These spots have got it all figured out: the combination of two of New York's favorite things —public swimming pools and rooftops—means an elevated summer oasis worth throwing down some cash for. The great dishes and drinks most of the pools serve make us just want to lounge all day long. While most hotel and rooftop pools in NYC require an expensive night stay or high membership fees, these offer reasonably priced passes for a day of perfect, sunny bliss.
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Best hotel and rooftop pools in NYC
The second-floor terrace of this mod hotel in the Meatpacking District channels the French Riviera with crisp navy-and-white chaises and umbrellas; a glass-bottomed pool, visible from the lobby downstairs; and even sand—shipped in from Montauk—in a separate beach area (keeping the water grit-free). On weekdays, the hotel offers $55 day passes to the pool to non-guests based on availability. If you really want to go though and don’t want to leave it to chance, you can always book one of two cabanas, which seat up to ten. (212-229-2559, www.dreamhotels.com/downtown). Mon-Fri 11am–sunset. Cabana rental: 10am–6pm, 6–11pm, 10am–11pm; prices vary.Read more
Equinox Printing House
Don’t worry about trying to get in past the doorman at this rooftop pool; the only necessity to get in here is an appointment. Gym members can enjoy the 15-meter pool all summer long with a $175/month membership, but for those not willing to commit to those kind of prices, admission for the day is included with on-site spa services. So go ahead and make an appointment for a 30-minute massage ($70) and soak those relaxed muscles right after. (212-243-7600, equinox.com) Mon–Thu 5:30am–11pm, Fri 5:30am–11pm, Sat–Sun 8am–8pm.
While not normally open to non-guests, the no-cover weekend afternoon Jimmy Pool Party really abides by the mantra, “the more the merrier.” While you won’t have any room for swimming laps, you’ll have amazing views of downtown, the Hudson River and Midtown while you sway in the water to the tunes from the nearby DJ. (212-465-2000, jameshotels.com) Sat, Sun 3–9pm.Read more
The pool area atop this 10-floor boutique hotel in Chelsea opens to non-guests for the price of a $40 day pass. Cool off in the water or relax on one of the comfy daybeds by the pool, where you’ll have expansive views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. At the nearby grill, dishes such as taramasalata with pita ($9) and tomato rusk salad ($14) will make having to wait 30 minutes to swim well worth the wait, while the drink list, which includes La Flaca ($17)—a frozen margarita with jalapeño-infused Dobel Tequila—should quench your thirst. (212-525-0000, hotel-americano.com). Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, weekends after 2pmRead more
While some people use the pool to swim for exercise, at the Standard Hotel’s enclosed pool/penthouse club in the Meatpacking District, the real workout is keeping up with the beats of the DJ. Befitting the venue’s reputation, you better dress to be seen and understand that the 4-feet deep water is just the center of the dance floor. (212-645-7600, standardhotels.com)Read more
While the priciest option on this list ($150 for a day pass), the experience is truly “Treat Yo' Self” worthy. Your pass means you get access to the gravity fitness center, where you can build up a sweat before hitting the deck. There the floor to ceiling windows allow for stunning views of Central Park, while the outdoor sundeck makes for comfortable tanning far away from the crowded public green space stories below your nose. (212-245-5000, parkermeridien.com)Read more
This 40-by-20-foot, four-foot-deep saltwater swimming hole may not perch on a roof, but the ground-floor deck makes up for lack of altitude with the chance to do laps. The spacious terrace seats 150 and offers poolside service, with cocktails and bites. (718-218-7500, chelseahotels.com). Daily 11am–9pm. Mon–Thu $40, Fri–Sun $60. Reservations recommended.Read more