Lists

South Beach's Ten Best Pool Party Spots

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5. Raleigh Hotel1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-6300 
The wow factor at the Raleigh is its 1940s-era crest-shaped swimming pool. Named one of 12 over-the-top Pools by Forbes, the two-tiered pool with a vintage diving board has made the Raleigh the highlight of Chanel fashion shows, the cover of magazine spreads, and the talk of some of the hottest pool parties around town. Lined with lounge chairs, curtain-covered canopies, and striped umbrellas, the pool prioritizes hotel guests, but passes are available for nonguests while space allows. Passes cost $30 Monday through Thursday and $60 Friday through Sunday. A poolside chair, towels, and Wi-Fi access are included, along with DJs playing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-1701
A ten-foot, 700-pound rubber ducky is not something you would expect to find at a swanky boutique hotel. At Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel, however, a giant silver statue of a rubber ducky sits on the east end of the hotel guest pool, right before the garden and beach pool. Designer Philippe Stark imagined both swimming pools to resemble a bath tub, hence the ducky. In other words, he wanted to make all of your childhood fantasies come true. Pool access for nonguests depends upon availability Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the entrance fee is at the doorman's discretion.
3. 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-1000
There's no more beautiful view 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 of a hot Miami day. Take a dip at dusk for a refreshing respite from the humidity and stress of rush-hour traffic. The rooftop pool is open to nonguests after 6 p.m., DJs begin spinning as early as 3 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. After a long day at work and a stressful commute, you'll fall in love with the city you call home when you view it from poolside heaven.
2. The Freehand Miami2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727
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. With a Ping-Pong table, 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 millennial tourist hub, but the monthly Full Moon Night Swims are particularly special and provide a rare opportunity for visitors to mix with the locals. During the monthly events, Miami-based artisans showcase their creations beneath the glow of lanterns and a breathtaking full moon.
1. The Standard Spa40 Island Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-1717
The beach is one of Miami's greatest treasures, but every trip there ends with grains of sand stuck in places we didn't even know existed. At the Standard's pool, though, relaxing on one of the many lounge chairs or on the makeshift beach — sans sand, of course — is like spending a day on South Beach. 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. Being that the Standard is a spa within itself, you know there's bound to be lots of pampering, like the Arctic Plunge, a 50-degree minipool that claims to "increase your heart rate and kickstart your circulation." If sitting in an ice box for the recommended minute isn't your thing, the Roman waterfall hot tub will warm your insides 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. 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 or the equivalent in spa spending — but at least you won't have sand glued to your body for days.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida
Laurie Charles
Contact: Laurie Charles