Hotel pools have a certain magic for kids; in fact, book a hotel without a pool at your peril. Whether you're vacationing in the City of Angels, or just looking for a staycation that puts your kids' swim lessons to good use (while waiters bring you delicious food and decadent adult beverages), there's always a good reason to take advantage of LA's bounty of hotel pools. Any of the hotels below is worth a weekend for the pool alone. Don't want to spend the night? These hotels are not only great spots to base a vacation or staycation—they all offer day passes for their pools, too. And while not all hotel pools are kid-friendly, this list of family favorites can turn any swim day into a family vacation, whether you're staying or day-playing.
Hollywood Hotel Pools
Pool open 7am-11pm daily
Though small, the heated rooftop pool is a West Hollywood oasis with lots of lounge chairs and (score!) umbrellas. There are three separate decks, plus poolside food and drink service. Day passes are $40 per person, though kids 6 and under are free. While it's impossible to find street parking in West Hollywood, here's good news: get $10 off parking with your pool pass.
Pool open from 10am-9pm.
If you're visiting Universal Studios, it's good to be able to escape to someplace cooler (and wetter). This Hilton has a big, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, plus there is poolside dining and the Coffee Corner in the main lobby. A day pool pass is $25, but kids 6 and under are free. Self-parking is $8 with pool bar and restaurant validation, and valet is discounted to $18.
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The Hilton Universal City offers day pool passes.
Santa Monica Hotel Pools
Pool open 8am-12am
While the pool is small and can be cold thanks to the location close to the beach, there are some appealing amenities at this boutique hotel: eucalyptus steam rooms, a dry sauna, and a relaxation lounge. Alas, a day pass is not cheap—book through Resort Pass and it's $40 for adults, $30 for kids (at least infants are free)—but all the more reason to stay the night. Three hours of free valet parking are included with a pool pass.
Pool open 9am-9pm daily
This large, heated pool has lots of shade, and there are umbrellas next to some of the loungers, so this may be just the spot for sun-sensitive kids (and adults). The pool is set in lovely gardens that include a pond with turtles. There are changing rooms and showers for daytime visitors; passes are $20 per adult through DayAxe, and free for kids under 6. Parking on the street avoids the pricey valet parking. FIG restaurant handles the poolside bar menu, so kids can get chicken fingers and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of goldfish crackers.
Beverly Hills Hotel Pools
Pool open 5am-8pm daily
Besides being a little bit of Beverly Hills history (swim movie icon Esther Williams christened the pool way back in 1955), the Beverly Hilton has the largest heated pool in BH. A day pass is $50 per person, though kids under 6 are free. Self-parking is free with validation, too. Order food from the hotel's Circa 55, and see if your kids will go for an order of avocado toast (there are no chicken fingers on this menu, and isn't that a good thing, really?).
Pool open from 8am-11pm daily
This small, boutique hotel has a unique, hour-glass shaped pool. Umbrellas and poolside food and drink service (think everything from fish tacos to sweet potato fries – you can order from the complete menu) and free valet parking come with a day pass, but the rate isn't cheap ($75 per person through DayAxe) and kids pay full price. At that rate, far better to stay the night and enjoy the fun decor and comfy bedding.
Grab a delicious bite poolside at The Avalon Beverly Hills.
Downtown Hotels with Pools
Pool open from 8am-10pm
Not only is this downtown hotel's pool heated, it's filled with saltwater—so if you don't want to hump it to the beach, kids might be convinced they got the next best thing. There are male and female showers, umbrellas, and you can order food and drink by the pool. Valet parking is available. It's $30 per person for a day pass, but kids 6 and under swim free.
Pool open 11am-6pm
This downtown rooftop pool offers wowza urban views (and all the surrounding highrises offer some shade over the pool, too), plus amenities like poolside dining, music, and umbrellas. Kids 6 and under are free on a day pass; everyone else pays $35 each.
Hotel Pools in the Valleys
Pool open 11am-9pm daily
The hotel claims this is the biggest pool in the Valley, so little ones will have plenty of room to splash in this newly renovated space (though no pool toys are allowed). The only downside is that the spa is in the midst of getting its own makeover, which means midlevel demolition and construction noise between 8:30am and 5pm Monday through Saturday (the pool is open 11am to 9pm). However, if you have kids who want to be a little loud, it's not such a bad thing if their whooping and screaming is drowned out by construction, right? The pool cafe has kid-friendly chicken fingers, quesadillas, and sliders, plus more grown-up fare, too. A pool pass is $25 per person (call ahead to check), but parking is free.
Pool open Mon-Thurs 6am-10pm
It's no surprise this lush getaway inn is a popular wedding destination (so call ahead to make sure the pool is open when you're planning to visit) thanks to its 17 acres of green space and vineyards (yes, there's a winery on-site, so consider getting a glass). The jacuzzi isn't bad either. Day passes for the pool cost $40 for adults, $15 for kids, and are free for littles 2 and under. Self-parking is free during the day.
Photos courtesy of the hotels