I used ResortPass to book affordable poolside day-cations at luxury hotels – here’s why I’ll be using it all summer

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The rooftop pool deck at the SLS Beverly Hills
The rooftop pool deck at the SLS Beverly Hills.

  • ResortPass allows you to access hotel pools and other amenities without paying a nightly room fee.
  • I found it to be a great option for remote work, a special occasion, or a family day at the pool.
  • I booked three ResortPass visits at top hotels around LA. Here’s what my experience was like.

Ever crave for a day at a hotel pool, even if a far-flung vacation isn’t in the cards? (Yes, of course – everyone does!) Then you need to know about ResortPass.

The hotel day-pass booking platform allows you to search and book widely across your target region, and sometimes even offers exclusive booking options and extra perks. is In some cases, you could get these same deals by searching individual hotels, but the platform is an easier one-stop-shop.

It’s an especially great option for this transitional summer when travel is coming back, but with plenty of restrictions still in place with regard to safety and logistics. So I’m all about tucking in little vacation-like experiences locally whenever I can. Plus, there are few things I love more than a stunning hotel with a sparkling pool and suite of amenities and services to go with it.

I booked three different stays through ResortPass to try out a remote workday, a family day out, and a romantic day date.

Outdoor dining room at the Hotel Figueroa looking at towards the pool
The view from my table as I worked at the Hotel Figueroa.

For each of the three visits, I sought popular, highly-reviewed, and in-demand properties around LA. My stays were comped for the purposes of this review, but I was otherwise treated as a regular ResortPass user.

These hotels, all easily bookable through the ResortPass site, appealed to me because of their attractive pools, desirable locations, and, frankly, their cachet. After all, part of the fun of a day pass option like this is getting to use the amenities of exclusive and luxurious hotels you might not otherwise be able to afford.

I also sought a range of options to review multiple types of experiences: one was a solo visit with my laptop during a workday, the second was a poolside cabana for a weekend outing with my family, and the third was a date with my husband at an adults-only pool.

Here’s what those ResortPass experiences were like.

My first time using ResortPass was at The Figueroa for a solo working daycation.

Hotel Figueroa is widely known as a gem of Downtown Los Angeles. The 1926 building was recently restored to its Spanish Colonial flair and it oozes with coolness and culture. It has a rich feminist history starting from its origins as a YWCA, and houses tons of rotating art installations. (For more on the room experience, you can find my full hotel review here.)

It’s often buzzing with young creative types working in the lobby and other spaces, so it seemed a perfect place for a solo working visit mid-week.

Hotel Figueroa lobby
The art-filled Hotel Figueroa lobby draws a lively crowd of leisure and business travelers, including a lot of young creatives.

I booked for an “all-day daycation,” a $100 pool pass.

The pass includes a reserved lounge chair from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; use of the outdoor heated pool; towels; Wi-Fi; access to poolside food and beverage service from Veranda Al Fresco with a $45 food and beverage credit; and self-parking for $5 with validation, which is a huge perk compared with the cost of parking at many LA hotels (more on that later).

The coffin-shaped pool is utterly inviting – and Instagram friendly too, as it abuts the hotel facade, which is painted entirely in a soaring leafy mural. I plugged in my laptop using an available charger around the pool deck’s perimeter and worked comfortably in the shade.

Hotel Figueroa pool
A leafy mural backs the Hotel Figueroa pool.

When it was time for a personal reward, I ordered fish tacos and a side of Mexican street corn and took a dip in the pool while waiting for it to arrive. Several hours later, when my work for the day was done, I ordered the fish tacos a second time. They were that good. Plus, at $18 per plate, both meals were covered by that $45 food credit.

Especially when you factor in the parking and the substantial F&B credit, this ResortPass option is an excellent value. It’s a great bet for a day split between productivity and fun.

Fish tacos poolside at the Hotel Figueroa.
Fish tacos poolside at the Hotel Figueroa.

I’d definitely come back, and I could spend even less to get a great experience. You can book a half-day in the morning (for $45) or the afternoon (for $55), and each also includes an F&B credit ($20 or $25 respectively). If I came with a group, I’d book the morning cabana at $200 with a $50 F&B credit and room for as many as four guests. There are a ton of flexible options here, offering nice value.

My second visit was to Viceroy Santa Monica for a weekend fun day with my kids.

Backyard cabana at the Viceroy

My next stop on the ResortPass circuit was on a weekend with my husband and six-year-old twins. We chose the Viceroy Santa Monica, a very chic boutique hotel by the seaside that’s one of the best beach hotels in Los Angeles.

While the property doesn’t sit on the sand, it has two small and shallow but beautiful heated outdoor pools. These are lined with cabanas. In addition to the poolside cabanas are so-called “backyard” cabanas in an outside lounge area adjacent to the pool.

Twin pool at The Viceroy
The Viceroy has two side-by-side shallow pools.

Our fully shaded cabana in this area had a TV with remote control, and sofa and lounge chair seating with room for as many as four people.

The retail cost was $550, which seemed extremely steep at first, and unlikely an expense I would have shelled out had I not been on the job. (Though starting cost of a ResortPass here is $150 for a workcation room.)

Similar to packages offered directly through the hotel, our ResortPass package included Wi-Fi, bottled waters for our group, and a bottle of sparkling wine. Because we were driving and also hosting our own alfresco party at home later the same evening, we asked the staff to swap our bottle for anything nonalcoholic, and they gladly obliged, bringing instead a carafe of fresh-squeezed orange juice that my whole family could enjoy.

