They say life is better poolside, but we say it depends on the pool. And the 11-story Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk hotel’s rooftop pool was one of the most scenic spots in the city with one issue––it was deteriorating after only five years of use.
After noticing rust spots, the hotel staff had drained the pool for the summer to investigate and stop further weathering. Having worked with our team on previous projects, the Hyatt engaged GHP to provide a forensic assessment of the existing pool structure and deck joist system. Designed as a saltwater pool, the GHP team found the structure had several flaws––its steel support system lacked a proper drainage system to prevent pool overflow. As a result, the corrosive combination of chlorine and salt water was eating away at its steel joists.
Working closely with the Hyatt Regency San Antonio ownership, staff, legal counsel and various stakeholders, GHP used forensic findings to craft a tailored, durable design. Incorporating a fiber-reinforced polymer structure to replace the existing steel, the new system was able to provide strong support while withstanding a wide range of corrosive chemicals and environmental elements. Additionally, our team reconfigured the pool design to install an integrated perimeter gutter and baffle tank, reducing water run-off onto the pool deck and structure below. The pool was further enhanced with a new pool liner, water-hydraulic ADA chair lift, electrical system, cast iron vent piping and pool heater––while existing oxidation was eliminated and updated with a new chemical resistant coating.
With a hard re-opening date of Memorial Day, GHP successfully managed the entire turn-key 30-day construction project––engaging a local contractor and partnering daily with the Hyatt and construction teams to ensure smooth completion. The rooftop location presented several challenges as construction was at the mercy of the weather, while all debris and new building materials were removed and delivered by crane. Operating the crane at night, GHP coordinated with local police to direct traffic around ongoing construction and minimize the project’s nighttime noise levels––a unique challenge due to the hotel’s location in the heart of San Antonio’s downtown tourism district.
Remaining on track and on budget, the newly renovated pool opened to guests the day following completion of construction. With its panoramic views of the city, the Hyatt’s rooftop oasis provides relaxation to San Antonio travelers year-round. Designed to be fully waterproof and rust resistant for 20-40 years, the pool’s clean, modern design is now as apparent in its above-ground aesthetic as in its underlying support.