Los Angeles provides a pretty much endless summer, but when the actual season rolls around, you'll find the best of LA's nightlife at the pool. The season officially kicks off with a splash of pool parties thrown at shindig-friendly hotels around town. If you’re looking to lounge (or dance) by the pool, music in ear and cocktail in hand, be prepared to arrive early or grab a hotel room the night before, as most parties cap out at 500 people. Of course, the fastest way to a coveted cabana or table space is via bottle service packages, which can run hundreds of dollars, but you'll buy the best seat in the house. Regardless of how you get in, here are some of the best summer pool parties in LA.
RECOMMENDED: Summer in Los Angeles
The best pool parties of 2015
Say goodbye to dusty thoroughfares and violent porta-potties; Splash House takes the music festival concept off of sweltering desert land and places it poolside. Movers and shakers at this multi-location getdown are shuttled between the Saguaro, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Hilton in Palm Springs to lap up big-name dance acts and DJ sets. With the added comforts of AC rooms and critically acclaimed restaurant fare just steps away from the party scenes, the experience will make you question whether to bother with more punishing locales come next year’s festival season.Read more
A collaboration between local fashion brand the Well and Steve Aoki-founded music label Dim Mak, this bass-heavy bash is taking over the casbah chic pool deck at the Hotel Figueroa every other Sunday during the summer. Come for the meet-up of fashion trendsetters and music mavens, stay for the taco bar and $5 PBRs. And with Dim Mak's offices in the same neighborhood, we'll keep our fingers crossed that Aoki himself will drop in.Read more
When it's right, it's right: Afternoon Delight takes over the rooftop pool at the Standard Sundays throughout the summer. Each month, this Miami export ships in a different lineup of DJs for a feel good afternoon overlooking DTLA. Come for the sunshine, stay for the free popsicles. The guest list fills up fast, so make sure to RSVP—you'll have to pay a cover at the door, as well.Read more
Chill out poolside with pitchers of margaritas and a selection of a half-dozen tacos at this weekend pool party. Skybar at the Mondrian usually hosts a lineup of DJs every Saturday and Sunday, but the pool deck really heats up for these parties—past headliners include Tensnake, Plastic Plates, Penguin Prison, St. Lucia, Jessie Andrews and Zimmer. Plus, we've heard rumors of free rounds of shots and topless tanning.Read more
A Club Called Rhonda creators DJ Goddollars, Alexis Rivera and Gregory Alexander are set to rock the roof at Skybar during summer’s three biggest holidays, promising "big heat, thick beats and the softest sheets." With top-notch talent and an anything goes atmosphere, these parties will reach capacity in a heartbeat. Maybe daring dress could be your ticket through the doors, but we'll stick with buying tickets ahead of time.Read more
Daft Punk. Thom Yorke. Questlove. With DJs like this, it’s no wonder Swim Night has become one of LA’s longest running and most loved pool parties. But it’s not just heavy-hitting musicians that surprise crowds with everything from hip hop to indie tracks—celebs who fall in the who-knew-they-even-DJed category, like Elijah Wood, spontaneously rock crowds too. The best part? The crowd isn’t just about posturing; when things get too hot on the dancefloor, partiers dive into the landmark pool (and swim in style—amid a gazillion-dollar David Hockney painting, no less) until 2am.Read more
The party people behind Harmonic return to The Standard with Bask, a tech and house-heavy party for and by a music and nightlife industry crowd. Though it attracts international artists with major chops as well as serious technophiles, you won’t find a cluster of chin-stroking non-dancers intellectually internalizing the tracks. Instead, artists (past performers include Shonky, Safeword, Jake Patrick, Slam, Delinquent Frequency and [a]ppendics.shuffle) will mix heavy-hitting beats sure to bounce afternoon sun-seekers from the oversized waterbeds to the dancefloor.Read more
Our favorite pool parties from 2014
While we're still waiting for summer to start, keep an eye on some of our favorite parties from the past few years.
Strip down for a night swim at the Midweek Hookup. The W in Westwood hosts this free pool party every Wednesday night in June; though the Hookup alludes to the hotel's poolside Airstream bar, we're sure this hump day party will earn its name. Come out for drink specials, live music by DJ Junkyard, Ping-Pong, giant board games and a Popsicle toast at 6pm.Read more
Take yours Sundays with a side of craft cocktails this summer at the W's Westwood location. Local DJs will spin alongside the hotel's vintage, mobile Airstream bar at WET Sundays. Stop by any Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as well as on the aforementioned holidays and July 4th; make sure to get on the guest list first, especially if you're planning on shelling out for a private cabana.Read more
It's pool party season and the Loews Hollywood Hotel is taking full advantage of it by hosting a soiree every Saturday called Friends with Benefits—and don't worry, we're not talking about those kind of benefits. Throw on a swimsuit and head up to the pool deck for the ultimate pre-night-out event with complimentary—yes, that does mean free!—food, drinks and pampering. We suggest starting at Wolfgang Puck's "Build-Your-Own Sangria Bar" along with a liquor-infused ice cream bar, a sure-fire way to build up a buzz and enough confidence to let loose on the dance floor. If that doesn't sound fun yet, maybe you're looking to relax with a massage or spruce up with a manicure; ask either Cure Salon & Spa, Nivea Skin Care or Massage Therapy LA (the companies rotate each Saturday) to help you unwind. Now for the shopping: FWB will have the latest wares from the likes of Ivory Mason Sunglasses, Jeanne Verger Jewelry, Natalie Zena Swimwear and plenty more locals to help dress you up.Read more