These spots have got it all figured out: the combination of two of New York's favorite things—swimming pools and rooftop bars—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 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. We promise that this is one of our highlights of things to do in the summer.
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Best rooftop pools in NYC
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 and sip on a frozen cocktail from their extensive menu. (212-465-2000, jameshotels.com) Sat, Sun 3–9pm.
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.
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)
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 $185/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 ($76) 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.
Folks come to the Gansevoort in Meatpacking for the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, the comfortable lounge chairs, which are positioned just right for soaking up optimal rays of sunshine and the poolside menu, which features refreshing cocktails and tasty bites. The one-day pool pass will cost you hefty fee ($250), so penny-pinchers beware. (212-206-6700, gansevoortmeatpacking.com) Mon–Wed 7am–7pm.