It’s ironic that, as Angelenos, we rarely take advantage of the beach. Despite its proximity and our nearly constant beach weather, we rarely make our way to one of Pacific Coast Highway’s glorious beach parking lots with surfboards and flip-flops in hand. Many of us, jaded by the constant sun, even opt for a movie instead of soaking up rays. Whenever you do get out of your second viewing of Sex and the City 2, head to one of LA’s best hotel pools to get the best of both worlds – the sun and the water of the beach with the exclusivity and proximity to cocktails of a private pool.
The chic and yet borderline kitschy Santa Monica outpost of sunny hospitality, the Viceroy Hotel, is the perfect place to lay your tote bag down while you work on those tan lines. With two outdoor pools and the option for a bevy of drinks, the Viceroy attracts the best of Santa Monica (and, of course, its visitors). You may be a four-minute walk from the Santa Monica Pier, but while lounging out by the pool at the Viceroy, you’ll feel a world away. Book yourself into a poolside cabana for a poolside hideaway, so you can people watch in peace.
Viceroy Hotel is located at 1819 Ocean Ave in Santa Monica (310) 260-7500
Sauntering into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, you’ll pass by a darkened bar of jet-setting imbibers, a harpist playing vaguely familiar tunes for ladies having tea, and make your way to the elevator. Take it to the roof. Get off and look at the view – of pools, cabanas, a menu of drinks and snacks, and a lounge chair with your name on it. Then, take a quick look beyond the pool to those silly office buildings and make a smirk at those silly business people working on a gorgeous day like today. If you must catch up on movies or TV, there are flat screen TVs with DVD players in each cabana. Best of both worlds, really.
Peninsula Hotel is located at 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills (310) 551-2888
The London West Hollywood
If rooftop pools are your thing, but the Peninsula’s demographic is more “parents” than “Facebook friends,” make your way to West Hollywood – you should know how to get there already. Specifically, head to the London West Hollywood Hotel. The rooftop pool is sleek and modern with dark hardwood floors, high tech fire pits, and slick white and black cabanas. Their views from up there are panoramic and accompanied by cocktails. Mr. Gordon Ramsay has created a special menu that fits the whole healthy-sun-kissed-poolside lifestyle you’ve obviously adopted up on the roof.
The London West Hollywood is located at 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd in West Hollywood (866) 282-4650
Sunset Tower Hotel
The glamour of old Hollywood is preserved better at the Sunset Tower Hotel than anywhere else in LA. The muted and dark browns paired with a storied silver screen history, there are few places as sophisticated as the pool at Sunset Tower to sunbathe and “take the waters.” The people watching may not include a view of Elizabeth Taylor or Frank Sinatra, but it will include a very exclusive cross section of LA’s best – from those in the industry to sun-loving jet setters.
The Sunset Tower Hotel is located at 8358 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood (323) 654-7100
Where, you may wonder, can you find mid-city’s sexiest views as you pull yourself out of the pool and saunter toward your lounge chair to take a sip of your waiting cocktail – little colorful umbrella in it and all? Why, the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, of course. The surrounding view is made more beautiful by your immediate surroundings as you lounge by the intimate, modern, sleek pool on the rooftop. Get your toes wet or jump right in, dry off and soak up the sun, dip your sunglasses low over your nose to take a look around you, whatever you do – it’d be very hard to screw this one up.
Thomspon Hotel is located at 9360 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills (310) 273-1400