Cool Off for Free at These San Diego Hotel Pools
Yes, the beach is right there, but sometimes sand and surf aren't enough -- sometimes the only thing that'll satisfy is a poolside cocktail. If you're one of the unlucky San Diegans who doesn’t have access to a pool, and you’d rather not worry about jumping fences into a neighbor’s backyard or running from hotel security, then you’ve come to the right place. The following hotel pools welcome outsiders, are free of charge, and might even provide a discounted drink or two.
Also located Downtown, the similarly named Hotel Palomar offers a chic rooftop pool space for those seeking refuge from the heat. Level Four Pool Deck + Lounge has kicked off its Island Summers specials, which feature Half Day Fridays: where guests can enjoy half-priced bubbles, select beer, and drink specials from 1-5pm. Saturdays offer drink specials DJs spinning tunes all afternoon, while Sundays feature live bands, tiki cocktails, small bites, and a chill atmosphere -- all with free admission!
Visit the Hiatus Lounge inside Hotel La Jolla for free pool lounging and seasonal imbibing. Tiki Saturdays kick off this summer with island beats and a throwback cocktail menu featuring tropical favorites like the Poolside Mai Tai, Mr. Lee’s Epic Mudslide, Frozen Sangria, and Caipirinhas. Show your appreciation for the gratis pool access by ordering a drink, or purchasing some of the poolside bites created by Chef Ingrid Funes.
The Gaslamp’s newest hotel is also home to the Pool House: a rooftop pool and lounge area that's open to the public and just launched two events (Rooftop Social and Pool House Sundays). Monday through Friday from 5pm-7pm, guests can enjoy a rooftop happy hour featuring wine, beer, and cocktail specials, as well as $1 oysters and half-off appetizers. Every Sunday beginning at 1pm, the party begins with celebrity guests, flavorsome bites, as well as specialty cocktails. Best of all: no cover charge.
Infamous for its summer Intervention parties -- which will return for the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends this year -- The Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Rooftop Bar offers cabana rentals, a full bar, and plenty of lounge space. It's open every day to the public, free of charge, except on Saturdays, when there's a weekly pool party featuring DJ’s, special hosts, and drink specials, with tickets starting at $20 each.
All right, it's not actually free, but ResortPass is actually legitimately useful for the pool-bound San Diegan. Designed by an SD local, the site allows guests to select a resort (currently eight to choose from in the city) and purchase either a day pass, spa pass, or cabana rental. Day passes run anywhere from $20-40, but they still allow you to relax, sunbathe, or have a cocktail delivered poolside without renting a room at the hotel -- and better still, they often include discounts on food and drinks.
Sign up here for our daily San Diego email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.