Pool parties in LA: The best poolside soirees
Go off the deep end at one of Time Out's picks for the best pool parties in LA.
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.
Daft Punk. Thom Yorke. Questlove. With DJs like this, it’s no wonder NightSwim 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 partygoers as well. Add oversized canoes, colossal bubbles and a seven-foot dragon pool toy, the energy of resident DJ Chris Holmes (who is also touring with Sir Paul McCartney this summer), and hipster-friendly attendees ready for their close-ups, and you’ve got yourself one smoking party. The best part? The crowd isn’t just about posturing. When things get too hot on the dance floor, partiers dive into the landmark pool (and swim in style—amid a gazillion-dollar David Hockney painting, no less) until 2 a.m.
Saturday through Monday, Drai’s reopens its daytime digs on the roof of the W Hotel, where five hundred people stomp along the skyline from noon to dusk at this Vegas-style party. While a shallow pool—bathed in light and rubber-duckie drink holders—serves as the quintessential LA centerpiece, the vibe is more Vegas Strip. Girls in bodycon dresses and the boys who love them turn out their interpretation of the Hamptons Pool Party dress code, while resident DJ Travis Evans kicks out a something-for-everyone mix of house, hip-hop and pop. A big draw is the roster of visiting DJs—Lil Jon, Captains of Industry and local heros DJ Vice and Samantha Ronson—cooked up by Saturday Dayclub party collaborators SKAM Artists. While the vibe may seem exclusive, the venue’s 500 capacity space and wallet-friendly $20 cover charge make this rooftop wetbar one of the more accessible in town.
Fresh from their annual "Rhonda: Queen of the Desert" rager at Coachella, creators DJ Goddollars, Alexis Rivera and Gregory Alexander are set to rock the roof at The Standard during summer’s three biggest holidays. If this party's Palm Springs precursor—in which Kenny Dope and Classixx threw down, along with Stones Throw’s J Rocc—is anything to go by, superstar talent is sure to grace the LA soiree. Of course, these parties will reach capacity in a heartbeat. But Phyliss Navidad loves creative fashion, so daring dress may be your ticket through the doors—that or RSVPing on their site.
You know that older kid in your neighborhood that somehow knew about everything good before it became on-the-radar cool? That’s LA Canvas—a street-cred barometer for just about everything coming out of LA, including food, art, fashion and, of course, music. At the mag's summer pool soirees, expect to hear the next big-name DJs to play Coachella 2015 as they throw down hip-hop, dance and disco-derived beats. The scene may skew young, but no matter what this new monthly brings (in addition to awesome swag bags), it’s sure to evoke the best of emerging LA.