In late spring or early fall, a good pool party simply needs a barbecue, a cooler of cold beer, and a pool. But this is full-on summer. Summer! And for that, you’re gonna want a DJ spinning, a thousand people in swimsuits, and a fully stocked bar slinging signature drinks. If there’s no chance of getting sprayed with mid-range champagne, what’s the point?
We gathered ten legit pool parties from around the world. Forget about getting splashed by your neighbors’ terrible children or assembling your burger with condiments turned soggy by the blazing sun. These are the jams where the people who splash you are so gorgeous you would ask them to do it again and the burgers come via a renowned kitchen, delivered by poolside staff paid to wait on you.
In short, these are the pool parties you deserve this time of year.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami Beach, Florida)
The Fontainebleau doesn’t want for watery good times — the place has eight freaking pools for god’s sake. The iconic bowtie pool invites people to take a few laps in the glittering water. The family pools are shallow and filled with screaming kids, if that’s your vibe. But the pool party fun comes courtesy of the adults-only Arkadia Day Club pool, where electric beats thump courtesy of top-shelf DJs and tropical cocktails flow.
Between noon and seven pm every weekend, the pool party gets lit with theme celebrations. If you’re balling, go in for an ultra cabana, where you have room to stretch out. You also have a 46-inch HDTV, wireless internet, and personal attendants to satisfy your every whim. This will run you 550 dollars Monday through Thursday, and it gets more expensive on the weekends. You might want to rage poolside all night, but the party usually shifts to the property nightclub LIV, which is legendary.
If you really wanna go all out, stay at the hotel, start your day with spa treatments, play by the pool all afternoon and evening, and hit the nightclub to keep things rolling all night. That’s the kind of itinerary that (provided you don’t blackout) makes for some classic memories.
Ocean Club Marbella (Marbella, Spain)
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There are a few kinds of parties at Ocean Club. The fact that the 30,000-square-foot property sits on the marina, a short walk from super yachts and trendy night clubs makes their chic, traditional parties pretty obvious. There’s also the sparkling saltwater infinity pool parties — where guests lounge on extra-large white leather beds. It’s very tasteful. And finally, there are champagne parties. Yes, the more sedate parties have champagne in large amounts too, but it’s consumed by connoisseurs. We’re talking champagne spray revelries where you book a day bed (possibly next to a celeb or socialite) and keep the party hopping by taking the included bottle of champagne and using it to spray down some tan god or goddess under the blisteringly hot summer sun. And it’s Veuve Cliquot champagne — which may explain the 120 Euro price tag on attendance.
By all means, take advantage of the waiter service at your sun bed, but also hit the bar for a cocktail and a pull at the sisha pipe (that’s hookah to most Americans, but this is Spain).
Wet Republic Ultra Pool at the MGM Grand (Las Vegas, Nevada)
A good pool scene is going to have a lot of sun, a lot of cool water, and a lot of music. Check. Check. And check. The MGM Grand knows pools. Just look to their 6.5-acre Grand Pool Complex with four pools, three whirlpools, a lazy river, and waterfalls. But it’s the 54,500-square-foot Wet Republic venue that makes the best place to down some shots and escape the desert heat. This is the only pool party in Vegas with two saltwater pools. Plus, there’s a 2,500 square foot open-air lounge for mingling, dining, and dancing. That’s more than a quarter of the length of a football field. And all that space is needed, because shit gets crazy. When Zedd, Tiesto, and Calvin Harris are regulars at the DJ booth all summer long, people are going to show up to throw down. They also recently added 35-feet to the existing 60-foot Verde marble-topped bar so that glistening, sun-kissed hotties can refresh themselves with signature cocktails. Try the Coco Beach — a tasty, modern take on a tiki drink with its coconut vodka, blue curacao, pineapple juice, and soda.
If you want to go full baller, snap up a VIP bungalow and revel in bottle service and a private dipping pool. No rubbing shoulders with regulars for you. Your pool party will be all about checking out the A-listers and celebs taking advantage of the dance floor tables front and center at the DJ booth.
Encore Beach Club at Wynn Encore (Las Vegas, NV)
Yes, we already named a place in Vegas, but when it comes to pool parties, Sin City wilds out like none other. This is likely why people routinely stand in line for 45 minutes to two hours get in. Arrive early to avoid lines — even if you feel like showing up to party early is lame. Once you get in and see the stripper poles on the water being worked by tourists and off-duty exotic dancers, you’ll feel the party coming on, no matter what time it is. Couple the cool set-up with some of the top EDM artists on Earth (think David Guetta, Diplo, and The Chainsmokers) and you have pool partying taken to the next level. Want to party with some of the beautiful people, The Encore Beach Club has three-tiered pools, private cabanas, and bungalows with private bathrooms to keep things going strong. We like the second level cabanas that are open to the Las Vegas Strip.
