July 10, 2014 | by Mariah Cooper
STAYCATION: Splish-splash
splish-splash, gay news, Washington Blade

Donovan House Hotel Pool (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Sitting poolside is a rite of passage for the summertime. Usually it fits itself into a day of sightseeing in another city while hanging around the hotel. But the same relaxing pool experience can be had in the District.

From rooftop bars, cabanas and even pool parties, it’s easy to pretend to be miles away from the sweltering D.C. city streets. The following pools give that private oasis feeling while being only a short walk, drive or metro ride away.

The Donovan House Hotel Pool (1155 14th St., N.W.) is for guests only but staying for the weekend is no sacrifice with its rooftop pool. Not willing to shell out the cash to be a hotel guest? You can still enjoy the view by the pool when you visit the DNV Rooftop Lounge that includes its restaurant Zentan and the bar. If it’s hard to pull yourself away from relaxing at the top don’t worry — while the pool closes at 7 p.m. on weekends, the bar is open until 1 a.m. letting guests enjoy the rooftop view late into the night. For more information, visit donovanhousehotel.com.

The Rooftop at the Embassy Row Hotel (2015 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) officially opened to the public this month. Plush poolside seating and food and drink service are available. Pool access is given to a variety of patrons depending on how often they plan to use the pool. Twenty members are chosen to receive access to the pool, including one free guest, for $500 for the season. There are also a limited number of day passes available for $25. Twilight passes allow entrance to the pool after 5 p.m. and are free. Guests of the hotel receive complimentary use of the pool. For more details, visit embassyrowhotel.com.

Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, N.W.) offers different levels of membership to suit specific needs. A single membership is $800, a couple is $1,500 and family is $2,100 and includes two adults and two children. If you’re planning on using the couple membership, note that you and your significant other must submit proof of living at the same address. For more information, visit washingtonplazahotel.com.

The Liaison Capitol Hill (415 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) takes relaxing to a whole different level. It offers more than just the typical pool-and-bar combo. Pool day passes are $25 but if you can wait until 5 p.m. to put on your swimsuit access is free. However, it also offers a “Weekend Refresher” package for $50 on Saturdays and Sundays, that includes an hour-long morning yoga class, $20 credit for breakfast at its restaurant Art and Soul and all-day pool access. There are also options for use of a cabana and even a massage. The bar also offers summer fruit cocktails to help the relaxation even more. For more information, visit affinia.com/liaison.

The Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I St., S.W.) pool parties on Saturdays and Sundays are a favorite among the younger D.C. crowd.  DJs frequently come to spin here for Capitol Skyline’s day parties. If you want to relax poolside without all the hype, then day passes for $15 and season membership packages are available. A single pass is $225, couple is $325 and family (five passes) is $425. Membership includes complimentary parking, additional guest passes and two beach towels. Kids also have a “Pool, Pizza and Soda” party package for $10 per child. Food and drinks from its restaurant Maestro’s Bar and Grille are also available. For more details, visit capitolskyline.com.

Penthouse Pool and Lounge is at VIDA Fitness locations on U Street (1612 U St., N.W.) and The Yards (1212 4th St., S.E.). The pools include a food and beverage menu and cabana rental. There is also a towel service that includes a fresh towel after each use. Membership is $159 a month and allows access to any Penthouse Pool and Lounge location.

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