Catching rays in designer bikinis, sippin' juicy umbrella drinks, and chillin' by the pool — they're all parts of Miami's goal of having fun in the sun.
Locals can walk around half-naked and tan because of all the kick-ass pool parties they're able to crash — especially in Miami Beach. Yes, it's a bit of a tourist trap, but most Miamians have a soft spot for the Beach even if they won't admit it.
So the next time you feel like crossing the causeway and getting wet, remember these ten best pool-party spots. Go get your splash on.
1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop
2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
There's no view more breathtaking than a Miami sunset, and a rooftop view is even better. The 1 Hotel South Beach rooftop pool makes it easy to take in the orange, lilac, and pink afterglow. Take a dip at dusk for a refreshing respite from the humidity and stress of rush-hour traffic. Visitors can unwind from the workweek with DJs Saturdays and Sundays. Although the pool is open to hotel guests only, nonguests can still hang out by renting a cabana. After a long day at work, you'll fall in love with the city you call home when you view it from poolside heaven. To book a cabana, email VIPRooftop@1hotels.com.
Clevelander South Beach Hotel & Bar
1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
You’ve driven by the Clevelander when showing visitors around town, but maybe you thought you were too cool to hit up the South Beach tourist staple. Admit it: Playing tourist for a day looks pretty fun. The folks at the Clevelander want you to play with the out-of-towners; the pool is open and free to the public every day from 11 a.m. to sundown, and weekends feature drink specials, DJs, dancers and other entertainment. Memorial Day crowds are heavy, but try this spot on an off-weekend for drinks with new friends you'll never see again.
The Confidante Miami Beach
4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Hey, locals, looking for an inexpensive way to unwind from the grind? The Confidante has you covered. Day passes for non-hotel guests start at $30 via resortpass.com and include access to the hotel's two heated pools, a poolside lounge chair, a beach chair stationed at the nearby beach, food and drink service, and other perks. Plus, pick up a themed floatie from the hotel's new floatie-on-demand menu and snap photos to your heart's content. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, catch DJs spinning poolside in the hotel's laid-back Backyard, and enjoy local sweets from Cielito Artisan Pops (complete with cocktail pairings). Hanging here won't burn a hole in your wallet.
1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Surrounded by chaise lounges, freestanding linen umbrellas, and canopied daybeds, the pool at the iconic Delano is as posh as the decor. Stroll through the Alice in Wonderland-themed garden path to behold its 7,000 square feet of refreshing, clear cure for the summertime blues. Access to the pool is available with a cabana rental, but nonguests are better off attending Delano Beach Club after 7 p.m., where they can enjoy a craft cocktail as the night cools down.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
The luxurious Fontainebleau is a Miami classic. These days, it's probably best known for its nightclub, LIV, but the oceanfront resort also boasts a whopping eight pools. Take a refreshing dip in the picturesque Oasis pools or the signature Bowtie, designed to resemble Fontainebleau architect Morris Lapidus' favorite accessory. Nonguests can access the pools by purchasing a spa treatment or renting one of the many luxury daybed or cabana options, which can cost up to $1,000 for the Island Cabana in the middle of the pool. The adults-only Arkadia Day Club, a "tropical oceanside playground," hosts themed pool parties from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with beats by resident DJ K-Razor. If you want to go all-out, splurge on a private Ultra Cabana, complete with personal attendants and a 46-inch flat-screen TV, for $550 Monday through Thursday and varying prices on weekends.
The Freehand Miami
2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach
The Freehand Miami gained popularity thanks to Gabriel Orta and the rest of the mixologists at the Broken Shaker, but Miami Beach's first upscale hostel has also made a name for itself with its intimate pool parties. There's colorful decor, tasty cocktails, and themed splash bashes that present some of the best underground DJs in the 305. The Freehand is a welcome escape from reality. The party continues 'round the clock at this hub for young locals and travelers alike. But if you’re looking for a way to chill the hell out from the grind, imbibe at the Broken Shaker, one of the best ways to relax in Miami.
Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel
1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
A ten-foot, 700-pound rubber ducky sculpture is not something you would expect to find at a swanky boutique hotel. At Hyde Beach at the SLS South Beach, however, that is exactly what you'll find at the east end of the main hotel guest pool, greeting you at the entrance to the gardens and beach pool. Designer Philippe Starck imagined both swimming pools to resemble bathtubs, hence the ducky (which is not actually made of rubber, but does get seasonal makeovers from local artists for events like Art Basel and Miami Music Week). In other words, he wanted to make all of your childhood fantasies come true. Hyde Beach is free to the public Monday–Friday, with purchase of cocktails or lunch. On the weekends, nonguests will have to pay a cover charge or can rent one of the poolside tables, daybeds or VIP cabanas.
Mondrian South Beach
1100 West Ave., Miami Beach
The Mondrian does things differently, even when it comes to its pool. Named Miami's best hotel by New Times in 2014, the modern yet whimsical inn extends its eclectic and detail-oriented style to its pool area. It's open to parties of two on a first-come, first-served basis Monday–Friday, but hotel guests get priority, and nonguests must spend at least $50 on food and drinks. Any day of the week, you can find a daybed for up to six people for $750, and if you’re feeling luxe, splurge for a cabana ($1,000) to accommodate up to 10. DJs spin house music poolside every Saturday and Sunday beginning around 1 p.m., so choose a special occasion, split the cost among friends, and take a daycation.
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1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
One of the biggest dilemmas you'll encounter at the Shore Club is deciding which of the two elevated infinity-edge pools to dive into first. The answer depends upon your personality. If you're more of a laid-back lounger, you'll likely pick the pool that's closest to the hotel. With giant tufted beds, and a light and airy aesthetic inspired by classic all-white Miami minimalism, the vibe whispers relaxation. If you're more adventuresome, chances are you'll dip your toes into the pool that's closest to the beach. Near the shore, you'll spot banana boats and Jet Skis zooming across the horizon. Located between the pools and draped with sheer curtains is Rumbar, where you'll get the best of both worlds. The pool is strictly for hotel guests and Shore Club Spa guests, so you'll have to book a room—or treat yourself and make it a spa day.
The Standard Spa
40 Island Ave., Miami Beach
The beach is one of Miami's greatest treasures, but every trip there ends with sand stuck in annoying places. At the Standard's pool, though, relaxing on one of the many lounge chairs or the makeshift beach — sans sand, of course — is like spending a day on South Beach even though you're overlooking Biscayne Bay. That's because the infinity pool, equipped with an underwater sound system, is so close to the water that if you stand at just the right angle, it seems to disappear into the bay. The Standard boasts an exceptional spa, so you know there will be pampering. Take the Arctic Plunge, a 50-degree minipool that claims to increase your heart rate, kickstart your circulation and relieve muscle contractions to help flush toxins out of your body. Alternate between that and the Roman waterfall hot tub, which will warm you with eight feet of 103-degree water to "alleviate pain and detoxify" the body. With a waterfront wooden deck, the Standard also offers paddleboarding lessons and Schiller Bikes. All of this fun comes with a pretty hefty price tag — $75 for a day pass Monday through Thursday and $150 Friday through Sunday and holidays — but at least you won't have sand glued to your body for days. The day pass also includes access to the hamam, steam room, sauna, and soaking tubs. If you find yourself at the hotel the last Sunday of the month, stop by the hilarious Not Your Standard Bingo, hosted by resident drag queen Shelley Novak, from 7 to 10 p.m.