As temperatures begin to rise in the concrete jungle, New Yorkers scramble to get their bikini bodies in check and their summer plans underway. That’s right–New Yorkers who stay Manhattan bound during the summer months rather than escaping to the Hamptons, The Cape, Newport or Upstate have summer plans too, and some of them involve access to many sun-filled pools (read: oases) offering bar service, private cabanas and poolside dining. Battling the long, arduous weekend traffic to and from the city may seem silly when you can opt for a little staycation in the Big Apple and take a dive or dip into some of the amazing rooftop pools that the city has to offer. Gather your girls, edit your swimwear collection and head to one of these posh NYC pools. Think of them as elevated escapes from the hot cement–without having to leave the city. Prepare for excessive tan lines, plenty of poolside Instagram posts and getting tipsy with a view. SPF not included.
Le Parker Meridien
Anyone up for a swim on top of the world? This Midtown pool features floor to ceiling windows that overlook gorgeous Central Park, giving you the outdoor ambiance, minus the sweltering summer heat. There is an outdoor deck for you to dry off in the sun and enjoy delicious drinks and snacks. Day passes are available for $150 for those not staying at the hotel, but if you book a room, your use is complimentary. Take a day for some much needed R&R and recharge–this pool is for those looking to unwind without the see-and-be-seen scene.
Plunge at Gansevoort Meatpacking
This Meatpacking District haunt has been a hotspot in large part due to Plunge, its 45 foot heated rooftop pool and bar nestled within a landscaped garden, with an impressive view of the city, open year round. Be immediately transported to the Sahara (well, sort of) with Moroccan lamps, colorful textiles and exotic plants while dining on Mediterranean dishes and unique cocktails. PS. Be on the lookout for their secret garden. On a hot summer day, we think it’s well worth the $250 day pass.
This ultra cool kid hangout is a discotheque and rooftop bar at The Standard High Line hotel in which entry is determined by the stern-faced bouncers. Featuring an incredible sound system and rotating world famous DJs, the summer months have patrons dancing on the grass-covered rooftop and slipping into the plunge pool to cool off. Our tips for entry: arrive in your summer best, flash a smile to the bouncer and wear your best bikini in place of intimates.
McCarren Hotel and Pool
This Williamsburg pool scene is Brooklyn’s answer to all the chic Manhattan pool setups. While this oversized heated pool is not on a roof, its 4,800 square-foot pool deck hosts live bands and DJs that play to a packed house of stylish scenesters. With an accessible fee of $45 for a weekday pass and $64 for a weekend pass, you gain pool access and can lounge on wooden terrace benches including towels and WiFi access. The pool officially opens for the season on Friday May 26th.
Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, this rooftop space captures the vibrant ambiance of cool downtown vibes. The outdoor terrace boasts a 360-degree view of downtown Manhattan, including a swimming pool and lounge benches that make for the perfect setting to watch the sun set over the skyline, cocktail in hand. If you plan to lounge, there is a table minimum to secure a poolside chair during the day, but if swimming is the only thing on your mind, a day pass will suffice.
The Beach at the Dream Downtown
Channeling the glamour of the Côte d’Azur (as much as possible) in the heart of New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, the Dream Downtown boasts a 4,800 square foot beach and glass bottom swimming pool looking into the hotel lobby. The Beach includes real-deal Hamptons-imported sand and private cabanas that come complete with flat screen TV’s and lounges. Luckily, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to hit up this chic spot–all day pool passes are available for purchase ($65 per day pass, $1,500 for a cabana) and the restaurant is open to the public. Grab a unicorn pool float (or a Kim Kardashian butt one if you so desire) and turn on your out of office message.
This ultra luxe and private 50-foot indoor pool with marble tile flooring is inspired by the beauty of the Cote d’Azur (we’re sensing a theme with NYC pool’s adoration of the French’s summertime laissez-faire) and is surrounded by ultra modern four-poster cabanas. While this pool is not a social scene and does not boast views or sit on a rooftop, its tranquil and peaceful environment will have you chilling hard and feeling like pure royalty. This pool is located in the hotel’s Spa de la Mer and is (unsurprisingly) only available to hotel guests, so book a staycation to enjoy this glamorous gem and its sanctuary vibes.
The “who’s who” of rooftop pools, the SoHo House’s 6th floor oasis is an undeniable summertime hotspot. Despite being notorious for keeping its members only status, try to score an invite via a member so that you can enjoy a swim in the 32-foot heated pool…or just sink into the plush purple and white poolside chaise loungers to soak in the sun. While taking in views of Manhattan and the Hudson river, you can also enjoy the best people watching NYC has on offer; this rooftop is spacious, known for celebrity sightings and arguable one of the most exclusive settings in the city. Only rule: no cell phones, so your Instagram posts will have to wait.
Sixty LES Hotel
This luxe Lower East Side hotel makes swimming with Andy Warhol a possibility. This chic rooftop has a pool with an Andy Warhol filmstrip printed on its floor and is typically only for hotel guests. However, during the summer months, the property hosts killer pool parties featuring DJs and popup shops for in-the- know New Yorkers.
Jimmy at The James New York
This swanky concrete halo on a Soho rooftop terrace is a summertime hotspot boasting magnificent views of the Hudson River, Downtown and Midtown. While the pool does not have room for swimming laps, you will be too busy sipping on a frozen cocktail from their extensive menu and jamming out to the sounds of the nearby DJ to notice. The space is open year round, but the pool is especially stellar during the summer months when you can chill under the stars while dipping your toes into the pool.
La Piscine at Hôtel Americano
This hidden gem in Chelsea at the Hotel Americano sits between the High Line and the Hudson River and is open to non-guests for $40 a day. Poolside daybeds offer expansive views of Manhattan and make for a great work-from-home office. The menu pays homage to Mexican fare with Latin infused bites like ceviche, swordfish tacos, guacamole and a frozen margarita with jalapeño-infused tequila.
Equinox Printing House
If you’re trying to show off that summer bikini bod you have worked so hard on, the Equinox Printing House pool is for you. Quite the scene for the beautifully fit, this pool is exclusively available for those willing to pay for the $175/month gym membership, for this specific location. Not a member? No problem. Treat yourself to a spa treatment–which comes with pool access–and a day spent on this rooftop deck with stunning Hudson River views is yours.