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 party options in LA.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in Los Angeles
Our favorite pool parties of 2016
Much like Ace Hotel Palm Springs and its Swim Club, the Mondrian is home to Skybar, a pool and bar that have one of the best views of LA. The pool hosts a variety of pool parties throughout summer, including events by Wicked Delight (Wicked Paradise + Afternoon Delight), Rhondesia (A Club Called Rhonda) and Wavey (The Well Downtown)—all of which take place Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. Every Sunday through September, there will be talent on the pool deck from 1-8pm and there will be signature programs like Dive In (a poolside screening series) throughout the week. The pool is closed to the public on Saturdays unless otherwise promoted.
The Ace Hotel is home to the Swim Club, which hosts a variety of pool parties throughout summer. The pool will host Eat, Drink, Dance, Sleep; Repeat with Hit City; Wine Not and Plan Check during Memorial Day Weekend. The event is free to hotel guests and Swim Club Members. Day passes are available to outside guests for $25, and F&B are additional (listed). Dig Deeper will arrive June 3-5 with ESP Institute
taking place July 16 and 17 and PIAPTK the weekend of July 22-24. Later in the summer, Burger Oasis will arrive at the hotel, from Aug 5-7.
Our favorite pool parties from 2015
While we're still waiting for summer to start, keep an eye on some of our favorite parties from the past few years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.