You shouldn’t be surprised that cocktails start around 15 dollars and beer and shots begin around eight dollars. Those prices can really put a dent in your party budget, so you need to either roll up with a lot of bank or do some decent pre-gaming in your hotel room beforehand. Obviously, don’t show up wasted and expect to get in, but a little buzz never hurt anyone.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club (Palm Springs, CA)
We wrote about Ace Hotel Palm Springs a few times last summer because of Splash House — which rotates through three resorts in Palm Springs. One of them is the Ace Hotel, a restored mid-century Westward Ho with a Denny’s that became a 179-room hotel, spa, and resort. People are welcome to become members of the hotel’s swim club, which grants them entry to the deep outdoor swimming hole and hot tub from six in the morning until two in the morning. Members are also granted admittance to all of the poolside parties and DJ events. During the festival season (Coachella for sure), these shindigs can get a bit wild, but overall, they tend to have a more chill vibe with people more likely to order bottle service for drinking than for spraying. People who like things low-key around the pool will appreciate rubbing elbows with the rich and famous poolside rather than dodging drunks.
Be sure to check the Ace’s events page and to get in on the DJ sets, mini-festivals, and launch parties that happen all summer long. Swim club members attend events for free, but so do hotel guests, so driving down for a weekend and enjoying a room and a party is the perfect way to celebrate summer.
W Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
The pool at the W Hong Kong is the kind that you should go to regardless of whether or not you get free-flow champagne and cocktails. An infinity pool on the 76th story, this oasis gives swimmers and splashers a front row seat for a panoramic view of one of the most well-known harbors on the continent. It is literally one of the world’s highest rooftop pools in the world. In the past, the pool hosted a Heat Wave Summer Series that was incredibly popular, boasting the most fashionable people in the cosmopolitan city. For summer 2019, W Hong Kong is back with the Twisted Tiki Series, and people can pay roughly 50 dollars American for entry and a single complimentary drink or around 113 dollars for entry plus endless Moët, Chandon Ice Impérial, and standard drinks. Generally, in-house guests staying at the hotel over the dates of the party get free entry.
The party goes from eight in the evening to midnight, and it makes a good start to a night of club hopping in the area.
Potato Head Beach Club (Bali, Indonesia)
Let’s be real, things named Potato Head don’t exactly inspire thoughts of wild partying and award-winning venues. But in the case of Potato Head Beach Club Bali, that is exactly what the name should conjure in the imagination — it’s an internationally recognized hotspot that charms guests with its infinity pool, inviting lawn on which people congregate, swim-up pool bar, huge poolside stage set against the sparkling ocean, and revolving roster of globetrotting DJs.
Designed by cinematic architect Andra Matin to mirror a coliseum, the club was created by a pair of passionate Indonesian art collectors, which can be seen in design elements collected from all over the region. Just look to the multi-colored shutters that are part of the patchwork façade and perfect for Instagram backgrounds, as are the exhibitions and art installations set up around the club.
The Standard DTLA (Los Angeles, California)
We write about The Standard DTLA a lot because it really is a unique property with a stellar rooftop pool party area. Also because it’s so prominently featured in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the best movie no one else seems to have seen). The pool isn’t a giant as some on this list, but it is totally heated and offers cocktail service. And depending on the party theme there might be some ping pong tables set up next to it. Themes of the past have included water gun and cigar parties, but most of them stick to the basic DJ formula and some shots. When the sun goes down, people flock to the dance floor, but plenty remain in the pool soaking up the scene.
The roof is open to guests any time, and VIP and guest list patrons can party there from 8 pm to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Széchenyi Baths (Budapest, Hungary)
First of all, pool party aside, the Széchenyi Baths are rad. With 21 pools, this is one of the largest bath complexes in Europe, and it is open year-round because the pools are fed by thermal springs that get as hot as 177 degrees (though the pools are heated to varying temperatures that only go up to 100 degrees). The pools that use thermal water are high in calcium, magnesium, sulfate, bicarbonate, metaboric acid, and fluoride, and the prevailing consensus is that these elements help with blood circulation, joint pain, arthritis, and nervous disorders. Essentially, partying at these pools means you are actually doing something healthy for yourself. So when Saturday night at 10:30 rolls around and the DJ booth and laser lights are out, you can feel great about dancing your ass off until three in the morning in the steamy waters of this neo-baroque palace.
If you plan on going with a partner or friends, there are ticket deals that include cocktail vouchers, party towels, tote bags, and priority access, which means you get express entry to the action. Obviously, you don’t need those things, but if you get a deal and upgrades, why not?
Zephyr Lodge (Lanquin, Guatemala)
Central America has a ton of killer hostels that function as more than a place to grab a decent night’s sleep. Many of them also serve as chill party destinations — where you can mingle with people from all over the world and swap travel stories (and maybe some spit? We don’t know your life).
The Zephyr Lodge is all party hostel without sacrificing an ounce of taste. You can expect a large thatched roof bar and restaurant, solid dorms, and a five-minute walk to a dope river where you can go tubing. But you’ll want to spend most of your time in the stunning infinity pool taking in the spectacular views. And don’t forget the swim-up bar and 12 person Jacuzzi.
Happy hour is every night from six to eight, so it’s worth your time and budget to spend some time drinking and eating during the cheap times. But be warned — the party around this gorgeous pool rages through most of the day into the evening, so don’t rush to drunkenness just because it’s happy hour.