Terranea Resort – The 102-acre Terranea Resort, on L.A.'s Palos Verdes peninsula, has four oceanfront pools. The saltwater Vista Pool (pictured) has an air of Zen-like calm and unbeatable ocean views.
Spa Pool – The Terranea Resort's Spa Pool has private cabanas and fire pits. All four pools are open to resort guests only.
Cielo Point Pool – The Terranea Resort's seasonal Cielo Point pool (open May-September, for those 18-plus years old) is about as close as a pool gets to the Pacific.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach – OK, Newport Beach isn't in Los Angeles. But when a pool looks this inviting, what's a quick drive down the 405 into neighboring Orange County?
The Coliseum Pool – With more than a million hand-placed glass mosaic tiles, the resort's 136-foot-diameter saltwater showpiece is one of the world's largest perfectly circular pools.
SLS at Beverly Hills – Guests won't be doing much diving in the shallows of Altitude -- the chic, dual-pooled roof deck of the SLS Beverly Hills. At 3.5 feet in depth, this is a spot for checking out the scenery.
Poolside refreshments – The SLS Beverly Hills's range of luxury poolside cabanas (from $300 with a $500 food and beverage minimum) earn their price tag with the most buzz-worthy poolside grub in L.A. -- small bites and specialty cocktails from celeb chef Jose Andres.
Mondrian Los Angeles – This Sunset Strip hotspot has yet to be outshone by any new West Hollywood rival. It's still the place to be for the forever-youngish crowd.
Mondrian Los Angeles – The Mondrian's lofty Outdoor Living Room features a lovely teak deck, mosaic poolside tables, groovy up-tempo house mixes (pumped underwater) and perfect L.A. panoramas.
The Standard, Downtown L.A. – About 15 years ago, The Standard (of West Hollywood fame) chose an old Superior Oil Company building in not-exactly-happening-yet Downtown L.A. as the questionable site for its next boutique hipster hotel.
Did the gambit pay off? – Red AstroTurf. Waterbed pods. Cushy couches. Fireplace. Dance area. German beer garden. Aerial views of Downtown. The party up by the Standard's rooftop pool is worth seeing.
The beautiful people – If there's a cooler pool atop 12 floors of re-imagined concrete and marble in a resuscitated concrete jungle, the beautiful crowd congregating at the Standard's doesn't yet know about it.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles – For nearly a century, Downtown L.A.'s grand dame of hotels has hosted kings, presidents, the Beatles, nine Oscars ceremonies and generations of businessmen milking corporate expense accounts.
Roman baths – Beneath the Biltmore's fanfared lobby is the city's best subterranean splash from the past: a 90-year-old, Roman-style swimming pool.