You Probably Need This: Three Perfect Rooftop Hotel Pools in LA

It’s cheaper than a ticket to Brazil. Plus, no chance of your flight getting canceled.

July 1, 2022 7:47 am
The rooftop pool at The Shay in Los Angeles during the day under a blue sky
Don't you wish you were here right now?
The Shay

Text threads across this city are buzzing with the summer’s most pressing question:  “Where can we find a pool? 

It’s officially hot. Just about everyone is even more sick of being home than usual. It feels like half the city is in Paris, or Rome, or back in Hawaii, while the other half is dying to lay by some sparkling water (while drinking some sparkling water).

The perfect cure for this kind of malaise is a staycation, with cocktails and a rooftop pool. Why not save money on the international flight and splurge on a night away at the same time? Here, a few picks for where to sun yourself without even leaving the city.

Rooftop Pool at The Sixty
The rooftop pool at Sixty

The Splurge: Sixty

Beverly Hills

Go big or go home, right? This Beverly Hills gem is a bit of a splurge, but the cozy, off-the-grid feeling is totally worth it. The whole point of a hotel pool is to not be at home, and Sixty’s rooftop offers stunning 360-views of Beverly Hills and the city at large. Dubbed the Umbrella Swim Club, this pool is usually buzzing during sultry L.A. days, and poolside cabanas plus drinks and snacks make it a preferred hang. Grab a room and make a night or weekend of it, with dark, elegant rooms that accurately reflect the neighborhood’s sophisticated rep. With marble bathrooms, ebonized floors and eclectic mirrors, the Old World-luxe feel of these suites is a nice contrast to the white walls and blond wood vibe that seems to be dominating L.A. properties of late.

Finish things off with a leisurely meal at Ella, the property’s brand new restaurant. Its menu is stacked with fresh pasta, crispy pizzas, an Asian-fusion steak preparation, bone marrow and the kind of wine list that nails the mood. An entire chilled red section? A bottle shop for guests to peruse on their way back up to the room? Rarely does a restaurant go above and beyond like this one. Wake up in the morning and head back down for a full-on brunch — Ella is good enough to hold up twice in 24 hours.

Rooftop at The Shay
The rooftop pool at The Shay
The Shay

The Newcomer: The Shay

Culver City

Rooftop pools are harder to find on the west side, but a contemporary newcomer in Culver City is aiming to change all that. Already a foodie destination as the home of Danny Grant’s first West Coast restaurant, Etta, The Shay is located in the heart of a new creative hub for young professionals. (That’s thanks to massive offices in the area, for companies like Apple and Amazon.) Across the street from Platform, the hotel is one of the first elements of the new Ivy Station development. Expect it to be joined by more offices and even a new park.

If you crave a zen rooftop pool moment in the middle of all that hubbub, The Shay absolutely delivers. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., you can post up on one of the many lounge chairs, surrounded by lush greenery, and forget about the world of work for a while. If you’re trying to finagle a “workcation” situation, strong wifi and a coworking vibe down in the lobby can mean getting the best of both worlds. But you should probably stow your laptop at some point and get involved with their killer rooftop drinks while hanging by the pool. Or hold out till a brand new dining concept, dubbed the Canopy Club, comes to the rooftop later this month. 

Rooftop pool at The Ace Hotel
The rooftop pool at the Ace Hotel
The Ace Hotel

The Classic: Ace Hotel

Downtown L.A.

The pool at the Ace Hotel is small but mighty. The affordability and central location makes this a great option for eastsiders trying to keep things closer to home — or for those who just want a tried-and-true option that doesn’t break the bank. Plus, if you live over on the west side, downtown is practically another city, so the staycation mood will be strong. Pick up one of the “Chiller” frozen drinks served on the rooftop bar and get into your suit. These days, downtown is teeming with luxury hotels and trendy guesthouses, but Ace staked its claim all the way back in 2014. That’s part of why this is such a classic option for a great night away from home — they’ve had the time to perfect the hospitality part. 

Sunbathe in the shade of the ​​historic United Artists Theatre, which the Ace lovingly restored into their own Ace Theatre, and visit the new dining concept, Loam, downstairs after a day in the heat. They offer service at “golden hour” (read: happy hour plus) as well as dinner, and focus on working local vegetables into a menu of hotel staples like burrata, crudo and roast chicken. With cool, industrial rooms decked out with on-trend additions like record players and spare guitars, the accessible price point also makes this a great option for an overnight stay when you’re downtown for a show. Skip the expensive Uber or overpriced gas and parking fees after catching a concert at Staples, The Orpheum or the Ace, and simply walk to and from the venue. It’s just another chance to make an in-town night feel like a trip — and there’s always the option for more pool time before checking out the next day.

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