If the bulk of your L.A. vacation itinerary revolves around marathon sessions by the pool, then our list won’t disappoint. From beachy Santa Monica getaways that deliver fresh-pressed juice right to your chaise lounge to a Downtown athletic club hotel that boasts scuba diving lessons, hotel pools in Los Angeles have a tradition of going the extra mile. If you’re more the partying type, a selection of stylish rooftop pools with thumping nightlife scenes ensures plenty of fun in the sun—or sunset, as the case may be.
L.A. hotels with pools
Oceana’s plush lobby lounge, with its sleek midcentury furniture and a gleaming white tile fireplace, makes a cozy first impression—they’ll even have a glass of bubbly waiting for you when you check-in. A well-equipped gym, palm tree-lined pool (with cabanas and a fireplace), and seasonal juice bar mean you can stay on top of your health routine while still feeling pampered. Across the street, there’s free yoga on the beach every morning, as well as a fleet of Priority Bike beach cruisers (both perks are complimentary for all guests). Best of all are the suites with ocean-facing balconies—slide open the glass door, and you’re immediately surrounded in a private Eden of exotic flowers and thick hanging vines, with nothing but the crashing waves to lull you to sleep.
Beachside views and locations may be a dime a dozen in Santa Monica, but the Shore Hotel boasts the only gold LEED certification in the neighborhood. So, the environmentally conscious set can feel good about the reduced water consumption, locally sourced materials and landscaping and low energy use. These green features mean modern, minimalist design with plenty of light and less swank. The glassed pool looks onto Ocean Avenue that's less see-and-be-seen and more family-friendly. Feeling hungry? Drop into Blue Plate Taco for lobster tacos and cocktails. And for those looking for a food break, can book the MAKE Wellness suite for a raw vegan itinerary of Paleta juices and raw, vegan at the nearby MAKE by Mattew Kenney restaurant.
The Miramar has been pampering the glamorous and the powerful in California for nearly a century: past guests have included everyone from Greta Garbo to Bill Clinton. Built in 1924, the hotel has undergone several tasteful renovations; the most recent encompassed a remodel of the lobby and the Grille. The heated outdoor pool makes a cozy place to regroup at the end of the day, and connects to a mammoth fitness center complete with private trainers, steam rooms, and a full list of daily classes. Families clamor for the 32 bungalows with private patios surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, the other guest rooms boast ocean and city views. Fig restaurant gets rave reviews for its seasonal cuisine, while Exhale Spa focuses on mind-body treatments.
Built as an apartment block in the 1950s, this tower was converted into a hotel by businessman Ian Schrager and designer Philippe Starck in the mid '90s, and immediately became the hottest spot in the city. It still carries a certain amount of star quality, despite several recent changes, not least a redesign by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz (who sensitively enhanced Starck's original design rather than do away with it entirely). One of the centerpieces of the building is the opulent, vine-enveloped pool deck, which at night becomes a fairytale scene, with dangling lanterns, music, and private alcoves that spill out to the city below. Funky additions to the rooms include combined mirror/TV showpieces and sustainable bamboo flooring. Elsewhere in the hotel, Skybar still draws a starry crowd and the Agua Spa is sweet, if petite.
Oh, if these walls could talk. You wouldn't know it today, but this snazzy hotel from the Hyatt chain was once the hardest partying spot on the Sunset Strip. Known then as the Hyatt House, it was the place where rock royalty boozed all night long and, as legend has it, where Keith Richards (the Rolling Stones) and Keith Moon (the Who) once threw a TV set off the balcony. But just as aging rock stars trade Jack Daniels for juice cleanses (and nips and tucks), the hotel formerly dubbed "Hyatt Riot" and "Riot House" underwent a $48-million makeover in 2009 to emerge as the sleek boutique Andaz West Hollywood. The 239-room hotel sits in the center of the Sunset Strip’s nightlife scene, and pays homage to its history with decorative touches (contemporary art and vintage images of its famous guests) throughout the modern-designed rooms and lobby, and a show-stopper of a rooftop pool, offering the highest vantage point in the area, with sweeping views of the city. It's the perfect perch from which to sip on grown-up cocktails and gaze at the next generation of rockers partying on the Strip.
Welcome to Paradise. Situated on an oceanside bluff in posh Rancho Palos Verdes, the picturesque resort is a Mecca of relaxation and resort life. The 102-acre resort boasts a nine-hole golf course, spa, three pools (including adult-only), and eight—count 'em, eight—restaurants. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there's also paddleboarding, snorkeling and horseback riding. Accommodations range from the usual rooms and suites to larger, more luxurious bungalows, casitas and villas. Rumor has it that even a few Hollywood films were filmed here, so be sure to show your good side when lounging by the pool.
This elite and quietly decadent Mission-style '20s hotel, a deamy getaway on 12 fairytale acres of lush landscaping, reopened in 2011 after a major two-year overhaul. The additions—which include new lofts and hillside suites, a La Prairie spa and fitness center, plus upgraded room features—are impressive, but thankfully the overall vibe hasn't changed much: Guests still enjoy spending long afternoons by the pool, meandering through the gardens or subtly trying to spot which Hollywood player is sitting at the next table in the Wolfgang Puck restaurant.
The Los Angeles Atheltic Club is a deluxe fitness center and private social club nestled in an early 20th Century, 12-story building Downtown. The Club's facilities include a state-of-the-art gym (spanning three floors), a spa, and a 25-yard lap pool where guests and locals alike can sign up for water aerobics classes and even attempt a scuba diving course. Add the first-rate restaurant, cocktail bar, and conference rooms, and the luxury hotel almost seems like an afterthought. LAAC membership will grant you access to a myriad of events, from wine tastings to seminars. The Club also serves as a popular wedding venue.
This Art Deco beauty reopened in the late aughts after a $30-million makeover, and the results are stunning. The streamline moderne exterior has been preserved, while inside, the rooms have been upgraded with hardwood floors, windows that open (yes, it's a rarity) and modern tech amenities. All offer ocean views and many have balconies and kitchenettes. A restaurant and pool have also been added, and, on the rooftop, guests can enjoy a drink at the Suite 700 lounge or a spa treatment. If you want to bury your toes in the sand, cross the street and the PCH pedestrian bridge and you'll find yourself on the beach.
After a 2003 restoration by designer Dodd Mitchell, this 1927 landmark, a beautiful example of Spanish colonial design, once more welcomed the A-listers who frequented it during Hollywood's heyday. The hotel is at its most dramatic downstairs: in the Prohibition-era bowling alley, at the discreet Library Bar and around the pool, which boasts a restored underwater mural by David Hockney and an often-buzzing bar scene at the poolside lounge. Of course, even more prized than location—you’ll be within a mile of Hollywood Bowl—is the building itself, which, along with the pool, have been designated Historic-Cultural Monuments by the city. The rooms are sleek, dark and, in places, showing a few signs of wear and tear. Look out for the occasional subtly placed photographic nod to the starry location. Make sure to stop for a meal at the 24-hour burger joint, 25 Degrees, and Public Kitchen and Bar.