This city for all seasons lays on scene-setting swimming spots – hidden away in spas, high up on rooftops and beside cocktail-serving bars.
New York, it’s one heck of a town. It can sure feel that way over the summer when the metropolis sizzles and swelters. But there’s little better than a cool dip in an outdoor pool to reset your thermostat. Winters, too, can be biting – but luckily this ever-adaptable city adjusts, with steaming pools sequestered away in spas to warm your bones. So jump in, whatever the season, and join us for a rundown of the best hotels in Manhattan with pools.
From its Art Deco entrance to boldly sumptuous retro interiors, there’s something quintessentially New York City about the Empire Hotel. While its lobby bar oozes plenty of NY glamour, it’s the rooftop spot you’ll be heading to when the mercury rises. Up on the 12th floor, you can sip al fresco cocktails while soaking in the Upper West Side skyline and Central Park vistas, slipping in and out of the pool at your leisure.
This shimmering tower of opulence in Midtown Manhattan is a beacon for well-to-do travelers looking for a genuinely five-star-plus experience. So, it will come as little surprise that the hotel’s Spa de La Mer wellness center boasts one of the most eye-pleasing indoor pools in the city (perfectly heated, of course). Inspired by the Côte d’Azur, the surrounding daybeds are perfect for tranquil contemplation in between dips.
Set within splashing distance of prestigious Park Avenue, the Marmara certainly reflects the distinguished status of its upmarket address. And its one-of-a-kind subterranean lap pool provides a superbly serene haven from the buzz and bustle on your doorstep. There’s a traditional Turkish hammam here to help detox before returning to your NY loft-style accommodation to gaze over the cityscape.
Owned by iconic New Yorker Robert De Niro – who was born nearby – this Tribeca design hotel combines richly low-lit nostalgia with a healthy dollop of the exotic. The hotel’s subterranean Shibui Spa features a 250-year-old bamboo farmhouse imported from Japan. Within it is a long heated pool, deftly illuminated so the water appears an inviting aquamarine. There are few places in Manhattan where you can swim enveloped in such an atmosphere of otherworldly serenity.
If you’re hitting Manhattan’s hip Lower East Side in the summer, the SIXTY LES offers the perfect combo of artsy indie vibe and sunny rooftop pool. The triptych image of Andy Warhol looks up from the bottom of the pool, while loungers line one side and cocktail tables the other. A full bar service keeps your summer thirst at bay, while a small-plate sushi menu can also be enjoyed poolside.
Take the elevator up to the 14th-floor lobby of this edgy boutique hotel, and your eyeballs are immediately in for a double treat – a custom mural by graffiti legend Lee Quiñones and a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the Manhattan skyline. There are more superb vistas from its rooftop terrace, where you can also take the plunge in a heated swimming pool. Dry off, frozen margarita in hand, while choosing something to nibble on – the truffle waffle fries sure sound good.
Synonymous with five-star lodgings, the New York edition of the Mandarin Oriental certainly doesn’t disappoint with its elegant interpretation of Asian-infused luxury. It occupies the 35th to the 54th floors of the Time Warner Center, overlooking the southwest corner of Central Park – resulting in predictably wow-worthy views. The 75ft (23m) lap pool, which surely must qualify as one of the city’s most elevated, is flooded with natural light and offers spectacular vistas over the Hudson River.
Set high-up in the heart of the hip Meatpacking District is the 12th-floor rooftop terrace of the Gansevoort Hotel. Not only does it offer guests a heated year-round pool with awesome 360-degree views, but by night turns into one of the area’s hottest bars to drink and mingle. When you’re ready to turn in, luxurious Egyptian cotton linens await in your room, together with a Google Nest Hub smart system to control everything from lights and blinds to wake-up calls.