With summer now officially under way, it's clear Los Angeles is edging up to the top of the list of pool party destinations. Meaning, you no longer have to go to Las Vegas or Palm Springs to have a good time poolside. Check out our list of the top pool parties in L.A. for fun in the sun or rubbing elbows with the rich and famous poolside.
Photo Gallery: Pool parties in L.A. | Related: Hot summer fashion trends
The original Drai's was an after hours nightclub in Las Vegas, so there's no surprise its L.A. sister is also a raging party scene. With pool parties on summer weekends, this place is as close to Vegas as you can get without actually having to go to Sin City. Set atop the W Hotel in Hollywood with a beautiful view of Downtown L.A. and the Griffith Observatory, the DJ helps set the mood as people break out dancing wherever there's room. There are two decent-sized bars to make it easy to get a nice refreshing beverage. Cabanas are available for bottle service, which starts at a cool $535. For everyone else, there's a $20 cover charge and entrance is left to the doorman's discretion unless you're on the guest list. If you want any chance of being let in, make sure you adhere to their strict dress code attire which includes no jeans, boots or basketball shorts -- basically, upscale pool attire required. Drai's is also known for celebrity appearances and surprise performances by music artists, so keep your eyes peeled if you make it past the red rope.
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday-Monday
Location: 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Luxe Sunset Boulevard in Bel Air
This is a gem of old Hollywood and, unlike nearby Beverly Hills Hotel, non-hotel guests can use the pool with the purchase of a spa service or cabana rental. The pool is flanked by luxurious cabanas with a direct view of the J. Paul Getty Museum beyond the lush foliage that camouflages the grounds of the sprawling 1950s-era complex. Pool and hotel guests also have free access to the hotel's shuttle service that will take visitors anywhere within three miles. A cabana can be rented for $150 per day from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rental includes a fruit basket and water. A helpful bar and wait staff is available for food and drink orders. We recommend trying the bar's Pina Colada to indulge in the tropical setting. The hotel offers a "Special BFF" cabana package for $369 that includes all-day cabana rental, two 60-minute massages, and a $50 credit at the hotel's On Sunset restaurant (a popular dining spot for locals with a great happy hour and Sunday jazz brunch). The Luxe Sanctuary Spa has waxing, reflexology, massage, facials and nail services. Reservations can be made by calling 410-691-7550.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. this summer
Location: 11461 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
Mr. C Yacht Club
Every Sunday during summer, the pool area at Mr. C Beverly Hills turns into a chic yacht-club inspired pool party. But like many events in Beverly Hills, this party is somewhat exclusive. Only guests at the hotel or buying a cabana for anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000 are guaranteed of get to sip their signature cocktails poolside. Entrance to the pool is free if you're a hotel guest or on the first come, first served guest list. If you're not on the list and plan to attend, it's highly recommended you come in your best nautical attire. DJ Bobby French will be spinning all summer long to keep the scene alive and there is a Shay Todd Pop-Up Shop (http://shaytodd.com/shop/index.php?cpage=intro) that has taken residency for the summer. There are many lounge areas in which to sit and relax, and though the pool is small, it doesn't really matter because it appears that this place is optimal for people who want to see and be seen.
Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 8
Location: 1224 Beverwil Drive, Los Angeles
Skybar at Mondrian
With one of the most beautiful views of West L.A., the pool at the Mondrian Hotel on the famed Sunset strip is as bright as the lights below. From your walk into the venue to the chic white lounge chairs and green foliage along the poolside, this place exudes Los Angeles glamour. There's a hut above the pool that offers partygoers shade during hot days and a fully stocked bar. Special events through the summer include Wednesday night Twilight Swims from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday Hut Parties every week from noon to 6 p.m., and Out of the Office Friday's from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a $5 mojito menu. To get into the parties, you must either be a hotel guest or get on the guest list by calling the Skybar office. Bottle service (starting at $400) is recommended for parties of four or more.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the "Night Look" from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. all year long unless there's a private event
Location: 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
This boutique hotel across the street from the Beverly Center is a luxurious, secluded enclave in the middle of a busy shopping district. The location created a challenge for designers of the rooftop pool but, with strategically placed trees and music, guests can feel distant from the urban bustle a few stories below. This is a small pool and deck, and cabanas are basically sofas. But the service here is exceptional. Poolside waiters are extremely attendant and deliver spray mist and frozen grapes to guests. Non-hotel guests can use the pool for the day if they purchase a spa service, which LeSpa offers poolside in an outdoor tent built with curtains and plants. Spa use also includes access to the sauna and luxurious locker rooms inside. Designer cocktails and food from the hotel's California-inspired French restaurant Esterel can be delivered poolside. There are plenty of tasty health-conscious menu choices. We recommend the beet salad and turkey wrap with a refreshing sangria. Spa treatments can be booked by calling 310-278-5444.
Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the summer
Location: 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
Despite being tucked inside the swanky Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, this poolside bar is surprisingly accessible and won't stir up any self-conscious tendencies -- though you may leave hating your drinking habits if you sip a few $20-plus mai tais. There's a wide variety of people -- hipsters, tourists, Hollywood types and everyday people -- that enjoy this large pool beautifully surrounded by palm trees. The pool hosts summer programming including Monday movie nights beginning July 1; Wednesday night swims from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with celebrity and guest DJs; BoatHouse Thursdays with speedboat races; and the usual day pool parties throughout the weekend. Like most Hollywood events, guaranteed access is limited to hotel guests, the purchase of bottle service -- bottles start at $350 with the number of bottles required depending on your number of guests -- or people on the DJ guest list. Resident spinner is DJ JustJack, so if you want to attend this party without shelling out the cash, become his friend.
Hours: Day pool parties are noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours vary for the other events.
Location: 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The London West Hollywood
The view of Downtown L.A. is the star at this rooftop pool, lounge, bar and restaurant where an attitude-free atmosphere makes the luxurious surroundings relaxed and fun. You're as likely to see families playing in the pool as you are to see Hollywood types catching rays, and there is a young friendly staff to cater to guests. On weekend nights, the deck is open to the public for drinks and, on Wednesday, a live DJ performs. The nighttime crowd is more business than party, but the view and spaciousness here are ideal for a group of friends wanting to grab drinks and appetizers from the Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Entrance to the day parties is dependent on booking a spa service or renting a cabana, which for non-hotel guests runs about $500 plus a 20 percent service charge. Hotel guests get in free and can snag a cabana for $300. The hotel offers a "celebration" cabana package that includes six hours in a poolside cabana, Gordon Ramsay signature snacks, fresh fruit, a stocked mini-refrigerator, flowers, pool chairs and other amenities for $650 plus a 20 percent service charge. The food and cocktails here are excellent and not too pricey. During the afternoon, we recommend the bacon-wrapped hot dog and hibiscus mojito. At night, cabana guests can indulge in dinner items from filet mignon to fresh fish. To book a cabana, call the hotel concierge at 410-358-7727.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for hotel guests, and 6 p.m. to midnight for the public for drinks.
Location: 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood
Los Angeles lucked out with two locations of this hip hotel -- one on the Sunset strip in West Hollywood, and the other nestled in the midst of skyscrapers in Downtown L.A. Both have much-hyped pool party scenes. We chose to break out of Hollywood and scope out the downtown location. The hotel is ready-made for fun with a pool table in the lobby and an entire room filled with ping pong tables on the second floor. But the good times really begin when you make it to the roof, which wraps 360 degrees around the building giving you different views of the city. Each area of the roof offers a different vibe. There's a Beirgarten on one side (order the bratwurst) with yellow picnic tables to hang out and eat at. Turn the corner and there's the narrow, but large, heated swimming pool with lounge chairs and waterbed pods up for grabs. The roof also features a DJ setup, dance floor, and a comfortable, chic lounge area. The best part about this place is everything on the roof is first come, first served, and there's no bottle service. This place isn't about being pretentious, it's strictly about the fun. The pool parties are promoted by outside people so to get on the list, you must RSVP to them and pay at the door (price changes depending on the promoter). The hotel helps get the word out on the events and promoters through its blog and on social media. Guests of the hotel get two wristbands for the pool.