Day pool passes at South Florida hotels for staycation fun

When bikini season blooms and the summer swelter numbs all senses, it’s only natural to daydream of cocktails and cabanas in the comfort of a glistening hotel pool.

The solution, of course, is one of South Florida’s best-hidden staycation hacks: Anyone can cool down in luxury with a hotel day pass, granting all-day access to swanky hotel swimming pools, spas – even free drinks – without splurging on an expensive room.

These flat-fee passports, ranging from $15 to $100, are offered by hotels hoping to lure visitors during the June-September offseason, before snowbirds flock back to our shores.

Not every hotel participates in day passes (cough, cough, Breakers Palm Beach and the Ray Hotel) but the ones that do include the five-star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, SLS South Beach and Aventura’s Tidal Cove Waterpark.

Others serve up posh perks such as beach access, umbrellas and chairs, fitness rooms, cheap valet parking and sometimes spa treatments. (Of course, not everything is all-inclusive: You’ll still need to splurge for cabanas, steam rooms and bottle service, if that’s your thing.) Be sure to call ahead and verify each hotel’s pool hours before planning your dip.

For those craving a relaxing splash in tony surroundings, here are 15 South Florida hotels and resorts with lush pools you can visit now.

154 N. Compass Way, Dania Beach; 954-802-7636, Marriott.com

Forgiving the hotel’s odd name for a moment — it’s located neither in Fort Lauderdale nor inside an airport, but rather inside Dania Beach’s shopping playground Dania Pointe — this $20 pool pass is perfect for the budget-conscious. The year-old AC offers picturesque rooftop pool views of downtown Dania (is that Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor down there?), along with free WiFi, $5 discounted valet parking and lounge chairs. If the mood strikes, indulge in cocktails from AC’s Bubbles Pool Deck. The pool is open 7am-8pm

801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-764-2233 gold hilton.com

Offering picturesque views of the Intracoastal to the west and the tranquil Atlantic to the east, Bahia Mar’s $20 day pass grants access to its rooftop pool deck and bar, the heated pool, a key card for the beach and tennis court. Passholders also receive a complimentary bag with water bottles and towels, and there’s discounted valet parking ($20) and self-parking ($4). The pool is open 11 am to 7 pm

321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-1111 gold Marriott.com

You’ll find many Fort Lauderdale beachfront pools on this list, but the Westin’s deal is tough to beat. Skip the $40 pool pass and upgrade to its $60 spa pass instead, offering access to its heated infinity pool (and Waves pool bar), free WiFi and beach access (BYO chairs). The spa upgrade adds access to lockers, showers, jacuzzis, a relaxation lounge and a eucalyptus-infused steam room. (Or, splurge for the $119 spa treatment, which includes the above plus a 50-minute Swedish massage or facial.) The pool is open 10 am to 5 pm daily.

601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-567-8020, AtlanticHotelFL.com

As A1A beachfront pools go, the Atlantic’s $40 day pass is loaded with more amenities than its neighbors, including its fifth-floor outdoor heated pool, the whirlpool, free WiFi and valet parking, and first-come-first-serve access to sun loungers, hot tub, pool umbrellas and towel service. The pool is open 11am-7pm

2900 Riomar St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-908-7301, GoodlandHotelFtLauderdale.com

With a $20-million makeover in Fort Lauderdale’s trendy North Beach neighborhood, this year-old boutique resort’s $40 pass touts a secluded courtyard pool and rooftop heated pool, free towels and WiFi, a 10% dining or pool bar discount, $10 valet parking and first-come-first-serve lounge chairs. The pool is open 11am-5pm

505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-414-2222, hilton.com

This North Beach stalwart is ideal for staycationers, its $45 day pass offering access to its heated pool (which overlooks the sun-drenched Atlantic), poolside games, hot tub and wraparound sun deck (daybeds and cabanas cost extra, though). It also includes free WiFi, a 10% discount on poolside food and drink and beach access (but BYO chair or pay a fee). The pool is open sunrise to sunset.

1200 S. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-941-7830, BeachcomberResort.com

The Beachcomber added $8.8 million in upgrades during the pandemic, including new poolside bathrooms and cabanas, but the true value of its $50 day pass lies in its two pools and free valet parking. Other amenities: first-come-first-serve chairs and umbrellas, access to WiFi, showers and a private beach behind the hotel. Pool passholders receive one free pool towel per person. (Children ages 3-13 get $15 discounted access, but there’s a three-child limit per adult.) The pool is open 8 am to dusk.

