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  1. #1
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    Default Public use of prime hotel pools

    Wondering how important it is to rent an apartment with pool/facilities. This last summer I was living in Santa Monica within walking distance of 6-7 4 or 5 star hotels. I would hang out in the back of the Loews overlooking muscle beach/ocean. For a couple of bucks tip a server would bring a lounge chair over to the best spot, roll out an umbrella, bring towels, etc. Was a pretty sweet set up to do a little work or chill. Throw in $6 happy hour drinks and gourmet apps and you're hooked up for business or pleasure in a beautiful spot for next to nothing.

    Didn't matter that my apartment had no view or grounds. The Loews was my backyard.

    Some hotels are a little more rigorous in controlling public usage or charge exorbitant fees for umbrellas or cabanas. Wondering what the story is in South Beach. My guess is that the land of the velvet rope would charge for this kind of pampering.

    Any thoughts or inside hip hotel hang out spots where I can sit in the SHADE around some beauty, a pool, and work...or not...for little?

  2. #2
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    I'm a beach girl every time but Sungal will know ALL the hotels you can crash!

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    I like 'em both, but hotel lounge spots have their advantages. Music, food, clean bathrooms, and not nearly as much sun exposure from the reflected ocean. Like to mix it up. The beach I can figure out:)

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    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamitime
    I like 'em both, but hotel lounge spots have their advantages. Music, food, clean bathrooms, and not nearly as much sun exposure from the reflected ocean. Like to mix it up. The beach I can figure out:)
    Oh I hear you, I just never have had the nerve to do it, which is silly really as with my accent I could easily pull of being a tourist.

    I look forward to hearing what she says...and maybe I'll crash some hotel pools in 2010!

  5. #5
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    They really patrol the Lowe's rigorously. Royal palm is easy.

  6. #6
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    Wondering how important it is to rent an apartment with pool/facilities.
    With the pool at Flamingo Park being open to residents, it's not mandatory.

    However, if you're looking for that special hotel pool experience, take a peek at this article, written by Doug. He goes into more detail on what Fred says about the Loews and Royal Palm.

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    It's easy to crash the Mondrian's pool. You just go straight to the pool, order a drink and the poolboy will get you chairs and towels. We were never asked anything, except if we liked the hotel ;-)

    It might be more difficult on a Sunday because it is their pool party but we didn't have any problem either.

  8. #8
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    Now, that I moved out of the area, I'll share with you my favorite pool to crash- The South Seas on 18th St. Walk in the lobby and go straight back to the pool. After you find a chair, there should be some freshly rolled towels in the tiki hut. The drinks are about $9 and they have a really good quesidella with a tropical fruit salsa. There's even an upper deck area that's private, with about five chairs. It's low key and on a scale of 1-10 difficulty of sneaking in, it's a 1. However, if you want to hang out with a glamorous crowd, this is not the place.

    My third favorite pool is the Shore Club. Whatever you do, don't bring your own beach towel. They use a neon orange towel. Go in the lobby and out the back, around the garden and there you are. Hopefully the guy who asks if you're a guest and summons over the towel guy is on a break. Go to a chair that already has a towel and a terrycloth cover but is not being used. The big beds in the back are nice too. If you settle in and feel someone staring you down, move to the more private pool closer to the beach. I recommend the frozen lemonades (with vodka) at $15. Great music and fun people watching. Difficulty level is a 6, and clearly not for beginners.

    Sneaking into the Gansevort pool is surprisingly easy. Take the elevator to the roofdeck, smile at security and tell him you forgot your credit card last night and the bartender saved it for you. After signing out your tab, make your way to the pool as if that's what you planned to do all along. I even walked around for about 10 minutes before I found a chair I liked and no problem. Difficulty level is a 4.

    Don't attempt to crash the Delano unless you're a pool hopping expert. The difficulty level is a solid 10. I've stayed there once so I know how it works. Walk into the lobby and out the back, down the terrace steps. Soon you'll see a security guy. Sometimes you can just walk past him having an important conversation with your friend. Your friend should be able to pass as someone who's staying in the bungalow. If she can't then say you're having lunch at the pool bar. It's only for guests, but sometimes they let you in.

    Once into the pool area, try your best to hide from the pool concierge who will direct you to available chairs and enter your room into into the computer so you can begin sipping Mango Delanos immediately. Then she summons the towel guy to cover your chair with a white terrycloth cover and fashion an additional towel into a headrest.

    Avoid all that and go straight to the lounge beds that don't have a view of the pool. The only problem is thats where other crashers go as well, since they can avoid sitting in the area around the pool. Also, if a waitress comes around and asks if you want drinks, the only answer is "No, thanks." If the answer is yes, she needs your room number. As my friend and I were sitting in one of the beds, we saw two groups of crashers come in and get kicked out. One group of guys walked in, looking sloppy in non-pool attire, and stripping down to their bathing suits and taking off their white socks and sneakers in-front of everyone. The waitress told them to leave, and after they left they decided to come back. She called over security and even though security walked by us without asking if we were guests, my friend was a nervous wreck and wasn't enjoying herself. So after sneaking in and paying $70 for lunch, we headed for the South Seas.

