As South Florida returns to something approaching pre-pandemic fun, reinvigorated locals can cool down and shed cabin fever at our swankiest hotel and boutique resort pools.
It’s called the day pass, a staycation hack granting all-day access to luxe hotel swimming pools, spas – even free cocktails – without the need to book an expensive guest room first. These flat-fee passports, which range from $15 to $100, are offered by hotels hoping to lure visitors during the June-September offseason.
Not every hotel participates in day passes (cough, cough, Breakers Palm Beach and St. Regis Bal Halbour) but the ones that do include the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale and the five-star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Others dish posh perks such as beach access, umbrellas and chairs, fitness rooms, cheap valet parking and even spa treatments. (Of course, not everything is all-inclusive: You’ll still need to splurge for cabanas and bottle service, if that’s your thing.)
For those craving a relaxing splash in tony surroundings, here are 15 South Florida hotels and resorts with lush pools you can visit now.
Beachcomber Resort and Club, Pompano Beach
1200 S. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-941-7830, BeachcomberResort.com
Among the best reasons to staycation at the Beachcomber are its $8.8 million upgrades, which added new poolside bathrooms and cabanas last summer. Its $35 day pass includes access to both pools, first-come-first-serve chairs and umbrellas, and access to hotel WiFi, showers, its pool bar and one pool towel. The hotel is open 8 a.m. until dusk.
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach
801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-764-2233 or Hilton.com
Offering picturesque views of the Intracoastal to the west and the tranquil Atlantic to the east, Bahia Mar’s $35 day pass (free for children under 13) grants access to its rooftop pool deck, the heated pool, a key card for the beach and tennis court and discounted valet parking ($20 instead of $39). The pool is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
551 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-5100 or ConradFortLauderdale.com
The 290-unit condo-resort boasts heated pools on its sixth-floor Sky Deck, a palm tree-lined oasis with a restaurant-bar called Spinnaker Pool Grill. The day pass ($40, $20 for 13 and under) includes access to the fitness center, and hot tub, men’s and women’s lockers and showers, free WiFi and discounted valet parking. Private cabanas cost $250. The pool is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-465-2300, RitzCarlton.com
Perhaps the closest hotel to the margarita-sipping set at Beach Place, the Ritz makes up for in location what it lacks in day pass perks. It’s $40 passport grants unlimited use of the hotel’s seventh-floor pool bar (and Poolside Café), free WiFi, beach access and $24 valet parking. The pool is open 7 a.m. to sunset.
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-1111 or Marriott.com
As A1A beachfront pools go, the Westin offers good value for its $40 day pass (no children allowed), which includes access to its heated infinity pool (and Waves pool bar), discounted valet parking ($5 an hour, $18 for entire day), free WiFi and beach access with complimentary chairs and umbrellas. A decent splurge option: the 50-minute spa treatment for $150, which includes the above plus access to showers, lockers and choice of Swedish massage or facial. The pool is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Bonaventure Resort & Spa, Weston
250 Racquet Club Road, Weston; 954-389-3300, BonaventureResortandSpa.com
One of the stronger day-pass deals – found in west Broward suburbia, not Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront strip – is Bonaventure’s $25 day pass ($15 for 13-and-under), which includes access to a hot tub, three swimming pools and an adults-only spa pool, along with one complimentary specialty beverage from the 500-room resort’s Cabana Bar, free WiFi and valet parking. A better deal: the $30 adults-only spa pass, which includes all of the above plus access to the Eucalyptus steam room and sauna, whirlpool, zen garden, fitness center, locker rooms and showers, and 10 percent off spa services. The pool is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Plunge Beach Resort, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
4660 El Mar Drive, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea; 754-312-5775 or PlungeBeachHotel.com
Quaint midcentury beach lodges are abundant in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea but nostalgia is a design choice at Plunge Beach. The retro-themed resort comprises three 1950s-era bungalows (upgraded and modernized back in 2018), and day passholders ($35 for adults, $25 for ages 3-12) can access the hideaway’s ground-floor pool. There’s also beach access with free lounge chairs and umbrellas, free WiFi and self-parking, and a 20 percent discount off poolside eats at the Backflip Beach Bar. The pool is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; 954-874-4444, MargaritavilleHollywoodBeachResort.com
You’ll be as sun-baked as a Parrothead (or Jimmy himself, apparently) after some poolside lounging at this tourist-heavy tropical escape. The 369-room resort’s day pass ($45 for adults, $15 for ages 3-12, free for infants) includes the LandShark pool (with rock waterfall and waterslide) and Lone Palm pool, beach access, free WiFi, 20 percent off hotel-branded products and 15 percent off spa services. (Note: This day pass, in higher demand, is sold out until mid-July.) The pool is open 8 a.m. to dusk.
Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel
2000 NW 19th St., Boca Raton; 561-368-5252, Marriott.com
You’ll have a better view of Bloomingdale’s instead of the beach at this 184-room resort overlooking the Town Center Mall. Day passholders ($25 for adults, $10 ages 3-12) can access its ground-floor heated pool and hot tub. There’s also two complimentary bottles of water, free WiFi and self-parking, and 10 percent off food and drink at Oasis Café and Pool Bar. The pool is open dawn to dusk.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 800-328-0170 or EauPalmBeach.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: $119 for adults and $75 for ages 3-12. 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 self-parking, and beach access with towels and lounge chairs. The pool is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Hilton West Palm Beach
6000 Okeechobee Blvd.; 561-231-6000 or Hilton.com
One of downtown West Palm Beach’s best free staycation secrets is now a widely available day pass. The adults-only $20 passport includes the ground-floor swimming pool, the fitness center with Peloton bikes, towel service and free WiFi, validated valet parking with $25 food and drink purchase, and $25 off $75 in spa services.
COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
2445 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-3600, ComoHotels.com
A chic Art Deco hotel with beachfront views to the east and hard-partying Ocean Drive to the south, the 74-room COMO’s pricey day pass ($95) includes access to the heated rooftop pool, beach access with free chairs and umbrellas (when available), free WiFi and a food and beverage credit equal to the cost of your pass. (A cheaper $40 beach pass grants the same minus pool access). Hotel valet parking is $15. The pool is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tidal Cove Waterpark at The JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Let’s hope you’re not going for the quiet tranquility. 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 so-called “Resort Day Membership” ($75 on weekdays, $150 on weekends, free for ages 3 and under) gives full waterpark privileges, including the zero-gravity Oasis Pool and private, adults-only Cascata Pool.
Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach
1750 Alton Road, Miami Beach; 786-628-2000, HotelPalomar-SouthBeach.com
Perched on the edge of Sunset Harbor and the tree-lined sprawl of Lincoln Road, the Kimpton’s rooftop pool ($40 for adult day pass, $20 for ages 3 to 12) has picturesque views of Biscayne Bay and ultrarich Star Island. The 96-room resort offers access to its temperature-controlled pool, free WiFi and $15 discounted valet parking. The pool is open from sunrise to sunset.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 786-276-4000, RitzCarlton.com
Launched last fall, the Ritz South Beach’s pricey passport ($100 for adults, $35 for ages 3-12) offers access to its heated rooftop pool, a reserved poolside lounge chair and hot tub, along with complimentary sunscreen, flavored water and WiFi. Hotel valet parking is $20 with day-pass validation. The pool is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.