When the poincianas bloom and the humidity begins to warp your desire to live, you know it’s summer in Florida.
Summer is the magical time of year when suburban minds wander to daydreams of basking in the sun at a fancy hotel pool, with a cocktail in one hand and a cellphone in the other (just because we’re relaxing doesn’t mean we’ll put down our phones).
You may live in a Kendall townhouse or a Flagami 3/2 or a Coral Gables mansion that is currently worth the GNP of some small countries. You will still indulge in this dream.
Happily there are many ways to enjoy a pristine pool that you don’t have to resurface or clean, and almost all of them are legal. And most of the time you can get a drink, too.
Here are a few ways to pool crash in Miami this summer.
Buy a day pass
A day pass offers a way for you to spend the day by a luxurious hotel pool without doing anything shifty and getting in trouble. Cabanas and daybeds will cost more than lounge chairs, of course, and food and beverages are extra, so don’t let your kids order 16 lemonades if you don’t want a whopper of a bill at the end of the day.
Resortpass: This site offers day passes for a huge number of Miami and Miami Beach hotels, including oceanfront spots like Confidante Miami Beach, Sagamore Miami Beach and the Shelborne. It also includes the swanky Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour and the celebrity-magnets like Strawberry Moon Pool at the Goodtime Hotel as well as more unusual choices like the Selina Gold Dust in MiMo. The day passes start at $15 and range upward to $100, with many at the $50 range. www.resortpass.com
Daycation: Day passes for Miami and Miami Beach hotels here start at $19 (at the recently renovated Riu Plaza Miami Beach Hotel) and run to $200 (the Fontainebleau, naturally). Most are in the $35-$40 range. The list includes luxury hotels like Carillon Wellness Resort, SLS South Beach and Kimpton Epic Hotel Miami as well as the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. daycationapp.com
Book a treatment at a hotel spa
If your budget allows and your body and/or sagging face demands it, book a spa treatment at a luxury hotel spa. Many hotel spas will allow you to use the pool as part of your package, like Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, which was named one of the best hotels in the country for 2022 by U.S. News & World Report.
Some spas require a minimum you must spend to use the pool, like the Standard Spa in Miami Beach, which Tripadvisor just named one of the best hotels in the country. At the Standard, you must spend $125 or more Monday-Thursday or $225 or more Friday through Sunday to use the pool (it’s worth the money if you want to avoid other people’s children: the Standard is an adults-only property).
Check with each spa at the time of booking to avoid unnecessary surprises.
Bring the family
While luxury hotel pools don’t always appreciate your unruly children, here are a few spots that do:
Tidal Cove Water Park at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa: If you or the kids need more action than tanning and drinking quietly by the calming blue waters, consider a day pass for Tidal Cove Water Park in Aventura, where you’ll find a variety of slides, a lazy river, a kids’ pool and concessions and restaurants. A day pass includes lounge chairs, towels, and poolside service. There are also cabanas available to rent. Day passes start at $55; 19999 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura; tidalcovemiami.com or call 786-279-6152.
Venetian Pool: This historic community pool in Coral Gables may not have water slides or a swanky oceanfront hotel attached, but it’s unique in its own way. It was built in 1923 from a coral rock quarry and is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer.
The pool closes when it’s full, so order tickets online ahead of time. Tickets are $21 adults and $16 for non-residents; $6.50 adult and $5.50 kids for residents; coralgables.com
Sometimes, all you need to do to take a dip is buy a drink. Freehand Miami in Miami Beach, for example, is home to the Broken Shaker, considered one of the best cocktail spots in Miami-Dade. Pick your poison and take a swim. 2727 Indian Creek Drive; freehandhotels.com
If full-on party mode wake-up-with-a-hangover is more your style, there’s always The Clevelander. That’s all we need to say about that. 1020 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; www.clevelander.com
Do the thing you’re not supposed to do
We do not advocate breaking the law or even unwritten rules. But we also grew up here and know there is a long and storied history of daring individuals trying to sneak into Florida hotel pools.
And succeeding, too.
We do not advocate such deplorable behavior. Such disreputable and careless regard for the norms of the social contract must not be applauded.
We do have a few tips, though.
Be confident: Walk in like your only care in the world is that new NFT you just purchased, preferably with your cellphone glued to your ear as you discuss Bitcoin opportunities at a moderate volume. Wear sunglasses, preferably not ones you bought off the rack at the Dollar Store.
Eat lunch poolside: Wear a hat to look cool (but not one that says “Captain Cocktail”). The goal is to look like you belong at a lavish hotel, not Wet Willie’s.
Snag a towel and set up a chair when nobody’s looking: This ploy should only be attempted by the experienced pool crasher and is not for novices. Proceed at your own risk.
Leave immediately upon being confronted with your despicable behavior You tried and failed. There is no shame. Time to stop being cheap and buy a day pass.
This story was originally published May 28, 2022 6:00 AM.