LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- As ubiquitous as flat-screen TVs and star chefs, the rooftop pool has become a staple for hotel openings in cities across America.
Once reserved for posh boutique hotels in up-and-coming boroughs, even stodgy cities like Washington D.C. have them. Here are some of the newer ones.
Swim in SoHo with Trump:
A series of serious hotel openings have made progress in differentiating the Trump Hotel brand from the family's affiliation to Atlantic City casinos and reality-TV shows. Trump SoHo in New York rises 46 stories above Spring Street in a stunning and controversial high-rise hotel that's been meticulously designed with a modern interpretation of deco style with in-house eatery and popular late-night romp known as Kastel.
While not on the 46th floor, the soon-to-debut pool deck at Trump SoHo is located on a more atmospheric seventh floor rooftop that visually aligns better with the surrounding architecture of this quasi-SoHo neighborhood. Lavish in size and without a cardboard cutout of The Donald in sight, the 6,000-square-foot pool deck, with its mosaic-tile edging and row of private cabanas, is home to an adjacent bar called Bar D'Eau.
Waikiki without the beach:
The only luxury boutique hotel in Honolulu, Waikiki Parc Hotel is owned by the Halekulani Hotels and Resorts and located a short sandy-footed stroll from Waikiki Beach. A minimalist lobby without a thatch roof or tiki umbrella in sight is accessed through a cool-blue entryway and into a shiny stone-floor reception complimented by minimalist decor. A popular pad for businessmen-turned-surfers on five-day breaks from Chicago or Dallas, trendy amenities like an outpost of Nobu make it just as popular a stomping ground for locals.
By night, the space morphs into an outdoor lounge with fire pits and saucy singles for weekly mixers like Cityscape every Friday night followed by early evening DJs or piped-in house tracks.
Vegas gets a new vantage point:
It may be too chilly to use when it opens in mid-December, but The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Hotel will offer three unique pool experiences that includes a Boulevard Pool with unobstructed skyline views of the Las Vegas Strip. Having endured its share of hardship prior to opening, the 3,000-room hotel was purchased in 2008 by Deutsche Bank, which has overseen the development of this new brand located between MGM Mirage's Bellagio and CityCenter properties. The 50-story multi-tower will also be the first hotel on the strip to offer private terraces throughout, with room and residential interiors designed by David Rockwell, Jeffrey Beers and Adam Tihany.
The entrainment infrastructure of The Cosmopolitan will center on an upscale lifestyle concept. One-name chefs will make their Vegas debut at the hotel. At the high end will be Chef Jose Andres Jaleo and China Poblano, a new Chinese-Mexican fusion eatery. The hotel will also be home to Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by Eric Bromberg, an edition of Scarpetta and an all-new wine bar by chef Scott Conant and Vegas outpost of STK from The One Group. By night, the hotel will be home to a new nightlife concept by the creators of TAO and Marquee NY with adjacent adult-theme swim club by day to open spring 2011.
Above Washington, D.C.:
It's become the coolest summertime address in the nation's capital -- Donovan House comes with the prestigious party pedigree of Thompson Hotels, which has masterminded rooftop playgrounds in N.Y. and Beverly Hills. Like its L.A. sibling, Donovan finds its home in a formerly unloved 3-star hotel that got a reboot. A moody lobby of wall-mounted fireplace and Studio Gaia chairs with swinging pod seats is a social fixture for pretty-face lobbyists and congressional pages who slowly unbutton their way into the hotel's all-day eatery.
A large hotel by Thompson standards, the 193 guest rooms range from compact to high-roller spaces focused on floor-to-ceiling windows with wood-paneled detailing that enwraps king-size beds. Post-minimalist living areas are found in upgraded suites with Dean and Deluca mini-bar snacks throughout the house. ADC, Above D.C., is the hotel's spectacular rooftop pool and lounge, laid in teak decking with 180-degree views of the city and even closer viewing of D.C.'s show-off scene of summertime sunbathers who aren't nearly as modest as you might expect.
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Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.