Jeneé Osterheldt

July 2, 2014

Jump in, chill out, party on at Hotel Sorella’s new rooftop Adult Swim

On the swanky rooftop of Hotel Sorella on the Plaza, every Sunday the Adult Swim rooftop pool party makes a splash. Whereas the Jones pool was an adult playground, Kansas City’s newest day party is an aquatic lounge.

I should have known the party was popping when I saw the beach ball on Roanoke Parkway as I entered the Hotel Sorella parking garage. Whoops!

I grabbed the ball and took it to the swanky Plaza rooftop, where every Sunday the Adult Swim pool party makes a splash from 3 to 7 p.m.

We were an hour early, but that didn’t stop the guests from having fun. We took in the view and ordered up signature drinks from the menu. I’ve said it before, but the watermelon sweet Vojito ($12) is the best summer cocktail. As for poolside food, if you don’t want pizza, dive into the local baby-greens salad ($10), with pistachios and peppery garlic Banylus dressing.

By the time we finished eating, DJs Highnoone and Ashton Martin were just on time to get the party started. We have them to thank for Kansas City’s newest day party. Did I mention it’s free? No cover. And there are drink and food specials: $7 cocktails (Cosmo, lemon drop, pineapple-infused Belvedere) and select sliders that are two for $5.

With the Jones pool downtown closed for the year because of construction on an apartment tower, there’s definitely a void in the way of pool parties. Sorella does not have the fist-pump, wet-and-wild style of the Jones. It’s so much smaller and on a Sunday, so it has a different energy. Whereas the Jones was an adult playground, Sorella is an aquatic lounge. The crowd is late 20s, early 30s. The music is deep house with some pop twists.

And the pool? It’s beautiful, infinity style. The water goes down 4 feet, just enough to cool off. And there’s plenty of in-pool seating, too. Our only complaint is a lack of lounge chairs for those who like to lay out and soak up the sun. We counted three. But there are plenty of chairs, tables and a few loveseats, too. For Instagram lovers, take a seat in the vibrant blue king chairs — like waterproof thrones.

The vibe they’re going for is sophisticated day party, Ashton says. Highnoone says they like the intimate space. Get 50 people and you have a good crowd; 100 people makes it all-out busy.

“It’s a cool pool with a killer view,” he says. “We want to bring Kansas City together. When we were younger, say five years ago, we were all doing crazier things. But we’re older now and looking to have what we had when we were young, but classier.”

We had to admit, the crowd was very cool. People came from all over the metro, from all walks of life. We met a personal trainer, Katherine Linhoff, who told us she liked the chill vibe. We met a techie who talked to people from one end of the pool to the other. We even met a grandpa in a sailor hat. This was a crowd so welcoming that even a family with a toddler fit in. She hopped in with her dad, and someone sent the beach ball her way.

“It feels like a vacation even though we’re still in Kansas City,” my friend Quinn told me — and she’s picky about her parties. As we sat in a corner of the pool, we met Demetria Williams, 24, and Leah Gray, 25.

“I like the drinks, the pool, the music,” Demetria said. “Everyone is doing their own thing, but they’re mingling, too.”

Adult Swim — where the grown-ups play together nicely.

Jeneé Osterheldt’s column runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. To reach her, call 816-234-4380 or email “Like” her page on Facebook and never miss a column. You also can follow her at

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