Sure, you could pay to stay and play, but why limit yourself to just one aquatic experience?
1. Delano - Getting past security may be harder than scoring a table at Casa Tua on a Saturday night, but it’s well worth it. If waving to a pretend friend on the other side of the velvet rope fails, head to the bar; chances are, spenders will be welcomed. Plan your wardrobe around lounging; no one comes here for dipping.
2. The Shore Club - More modern than tropical, getting into this pool is fairly simple. No special trickery required. Put away your camera; shooting celebrities will get you kicked out.
3. The Setai - Access to this sought-after pool is doable from the outdoor restaurant by the boardwalk. Favorite among the Parisians and hip-hop moguls, Setai is “ze bomb.”
4. Mondrian Miami - Either the management is desperate or lost or both, but getting in is as easy as spotting fake boobage. Mondrian faces the bay, so be ready for jetskiers and their tranquil ways.
5. Flamingo - Technically not a hotel, but with the well-documented shenanigans, who know who pays for what at this notorious residential building. Pool area hosts frequent weekend parties rivaling the beach clubs.
6. The Raleigh - Pool is more Etro than Dolce, more Aston Martin than Lamborghini. As with its sister hotel The Standard, $20 gets you in front and center. Even if local bus is your mode of transportation.
7. Gansevoort South - Thing is, the pool is 18 stories off the ground. That plus lax security makes Gansevoort perfection for those brutal, sunny days. Vertigo victims, check out ground level’s infinity-edge oceanview pool, courtesy of beach club guru Stephane Dupoux.
8. Fontainebleau Miami Beach Vegas does Miami. What happens here stays here, only because by the time you reach the distant front gates you’ll have forgotten all about what went down. Don’t worry about the security, as they will never find you.
9. The Standard - It takes close to an eternity to get your car back from the valet; still, this kid-free pool environment wins hands down. Standard is cool without trying, but chillin’ here will set you back $20. Cool is hot but it ain’t free.
10. Sanctuary South Beach - For more intimate experience, this tiny boutique hotel has a soaking tub on the rooftop that few know about. No security to manhandle you, so you can play king of this castle. Chances are no one is watching.