    I'll have to investigate some pools to crash in south of fifth.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin
    They really patrol the Lowe's rigorously. Royal palm is easy.
    You can get into the pool by going upstairs and out the back door by the convention rooms. Ive done that a few times and wasnt bothered once in. Do they read this?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sungal
    Now, that I moved out of the area, I'll share with you my favorite pool to crash- The South Seas on 18th St. Walk in the lobby and go straight back to the pool. After you find a chair, there should be some freshly rolled towels in the tiki hut. The drinks are about $9 and they have a really good quesidella with a tropical fruit salsa. There's even an upper deck area that's private, with about five chairs. It's low key and on a scale of 1-10 difficulty of sneaking in, it's a 1. However, if you want to hang out with a glamorous crowd, this is not the place.

    My third favorite pool is the Shore Club. Whatever you do, don't bring your own beach towel. They use a neon orange towel. Go in the lobby and out the back, around the garden and there you are. Hopefully the guy who asks if you're a guest and summons over the towel guy is on a break. Go to a chair that already has a towel and a terrycloth cover but is not being used. The big beds in the back are nice too. If you settle in and feel someone staring you down, move to the more private pool closer to the beach. I recommend the frozen lemonades (with vodka) at $15. Great music and fun people watching. Difficulty level is a 6, and clearly not for beginners.

    Sneaking into the Gansevort pool is surprisingly easy. Take the elevator to the roofdeck, smile at security and tell him you forgot your credit card last night and the bartender saved it for you. After signing out your tab, make your way to the pool as if that's what you planned to do all along. I even walked around for about 10 minutes before I found a chair I liked and no problem. Difficulty level is a 4.

    Don't attempt to crash the Delano unless you're a pool hopping expert. The difficulty level is a solid 10. I've stayed there once so I know how it works. Walk into the lobby and out the back, down the terrace steps. Soon you'll see a security guy. Sometimes you can just walk past him having an important conversation with your friend. Your friend should be able to pass as someone who's staying in the bungalow. If she can't then say you're having lunch at the pool bar. It's only for guests, but sometimes they let you in.

    Once into the pool area, try your best to hide from the pool concierge who will direct you to available chairs and enter your room into into the computer so you can begin sipping Mango Delanos immediately. Then she summons the towel guy to cover your chair with a white terrycloth cover and fashion an additional towel into a headrest.

    Avoid all that and go straight to the lounge beds that don't have a view of the pool. The only problem is thats where other crashers go as well, since they can avoid sitting in the area around the pool. Also, if a waitress comes around and asks if you want drinks, the only answer is "No, thanks." If the answer is yes, she needs your room number. As my friend and I were sitting in one of the beds, we saw two groups of crashers come in and get kicked out. One group of guys walked in, looking sloppy in non-pool attire, and stripping down to their bathing suits and taking off their white socks and sneakers in-front of everyone. The waitress told them to leave, and after they left they decided to come back. She called over security and even though security walked by us without asking if we were guests, my friend was a nervous wreck and wasn't enjoying herself. So after sneaking in and paying $70 for lunch, we headed for the South Seas.

    I'll have to investigate some pools to crash in south of fifth.
    Excellent post. Let me know about Mondrian (both regular days and their sunday pool party day).

  11. #11
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    It's funny, I've never tried it, but I never get the impression that the hotels guard their pools vigorously, except, yeah, the Lowes. We are always wandering in and out of the lobbies and are never bothered. We've even used the restrooms at various hotels when not staying there.

    I know that the National used to have a happy hour at their pool every Friday, where everyone was welcome. Not sure if they still do, but they do have a back bar that seems to be open to the public, usually, and that is by the pool.

    We definitely need more research on this!

  12. #12
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi miamitime!

    The lounge area at The Raleigh is near the pool and is a nice place to sit under the trees. It's open to the public so as long as you order a drink, you'll be ok. There is also a bar in the back. Hotel bars shouldn't really be closed to the public -- ditto with the Delano. I've never had any problems ordering a drink there.

    Mind you it's not the same as sunbathing on a lounge chair or using the pool, but the atmosphere is nice.

    You can probably get away with using the pool at the Courtyard Marriot on 39th as there is a great tiki bar back there that is open to the public from the boardwalk, but that's not a particularly glamorous spot. It is a great bar to chill out though under the palm trees.

    You can always use the pool at Monty's. That's open to all. But again, not the luxe hotel scene like the Mondrian, for example.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles
    Hi miamitime!
    You can probably get away with using the pool at the Courtyard Marriot on 39th as there is a great tiki bar back there that is open to the public from the boardwalk, but that's not a particularly glamorous spot. It is a great bar to chill out though under the palm trees.
    I have stayed at the Marriott about 2 years ago, and there were two seperate paths there, one leading to the tiki bar and one leading to the pool. Outside customers could use the tiki bar but you needed to swipe your card to enter the pool area...

    And not worth crashing if you ask me.

  14. #14
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Martine, there is actually a ramp that leads to the pool. I've used it many times when I've patronized the bar ... it's the only way you can get to the restroom and the only way servers go back and forth from the kitchen. It's right next to the gated door. The card-swiping provides no security whatsoever as that ramp is free for all to use anytime. Anyone could walk off the boardwalk with a towel and probably get away with using the pool by just taking the ramp.

    Yes, as I said, it's nothing out of this world, but it is a nice outdoor tropical bar to hang out in, even if you don't use the pool. I was trying to list alternatives for our forum member.

  15. #15
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    Fantastic and thorough info...It's obviously much more of art in Miami than in L.A. where even in the poshest places they want you at the pool ordering up the drinks/food.

    Sounds like I need a couple of months and a few key contacts. Thanks for the inside track!

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