Are rooftop pools in LA really are as glamorous as they seem? The short answer: absolutely. Or maybe I’m just biased, but honestly. Once your eyes move past a couple of the plastic surgery victims, views of the City, Hollywood Hills, colorful cocktails and super fit bodies will take over- and it’s as real as the movies.
But how does one get into these glamorous rooftop pools in LA?
With some tactics from a local, you just might get lucky.
You’ll need a little confidence. You will need to be well dressed. And above all, never leave without putting up a fight. The best rooftops are in Downtown LA, West Hollywood and Hollywood. These are my five go-to’s:
Ace Hotel Roof Top Pool
This historic hotel is the hottest spot in Downtown LA. Apparently Beyonce and Jay-Z are constantly hanging out upstairs and every celeb and their mom makes appearances at this gorgeous spot. The roof has a fantastic and lively bar and restaurant as well so dive in with a cocktail!
This roof top pool is unique– it is extremely dog friendly and the pool is more like a large jacuzzi so prepare to get intimate with some trendy strangers. This is probably one of the easiest roof top pools to get into. Simply walk into the entrance, take the elevator up and show up in your lounge jacuzzi pool ready outfit.
The Standard Hotel Pools: West Hollywood & Downtown LA
This hipper than hip, overly hip West Hollywood hotel pool is actually not a roof top, but their Downtown LA counterpart is. At the West Hollywood location, your best bet is to walk up dressed, ready and confident.
Sometimes you’ll get unlucky and they won’t let you in for god knows what reason (maybe because of what you’re wearing). Your best options are to buy a drink at the bar, and then very swiftly strut your way over to the pool. No one will say a peep.
Your other best bet, if the staff is being rough, is just offer to pay an admission fee (usually $20) and that should do the trick.
Now for the Downtown LA location, they are much more kind. (Downtown is more easy going than West Hollywood in general.) You can walk right in and take the escalators up to the elevator which will take you up to their fantastic retro pool scene at no cost!
They serve food and cocktails up there with awesome views of the skyline. West Hollywood Standard Hotel Pool = snobby with no views… Downtown LA Standard Hotel Pool = super nice with killer views. Take your pick 😉
The Nomad Hotel Rooftop Pool
This is probably my favorite rooftop pool in LA. Unfortunately it’s always a hit or miss if they’ll let you lounge by the pool since technically it’s for “hotel guests only”. The skyline is ridiculously epic and the entire roof feels like a cabana for elites.
Good news, their bar is open to the public so my recommendation to you is this: sit at the bar, have a couple drinks, and walk to the pool like it’s no one’s business and when a staff member isn’t standing at the pool entrance. Once you’re in you’re in and they won’t question you.
They’re very moody here, one day they will say “come right in!” and the next day, major rejection. Don’t give up it’s a 50/50 chance. In the evening, they are much more lenient and practically anyone can go to the pool area.
The Mondrian Skybar: West Hollywood Dream
This is the epitome of the West Hollywood crowd. Here you’ll see the trendy, too cool for you crowd that is always wearing a fantastic pool side outfit and perfecting their tans. Honestly though, this is one of the best LA rooftop pool experiences you can have. The views of the city and hills are gorgeous.
They have an upstairs area where you can order food and drinks. Skybar is notorious for throwing summer roof top parties and it can get pretty crowded so try to arrive early to snag a good spot!
The Highlight Room
This is one of the newer rooftop pools in LA and it is incredibly popular by day and absolutely raving by night. Located in the middle of Hollywood, it is one of the most trending placing to kick back with some rosé and take in the LA sun. Not to mention their food is some of the best.
Their rooftop has 360 degree unobstructed views of the city and with a stunning luxurious environment. There can be a line to get into the pool area, but as long as you’re willing to wait, you have a great chance of getting in. Again, make sure you dress nice and be confident. They can play hard to get at these places.
On a side note, they serve brunch on the rooftop between 11am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, talk about breakfast with a view.
Whether you live in LA and have never had a chance to hit the rooftop pools in LA scene, or you’re visiting from out of the state or country– follow this guide to get the best experience possible when pool hopping. Remember the key is to dress well, be confident and do not let them push you over! Anywhere that asks you to pay more than a $20 dollar admission is playing you. Always, always go with the opening line:
We’re here to get drinks at the bar
This never fails, you’ll get right in. After that, just make your way to the pool, no questions asked. Start at the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA and make your way through the list.
- Ace Hotel (easiest to get in, very trendy Downtown LA location, but it has the smallest pool!)
- The Standard Hotel (two locations: West Hollywood & Downtown LA)
- The Nomad Hotel (hardest to get in, but it’s the most gorgeous– easier to get in at night than in the day. Also in Downtown LA)
- The Mondrian Skybar (one of the trendiest, use my tools and you’ll get in. This is a prime West Hollywood experience.)
- The Highlight Room (newer Hollywood location, crowded and fun, very hip, decently easy to get in.)
You won’t be able to see all in one day but over the course of a weekend you will. It is worth seeing them all! Let me know how it goes and if you use my tricks to get in. Have fun and go quick before summer ends 🙂
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