Upon arriving in Los Angeles, the geometry of pool-centric living is clearly laid out. Homes, rooftops, and apartment buildings all harbor an array of the midcentury modern pool designs that the California metropolis is nearly synonymous with.
While some people prefer the wildness of the ocean, many love the tranquil comfort of a heated pool. But not all pools are created equally. Recent medical journals have proven that an overexposure to chlorinated water can lead to an array of skin and joint diseases ranging from skin rash, allergies, to even arthritis. On the contrary, health experts say that taking a dip in saltwater not only soothes muscles, it stimulates immune and lymphatic system responses. More recent studies even suggest saltwater soaks act as a temporary antidepressant while lowering cortisol levels, and can greatly improve mental health in the short-term. Aesthetic enthusiasts have also taken to the benefits of salinated swimming and bathing — some, even for centuries. A common touchstone in the evolution of beauty treatments is Cleopatra. Historians have written that the Egyptian ruler routinely employed salt scrubs made from the Dead Sea to slough her skin.
Many hotels and spas have capitalized on the benefits of saltwater, but one pool in particular stands out among the rest. Petit Ermitage is known by locals as a gem hidden-in-plain-sight. The boutique hotel’s saltwater pool is heated to feel like a cup of tea for your body. What appears like a rare natural hot spring is in-fact situated on a private roof deck in the middle of West Hollywood. Exclusively available to hotel guests, patrons are welcome to soak any time of day or night.
The pool at Petit is special. It grabs you by the hand and pulls you in. The hotel’s proprietor, Stefan Ashkenazy, so purely distills the hankerings of locals and travelers, one is hard-pressed to leave the property. His attention fixed on several different directions, Mr. Ashkenazy has consistently proven to be ahead of his time. The heated saltwater pool at Petit has been a luring feature of the hotel since its inception in 2008.
“I’ve always lived an active lifestyle, and with activity comes restorative practices. Having grown up in Europe, saunas and bath rituals have long been viewed as self-care necessities rather than an occasional luxury,” Louise O’Riordan, Petit Ermitage’s chief brand officer, described. “Los Angeles is a highly active city filled with outdoor sport. We want guests and patrons to feel rejuvenated through the alchemy of a saltwater soak day or night.” And rejuvenated they are. While the hotel does not have its own spa, Ms. O’Riordan says they offer bespoke in-room treatments, like IV vitamins or infrared wraps, booked through their concierge service.
For some, pools can be a vehicle of transportation; it serves as both entertainment and an escape. The next time you’re in Los Angeles, pick your poolside seat wisely — it could provide not only refuge and muscle relief, but also change your entire state of mind.