Amid New York City’s gridiron streets, you’ll find honeypot places to stay with scene-setting swimming pools, primed to take in the view.
The Big Apple’s summers can hit high on the sizzle-scale, so if you’re visiting during the city’s warmer months you might regret not booking somewhere with an outdoor pool. Also, slipping into heated waters when the temperature drops is one of those pleasures most of us can only enjoy as part of the hotel experience. So, whether it’s to cool down or warm up, we’ve picked some of the best hotels with pools in New York.
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Courtesy of Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards / Hotels.com
Occupying 15 floors of the tallest tower in Hudson Yards – a West Side hive of shops and restaurants – the Equinox doesn’t hide its ambitions to be one of New York’s top hotels. It hums with an effortless sense of luxury, understated grandeur and impeccable design, nowhere more so than its huge health club with 75ft (23m) indoor saltwater lap pool. A second outdoor pool is adults-only, with views of Thomas Heatherwick’s honeycomb-like Vessel structure, city panoramas and captivating sunsets.
Is this the best rooftop pool in New York? Skirting along two sides of the building with an edgy, angular design, it’s certainly original. Its views, too, across the East River taking in the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline must be some of the city’s most spectacular. The rooftop also has a buzzy bar-restaurant with live DJs, craft beer and signature cocktails. Unsurprisingly, the pool is popular so arrive early for a lounger. Oh, and you won’t want to miss sunset.
With its minimalist art-gallery aesthetic, Hotel Selina attracts the young and the hip to its cool and creative Chelsea neighborhood. Many of them chill and mingle on the property’s rooftop terrace, cooling off in the small pool and ordering craft cocktails from the bar. Morning yoga classes are also a thing here, so you can get your downward dog in before exploring this buzzing corner of New York City – home to The High Line park, elevated on a historic freight-rail line.
With its elegant chequered bottom, marble tiling and 50ft (15m) of warming waters, the pool at the Baccarat is everything you might expect from a top-end luxury hotel. The surrounding cabanas were inspired by the French Riviera and further advance the mood of opulent tranquility. The vault-like basement spa also offers some of the most sophisticated face and body treatments you’ll find in any New York hotel… Or, any hotel anywhere.
When it comes to pools, size matters. And if you check into the William Vale in hipsterville Williamsburg, you can rest assured that you’ll be swimming in the longest outdoor pool of any New York hotel. There’s no shortage of crisp white daybeds to luxuriate on, as well as U-shaped sofas – perfect for drinking with friends. While views certainly impress from the pool terrace, head upstairs to the 22nd-floor rooftop bar for dizzying 360-degree panoramas.
From its towering red-brick architecture and marquee signage to its retro-chic interiors and loft-style lodgings, the Williamsburg Hotel embodies the spirit of its titular hipster home. Crowning this new-build Brooklyn landmark is a fabulous rooftop terrace where guests can splash about in a 50ft (15m) swimming pool before flopping into clamshell loungers. Perched just above, a reconstructed water tower houses a hip bar-restaurant and provides views that stretch along most of Manhattan Island.
Reflecting the hip SoHo community in which it stands, art takes centre stage at the James, with works from a mix of local and international creatives scattered throughout. Stealing a good share of the limelight, however, is the hotel’s small-but-perfectly-formed rooftop pool, flanked by comfy loungers and river-to-river cityscape views. As night falls, a sky bar brings the funk with live DJs and a party atmosphere.
In the heart of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, The Empire looks and feels every inch the New York City hotel. Elevators whisk you up a dozen floors to the rooftop terrace, where a semi-covered swimming pool awaits. Take a cooling dip before ordering a cocktail and gazing dreamily over the green expanse of nearby Central Park. Don’t forget to look up to see the hotel’s iconic neon sign close up.