So, you just picked someone up or dropped someone off at LAX and are now faced with rush hour on the freeway. Here's an idea: Sit out the 405 parking lot and slip into the poolside Hopscotch Lounge. Located a few strip malls away from LAX, the chic establishment is tucked into the blocky-looking Custom Hotel. Park at the nearby Ralphs and head upstairs to find cool respite from the hot and sticky confines of your car. Inside is a mix of cosmopolites, stylish LMU coeds and in-the-know Westsiders kicking back with mojitos. Sink into the dark couches that are as comfy as they are swank and let the friendly bartenders tend to your thirst. Evenings welcome romance with the soft glow of illuminated trees and blazing fire pits, while late nights can get kinky in the candlelit cabanas. Forget your sweater; there are enough heat lamps fired up near the bar to make taking a dip in the pool a real consideration. During weekends, DJs drown out the sound of jets overhead, and club kids groove and splash alongside hotel guests until sunset. Be sure to take a stroll through the Custom Hotel's whimsical lobby with its fake sheep and mod décor. If time allows, grab a bite at the equally cool Bistrotek restaurant, which puts the standard airport meal to shame.

—Sophia Kercher

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