I was very surprised to find I LOVED the Swimming with Sharks summer pool party at the Standard in downtown LA! In short, it’s affordable, great for people watching, great for groups, great for conversation, and great for bringing out of town guests to enjoy LA.
Affordable. First 100 are free, we arrived an hour late and each guy and girl had to pay $10 cover, which I thought was reasonable. FREE UNLTD TOWELS so don’t bother bringing your own. Free snow cones! Beers are $4, bottles of champagne (which was very tasty and easy to drink) are only $40. Compare that to Vegas pool party prices and you’ll see this is very affordable, especially for a mixed group of girls and guys.
Parking in downtown LA on the weekends is easy – most lots are $5-7. If you park at the ones RIGHT near the standard, they might be $10. I park at Pershing Square for work. It’s consistently reliable, available, and safe. On the weekends its only $7 all day, $14 overnight (amazing).
Egalitarian. This place is also very un-LA in that it’s super egalitarian! First off, I didn’t know any promoters, I just signed up for the guest list online and had no problems (though note that the confirmation comes the night before the party, so don’t expect it any sooner).
There’s also NO table or cabana or lounge chair reservations! Meaning, there’s tons of seating everywhere and it’s first come, first serve!!! It peeves the hell out of me that I can’t sit anywhere in day and night clubs, but not the case at the SWS Standard LA pool party. LOVE that.
Also, no heels required. Almost everyone in my group was wearing flip flops and nobody said a thing.
Ambiance. Great view of LA, tons of seating, well decorated, hip. There are roughly 3 sections– (1) a beer garden, (2) a DJ area with loung-y canvas covered booths, (3) pool area. The pool area has these weird red pod things you can sit in with a small group of friends. There’s also a bar area and a whole set of lounge chairs along the edge, most of which were open. Since we had a large group, we decided to just camp out near the pool and dip our feet in. Music is just the right volume, not too loud to preclude good conversation!
Crowd. Is ‘sooooo LA’ – amazing! No ghetto types here – everyone’s very hipster and keeps to their own groups. Yay for no creeping!
I’m including this last photo gratuitously because I look uncharacteristically STACKED!