If you live in New York City, or are just visiting, you're probably aware that non-public, non-crowded, non-child-filled swimming pools are a hot commodity here. But did you know that many of the city's hottest hotels offer day passes? (Lucky you if your hotel has one, or your apartment building is one of the few in the city with a pool.) For your money, you'll be treated to killer views and a luxe lounger. Here are my picks for five of the best rooftop pools in New York City.
1. King & Grove Williamsburg
The saltwater pool at King and Grove is one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in New York City. At almost 5,000 feet long, the Williamsburg oasis offers a lounge-like deck space with gorgeous views of Manhattan. I was able to sprawl out and swim laps during the early afternoon – though the pool started kicking up (but didn't feel packed) by the early evening. Non-hotel-guests can purchase a pass for $35 on weekdays and $45 on weekends from 11am–9pm. This includes access to the pool deck, towels, and complimentary Wi-Fi. I highly suggest making this your new work-from-home space – poolside cocktails optional.
The small, but refreshing pool perched on the rooftop of the Hôtel Americano is a treat for non-guests – mostly because it's completely free. The only caveat is that the non-hotel guest hours are a little funky: Monday–Friday 6pm–1am; Saturday and Sunday 12pm–1am, so it's best to plan a weekend visit. The adjacent restaurant, La Piscine, serves fresh (albeit a bit pricey) Mediterranean cuisine, which can be nibbled on the poolside daybeds or at the rooftop restaurant – both boasting gorgeous views of the High Line.
3. Le Parker Meridian
Gravity, Le Parker Meridian's fitness and spa center is a glass-enclosed, rooftop pool overlooking Central Park. A day pass runs a bit steep at $150, but includes towels, locker room access, gym facilities, and access to the soothing pool, which makes for great lap swimming. The outdoor sundeck has loungers for tanning – forget about reading a magazine, the views here are too stunning to keep your head down. Room service is available at the pool, but I recommend heading downstairs to grab a burger and fries at burger joint.
4. Holiday Inn Midtown
Who would have thought to head to the Holiday Inn for one of the best rooftop pool experiences in NYC? This sprawling body of water spans 60 feet in length, is 30 feet wide, and goes up to nine feet deep! Day passes for non-guests are $70/day and run from 10am–6pm for the use of pool and towels. It's no-frills and a bit crowed, but worth every penny on a sizzling, summer day. Bonus: There's a full bar on the roof and the downstairs restaurant delivers poolside.
5. The Gansevoort
For the ultimate splurge, the Renewal Day Package at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District is about as posh as you can get. For $295, you'll receive access to the rooftop pool (I loved that the music is piped in and played even under the water), a poolside cocktail, one Core Fusion Class, a 30-minute massage and facial, and a cute gift bag that includes SPF and lip balm (talk about bang for your buck). The whole scene was a little rich for my blood, but it's fun to feel like a material girl for just one day.