We also ordered a few additional snacks – not included, and at our own expense. We ordered a plate of pastries as well as a side of fruit, and it hit the spot.

Young girl and boy in a pool cabana at the Viceroy Hotel Santa Monica
My twins enjoying the pool cabana at the Viceroy.

Our visit exceeded expectations, in part because of the chic facility but in part, too, for reasons related to luck that every traveler (even staycation-er) experiences sometimes. We were expecting LA’s notorious “May grey” weather, which we expected would keep it cool and overcast, especially at the beach. Instead, the weather was sunny and perfect.

In addition, the serene, quiet pool areas had just two other children, both in the same age category as my own. So the kids all had a ball – and when the kids are happy, everyone’s happy!

The pool was so serene my husband was even able to get some shut-eye.

ResortPass day pass
My husband resting in our cabana.

While there’s no getting around the cost of the cabana being extremely high, we had an outstanding day.

And while it’s too steep for my everyday leisure fare, I’d definitely consider it for a milestone event or birthday party with a small group.

The Viceroy’s outdoor area with lounge seats and colorful decor

Another thing I might try at this property instead? I might just get a hotel room. No, you don’t get a cabana when you go this route, but a spot check shows I could score an entry-level room in the $400s on a weekend day, and use the room for changing, showering, resting, etc. Plus it would come with its own TV, and we’d have pool access.

This goes to show that when booking with ResortPass, you should always check the price of the hotel itself and weigh how much you really want those extra perks. In some cases it may be worth it, but in others you may be better off just booking a room sans cabana perks.

That said, our valet parking cost at the end of our visit: $0 plus tip. Gotta love that.

My final ResortPass visit was to SLS Beverly Hills for an adults-only day date with my husband.

My husband and I have long loved the SLS Beverly Hills, located right in our own neighborhood. It’s always felt rich, chic, and even mysterious with its moody interiors and surrealist artworks.

The rooftop pool deck at the SLS Beverly Hills
The rooftop pool deck at the SLS Beverly Hills.

Plus, Jose Andres’ molecular gastronomy concept The Bazaar had been our go-to special occasion restaurant during its run at the hotel. For all these reasons, it seemed like an ideal place to choose for our ResortPass day date.

Through ResortPass, we booked two chaise loungers, available only to guests 18 and up.

These entry-level passes cost $50 per person and they are not inclusive of too many frills. Most importantly, of course, you get the rooftop heated pool. You also get Wi-Fi. But that’s about it.

In fact, I was rather shocked to note on my ResortPass confirmation email that parking for the day would be $49. That’s expensive even by LA standards and far exceeded the budget. So we decided to toss our laptops in backpacks, swap flip-flops for trainers, and get our steps in by walking the three miles roundtrip in the heat.

Once there, however, the experience felt very elite. I checked in at the front desk and was issued a room key to gain access to the pool deck from the elevator. We arrived at about 11:30 am on a weekday and there were just a couple of other couples around the pool, relaxing quietly. It was a peaceful vibe and just the kind of date I’m into.

For a similar cost, my husband and I could have gone to an upscale restaurant, but I found this to be a better option.

It was wonderful to spend a few relaxing hours simply chilling out, and not getting fancy for a stuffy, multicourse meal. (If it’s any indication of just how relaxed my husband got in the middle of a workweek, he took a nice long nap poolside.)

Art and oversized frames dot the pool area of the SLS
Art and oversized frames dot the pool area.

This is also no ordinary hotel pool: It’s extremely photo friendly, with a focus on arty installations. A sculpture of oversize red lips sits in between two side-by-side pools. And around the perimeter are art pieces and oversized frames, through which you can view the urban environment below.

For lunch, we used the QR code posted at the pool-adjacent rooftop bar Altitude to view the menu. Options were somewhat limited (in the COVID-era), but I enjoyed my grilled cheese-avocado-tomato sandwich with side salad, plus a Diet Pepsi. Total price for that lunch fare, including tip? $42.73.

Altitude bar at the SLS
ResortPass guests can order from the adjacent Altitude bar.

So while I overall recommend this hotel and the ResortPass experience offered here, I’d offer a buyer-beware warning: read up on what’s included in any passes you book and if F&B credit isn’t part of the deal, keep in mind those additional expenses.

I’ve tried other similar companies for daytime resort passes.

The rooftop pool at The James Hotel in New York City.
The rooftop pool at The James Hotel in New York, which is available on ResortPass and similar platforms like Daycation/

Prior to trying ResortPass, I’d used platforms like these for years, including a competitor called DayAxe that has since shuttered. Through that one, I regularly took myself to the W Hotel Hollywood as part of my strategy for avoiding burnout as a freelancer. It offered a similar experience and a great value. But now that that operator is closed, I could book the same hotel through ResortPass starting at $30. Daycation offers a similar service (though I’ve not tried it).

No matter the platform, it’s just a great idea. It’s a way to visit a local pool without having to shell out beaucoup bucks for a nightly room rate. I’ve found it an especially worthwhile and blissful investment when the weather gets scorching here in my hometown of Los Angeles, when I want to celebrate a special occasion, or just grab some me time.

The bottom line

ResortPass is the platform you need in your life. Especially at a time when travel opportunities are more limited by safety and logistical hurdles, it’s a chance to experience that luxe hotel life without getting on a plane. Chances are, if you live in a dense urban environment as I do, you’ll find access to tons of ResortPass options to suit a range of budgets and a range of preferences specific to your own or your group’s tastes.

I’ve already recommended this to many friends and will keep booking into the future, for sure.

Read the original article on Business Insider