America's 11 Best Pool-Side Bars
July 10, 2013
Where to cool off with a drink this summer
Altitude Pool Deck at SLS Hotel, Los Angeles
What do you get when you combine a rooftop pool deck with José Andrés? A California culinary experience that can’t be beat. Up on the sixth floor, Altitude has both a plunge pool and a reflection pool with seven private cabanas to be rented. And while we’ll never say no to a José Andrés culinary creation, we are particularly excited about Andrés’ menu of drinks: gin and tonics (naturally), Gazpacho Bloody Marys, and mimosas. The caveat? It’s only open to hotel guests.
The Colonnade, Boston
Boston is not necessarily where you’d expect to find a ritzy rooftop pool and bar, but lo and behold, there it is. Up on the 11th floor of the hotel, dip your toes into the pool and sip on a mojito and just relax. The pros? There are live concerts at the pool bar (ahem, Robin Thicke on July 12?!). The cons? It’s not open on the weekends to the general public. To get in during the week (provided that you’re not a guest, when you can go any time), it costs $25 for a half-day and $50 for a full day.
DNV Rooftop Lounge at Donovan House, Washington, D.C.
This rooftop bar features dishes and drinks from the Donovan House’s lobby restaurant, Zentan. And boy, could we go for these libations right now. Pimm’s Cup, sangrias, and punches served on tap? We’re packing our bags now.
OH Pool Bar + Cabanas at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Ariz.
This hotel pool bar is coveted for two reasons: the cabanas (stocked with buckets of food, water, and beer, for an extra cost), and the cocktails. Hello, Scottsdale Slurpee and Cucumber Caesar cocktails. There are plenty of pool parties and DJs on tap for the summer, so get ready to relax poolside all summer long.
King & Grove Hotel, Brooklyn, N.Y.
High on a rooftop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a premier poolside bar. The newly redesigned King & Grove pool and rooftop bar, Upper Elm, has everything you need to relax: day beds, stadium seating with comfy cushions, and plenty of drinks. Now on tap at the Upper Elm is a pretty great cocktail list: mojitos, watermelon cocktails, and tequila cocktails (pretty much anything you’d want to drink poolside). To gain access to the pool is $35 on weekdays and $45 on weekends (it's free for guests of the hotel); seating is first come, first served — so be prepared.
Sunset Pool and Sunrise Pool at the Modern Honolulu, Honolulu
As if you weren’t already in heaven staying at the Modern Honolulu, these pool bars just might set you over the edge. By day, the Sunrise Pool offers chaises and lounge chairs to kick back with an artisanal cocktail in hand; by night, adults can head over to a sultry "lagoon" with 100 tons of imported sand, hanging lanterns, and candles everywhere. (Oh, and the drinks, obviously, are heaven, too.)
No. 50 Beach Club at The Montauk Beach House, Montauk, N.Y.
Yelp/ Heather R.
A relative newcomer to the party scene in the Hamptons, The Montauk Beach House’s atmosphere is more chic and sophisticated than red Solo cups and well drinks. Still, it doesn’t mean this private beach club at the hotel is without its fun. With rotating DJs and live music, two pools, and 120 day beds, this is the kind of pool bar we can get used to.
The Pool Bar at The Raleigh Hotel, Miami
The pool at The Raleigh Hotel may just be the sexiest pool on our list; the Art Deco, pineapple-shaped pool just screams relaxation. Sip on a mojito in a poolside chaise, and pretend like you’re a celebrity.
Sky Hotel, Aspen, Colo.
Sky Hotel’s outdoor, heated pool is officially the hippest pool in Aspen all year round (that goes for the winter months, too). And because it’s adjacent to the hotel’s 39 Degrees Lounge, the pool and its outdoor bar makes it the "it" spot for Aspen revelers. Try the IPA Smash (made with Aspen Brewery’s IPA, Hendrick’s Gin, Aperol, grapefruit juice, habanero-lime syrup, and basil), and you won’t want to leave the pool ever.
Pool Deck at The Empire Hotel, New York City
Underneath the neon Empire Hotel sign on the 12th floor, overlook the city skyline poolside — and with a cocktail in hand. There are plenty of drinks, lounge chairs, and cabanas to let the day go by. The cons? Only guests are allowed in (and the deck is only accessible by private elevator), so New Yorkers, buddy up to a wealthy out-of-towner for the day
The Standard, Los Angeles
The rooftop pool at the downtown Los Angeles branch of The Standard has been called one of the best hotel pools in the world, so it should be no surprise that the adjoining cocktail lounge (and vibrating waterbeds!) are just as outlandishly extravagant. Hit the heated pool, the dance floor, and the outdoor fireplace in that order. Sure, some say it’s a tad on the hipster-chic side — but hey, when you’re at The Standard, you get the best. Hand over that bourbon lemonade, please.