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Skinny Dipping—Swim Cheap in LA

Every Broke Girl living in Los Angeles knows it’s crucial to befriend at least one person per summer season who has an infinity pool flowing from their hilltop mansion; however, the fact that they (read: their pool) are (is) not always available to your every whim shouldn’t stop you from spending Labor Day sunning in a string bikini while a Brazilian named Felipe feeds you grapes and such. We can’t technically help you with the Brazilian (unless you know us personally, in which case, you know we can!), but we can help you track down a sparkling pool of water beside which to spend the long weekend.  The best part? You don’t even have to pretend to enjoy the company of a 60 year-old man with a hairy back in order to swim in one of these beauties. 

Annenberg Community Beach House: The 5-acre oceanfront site upon which the Annenberg Community Beach House now sits was originally developed by William Randolph Hearst as an opulent private estate for actress Marion Davies.  Naturally, we feel quite at home here.
Address: 415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica 90402
Phone: (310) 458-4904
Pool hours (through 9/5): Tuesday - Sunday and holidays (including 9/5): 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Price: Adults $10 
Reservations are available starting three days in advance.

Roosevelt Hotel: This place is scene-y and crowded, so don’t head here if you’re looking to throw on an old one-piece and wile away the afternoon with a good book, sans bikini wax.  
Address: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028
Phone: (323) 466-7000
Weekdays: Spend a minimum of $40 food and drinks or pay $50 outright for two lounge chairs
Weekends: First-come, first-served, so if you’re not a hotel guest, make friends with one fast.

The Standard (Hollywood): The Standard may have peaked in coolness many moons ago, but the pool makes us want to party like it’s 1999.
Address: 8300 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood 90069
Phone: (323) 650-9090
Weekdays: Simply purchase food or drinks, and you’re golden.
Weekends: Guests get first dibs, but you can make a reservation as a non-hotel guest.

Custom Hotel: This hotel is located in no-man’s land (convenient only when craving a dip in the pool on your way home from LAX or something equally random), but it’s quite stylish and always open to the public.
Address: 8639 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles 90045
Phone: (310) 645-0400

The W Hollywood: We are suckers for any pool with a rooftop view.
Address: 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood 90028
Phone: (323) 798-1300
Weekdays: Dress appropriately, purchase food or drinks, and no one will be the wiser.
Weekends: The pool is open to non-guests from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. with a $20 cover charge.  Call ahead to see if there is a party going on, because sometimes the pool area transforms into a Vegas-style club. 

The Culver City Municipal Plunge: Sure, it’s just a city pool, but it’s nice!  Spacious, clean, and ideal for those who spend more time actually swimming in their suits than just lounging around looking pretty.
Address: 4175 Overland Avenue, Culver City 90230
Phone: (310) 253-6680
Pool hours: Monday- Friday 12:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday & Friday 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:15 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Price: Adults $4

There are other hotel pools that technically don’t allow non-guests to play -- The Shangri La, The London, The Beverly Hills Hotel, etc. -- but where there’s a will there’s a way. We’ve flirted our way into just about every pool in LA at this point, and all we can suggest is that you act like you belong wherever it is you’re trying to belong.  Big, batting eyelashes (and teeny-tiny suits) never hurt, either.

Contribution by Gina Segall. Photo courtesy The Annenberg Community Beach House. 

Sep 02, 2011 - 07:28 AM