2842 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 561-540-6440, TidelineResort.com

A Frisbees’ throw from the five-star Four Seasons Palm Beach (but without five-star prices), sun-seekers gain access to Tideline’s pool and spa (awarded top marks by Condé Nast Traveler) with their $65 pass, along with the hot tub, sauna, relation lounge, lockers, showers, fitness center, free WiFi and valet parking, and beach access with towels and lounge chairs. (There’s also a 20% spa services discount and a 15%

dining discount.) The pool is open 7 am-11 pm

100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 800-328-0170 gold WaterPalmBeach.com

This 309-room five-star beach resort (and onetime Marriott), lauded by the likes of Forbes and AAA, charges a steeper day pass for access to its luxurious confines: $100 for adults and $35 for ages 4-11. This somehow doesn’t also include spa access, but it does include two Atlantic-facing swimming pools – one family-friendly, one adults-only – plus the whirlpool, free WiFi and valet parking, and beach access with towels and lounge chairs. The pool is open 9 am to 5 pm daily.

6000 Okeechobee Blvd.; 561-231-6000 gold hilton.com

One of downtown West Palm Beach’s best free staycation secrets is now a not-free $35 day pass, but no matter: The freebies are still impressive. Hilton’s passport includes the ground-floor swimming pool, the fitness center with Peloton bikes, towel service and free WiFi. We recommend going on Saturdays, when the hotel hosts pool parties with live DJs and yoga classes. (But try to self-park, since valet is $21.). The pool is open sunrise to sunset.

19999 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura; 305-932-6200 gold TidalCoveMiami.com and JWTurnberry.com

Searching for quiet tranquility? You won’t find it here. If there’s one drawback to splashing around at Tidal Cove – arguably the crown jewel of day passes – it’s the noise: thousands of screaming families taking the plunge down the park’s seven water slides. If crowd size isn’t a bother, Tidal Cove’s deal ($65 Monday-Thursday, $95 Friday-Sunday, free for ages 3 and under) gives full waterpark privileges, including the zero-entry Laguna Pool and adults-only Oasis Pool, plus a pool chair and towels.

4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 833-816-4530, Hyatt.com

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This midcentury-themed hotel is steeped in retro-glam, with an impressive $15 weekend pool pass ($25 on weekends) to boot. The Confidante offers two heated swimming pools (one adults-only) nestled under pastel umbrellas, first-come-first-serve chaise lounge chairs and beach chairs, free WiFi and outdoor shows, and access to outdoor showers and its fitness center. (Note: valet parking is $25, so self-park or rideshare to save money.) The pool is open 9 am-9 pm

601 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-506-2112, TheGoodtimeHotel.com

Awash in pink and Art Deco furnishings, this boutique resort from nightlife guru David Grutman and Pharrell Williams offers a $50 pool pass worth your relaxation. Access includes free WiFi and a pair of side-by-side heated saltwater pools (Also: Saltwater pools? The Atlantic Ocean is across the street! But we digress.). The ideal time to visit, Friday afternoons, features live music from rotating DJs and your chances of sighting a celebrity or three are substantial.) The pool is open 11 am-sunset Mondays-Thursday, noon-sunset Fridays-Sundays.

2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach; 305-531-2727, FreehandHotels.com

Day pass aside, we can think of no greater Freehand amenity than its proximity to the Broken Shaker, routinely named best bar in America for its daringly spirited cocktails infused with exotic ingredients. The hotel’s $25 pass is no slouch, either, offering access to the outdoor pool and its cavernous courtyard, towel service, free WiFi and first-come-first-serve lounge chairs. It’s also a five-minute walk to the beach. The pool is open 7am-7pm

1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-1701, Sbe.com

This trendy oceanfront hotel wins so many points for convenience – it’s steps from the beach and the Lincoln Road hullabaloo – that its $40 pool pass feels almost beside the point. Almost. Loungers will have a reserved pool chair, access to both hotel pools, the beach and the fitness center, and free WiFi and pool towels. Within the hotel, arguably one of South Beach’s best restaurants, The Bazaar by José Andrés, dares you to spend more. (It’s Miami Beach, so don’t bother self-parking; six-hour valet parking costs $25.) The pool is open 10 am-6 pm

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