There are many glorious aspects of New York City in the summer, but our pool culture doesn’t rank super high.
Sure, we have tons of huge, clean public pools for hot summer swim sessions, but it’s easy to feel jealous of our friends in Miami, where the glitz and glam of fancy poolside lounging is a weekly phenomenon.
But there is a solution: NYC hotel pools! And, no, you don’t always have to be a guest to get in; many local rooftop pools sell day passes or let you buy a drink in exchange for taking a dip.
Next time you want to feel like you’re getting away from it all without actually, you know, getting away, check out one of these local hotel pools that allow outside access—and enjoy that sunny, chlorinated air without shacking up with a tourist.
A chic outdoor, heated pool surrounded by daybeds, the McCarren Hotel’s rooftop will make you feel more like you’re in California than the middle of Williamsburg. Snag a day pass for $55 on weekdays or $65 on weekends and give yourself a little staycation from 11am to 6pm. (The hotel also offers package rates—in case you want to throw a killer summer party without your roommates complaining that no one’s wearing pants in your living room.)
This sexy SoHo rooftop pool is closed-off to the public during the day, but after 5pm during the week and 3pm on weekends, you’re welcome to hang out and look over the Manhattan skyline for the mere cost of one fancy drink from the bar. Plus, summer weekends bring late-afternoon pool parties, where most people will be standing around, trying to look cool with their cocktails instead of swimming. Take advantage and jump in.
After 11am, a $65 pass will let you swim in The Dream’s glass-bottom second-floor pool and hang out under the sun all day. Get there early to claim a beach chair for optimum sunbathing and stay ‘til they kick you out. If you don’t want to spring for the pool pass, the adjacent indoor/outdoor cafe is open to the public and offers healthy bites like avocado toast and a kale caesar salad, as well as more indulgent options like a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and skirt steak tacos.
The cute pool at the Hotel Americano sits in the center of a Mediterranean-inspired bar, offering small bites and cocktails all day. Weekend pool access is free with a bar purchase, but you might find yourself without room to even dunk your feet on a Saturday afternoon. Because of that, we recommend playing hooky from work and buying the $40-weekday pool pass instead. It’s a tiny pool, but it’s a pool!
Perhaps the most expensive hotel pool to dip your feet into without a room, Parker New York’s 42nd-floor indoor pool offers floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic views of Central Park, plus an outdoor deck that’s perfect for sunbathing and sampling the bar menu. Day passes are priced at $100 in the off-season and $150 all summer, giving you a slightly-pocket-draining excuse to feel as fancy as the people actually staying there. Sink into the crystal-clear waters and feel yourself floating on top of the world.