Cool Off This Summer at These 10 LA Poolside Bars
Cocktails by the water await.
We can’t believe we’re allowed back inside—like inside, inside—bars again and have never been so excited to find ourselves wedged next to strangers in a loud room while shouting our order to the bartender. But, given that summer is here, it’s time to consider LA’s many outdoor pool bars, those heavenly hidden (and also not-so-hidden) open-air cocktail dens within hotels around the city. From massive rooftop venues to itsy-bitsy bars, here are ten of the best poolside spots to try when the heat is on:
Upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Killer views abound from the rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant perched atop of the always-happening Ace. The bar stays open until 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights, when it also offers DJs and live music. Check out Saturday and Sunday brunch service for burrata toast and bacon-laced Bloody Marys and keep an eye on the calendar for special one-off events all summer.
How to book: Reservations available on OpenTable until 10 pm. Walk-ins welcome.
This ultra-posh hotel’s teak poolside deck is a perfect place to grab a cool cocktail and bite before settling into one of the cushy couches, umbrella-covered tables, or fun-sized bar. If you want to make a day of it, you can buy a day pass to the pool or rent a private shaded cabana that comes with seating for six, a flat-screen TV, two lounge chairs, and chilled waters and towels. The property also just announced the return of its Mr. C Cinema night on Wednesdays and tix include food, drink, and a sunset flick.
How to book: Walk-ins accepted for the restaurant and bar. Book day passes and cabanas on ResortPass. Book movie tickets on Resy.
The historic hotel’s open-air dual-level bar and lounge is now quietly concocting some of the Downtown’s most stunning agave-based cocktails along with Mexican-inspired fare like ceviche and seafood tacos with live music planned for summer. If you’re looking to take a dip and do some lounging, check out Driftwood Pool & Sundeck, centered around Hotel Fig’s coffin-shaped pool, replete with lounge chairs, daybeds, and cabanas that non-guests can reserve for a fee on weekdays.
Check out the ivy-covered rooftop pool during the day for a lower-key lounge situation or after the sun sets for a full-on scene with a DJ. Sip a single cocktail like the raspberry-infused Redheaded Mule or go for broke with a package like “The Yacht Club,” which includes a magnum of Grey Goose, two magnums of Veuve, and a bottle of Don Julio for a cool $2,500.
How to book: Email email@example.com for table reservations.
For wildly creative cocktails, a fun scene, and Downtown views, hit up this colorful Miami import and restaurant (which once won Tales of the Cocktail’s best American hotel bar) on the mural-flanked rooftop pool deck. Get crazy with a PB&J Old Fashioned of peanut butter fat-washed rye, guava cordial, and everything bagel bitters, or go for their twist on an Aperol spritz done with prickly pear and blood orange juice.
How to book: Book at table on OpenTable. Walk-ins welcome.
If you haven’t hit this stylish new hotel a stone’s throw from LAX since it opened last summer (during the height of the pandemic, you might recall), this summer is the time to check it out. Have a drink on the restaurant’s elevated deck overlooking the pool and order up something delish from the Cal-Mex menu. Non-guests can get some pool time by buying a day pass.
How to book: Reserve a table via OpenTable. Walk-ins welcome. Day passes available on ResortPass.
When it comes to iconic SoCal pools, you can’t beat the Roosevelt’s, covered in a groovy David Hockney mural. Try cocktails from the custom lineup, which includes a cucumber negroni and a prickly pear colada (which all come by the pitcher, too!) and order eats off their extensive menu with plenty of small bites like salmon poke and cashew coconut shrimp. The hotel just brought back its Tuesday movie nights at the pool, too, and if you dress up in the theme of the movie you get a free cocktail.
How to book: Call 323-466-7000 for reservations. Walk-ins welcome.
Sure you’ve been to the hotel’s hot spot The Bungalow, but for low-key daytime imbibing, try the tucked-away little bar surrounded by palms and a pool. It’s open until sunset, so you can take down a late afternoon Mai Tai, Deleon Platinum margarita, or fig-and-raspberry-laced pina colada and then do a stroll on the beach, which happens to be just across the street. And the property’s weekly Poolside Cinema Series recently returned for the summer, screening family-friendly flicks like Frozen and Cool Runnings at sunset.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome for the bar. Reservations for the Poolside Cinema Series can be made through Tock or Resy and require a pre-paid $25 food-and-beverage minimum per person.
Dreamy just about sums things up here with a giant rooftop, poolside venue that takes up the entire tenth floor of the hotel and boasts 360-degree views of stunning surroundings from the Hollywood sign to the Downtown skyline. A scenester’s scene if there ever was one, you can book a daytime VIP cabana complete with TVs and a retractable canopy for $550 during the week and $750 on weekdays or, if you have plans to stay up late, get yourself a VIP table or cabana for the night shift (beginning at 11 pm), starting at $1,250. Sure, it’s pricey, but remember all the stuff you swore you were going to splurge on when COVID was over?
How to book: Reserve VIP tables and cabanas online.
A cafe-style restaurant, a six-seat bar, classic cocktails, and sangria by the pitcher. If you’re looking to feel like you’re lunching at a Mediterranean-style villa, get yourself a seat here, order up the delightful basil-crusted salmon, wash it down with a Prosecco, and gaze at the pretty pool. Just make sure you head there early—the pool bar closes at 5 pm every day.
How to book: Reserve a table by phone at 310-275-5200.