by step into creating the pool of your dreams. Make a budget and a list of the amenities you want in your swimming pool.