Summer Fun

Dive Into NYC’s Hottest Rooftop Pools

WSWD took a few laps around some of the best places to enjoy a rooftop dip in the Big Apple.

After a long workweek, I want an escape from the brutal city heat. But I’m not always in the mood to brave the traffic on NY-27 to get to the Hamptons. Thankfully, I don’t have to. I can book a room (or even just a day pass) at these chic Manhattan hotels and spend the weekend poolside in the sky. So grab your sunnies, SPF, and flip-flops, because we’re heading to the roof at these city oases for a dose of vitamin C.

Equinox Printing House, 421 Hudson Street (between Leroy and Clarkson Streets), West Village
Head to the heart of the West Village and start your day off with a Caudaulie Crushed Cabernet Scrub with grape seeds and brown sugar at the luxurious Equinox Spa. After your morning relaxation, hit the pool and sundeck for a proper cool-off in the afternoon heat. With sweeping views of the Hudson, it’s the perfect place to cozy up in a lounge chair with an OMMM! juice blend from Juice Press, filled to the rim with organic green apples, celery, arugula, fennel, lime, and ginger.

The Gansevoort | Park Avenue, 420 Park Avenue South (at East 29th Street), Gramercy
Visit this pristine heated Park Avenue rooftop pool for the magnificent views of the Empire State Building—and the equally superb people-watching. Swim up to the cocktail bar, order my favorite summer libation, the frosé (aka frozen rosé), and soak up the scene. Access is exclusive to hotel guests, so what better excuse to arrange a staycation?

best rooftop pools nyc
Photo courtesy of Gansevoort Hotel Group

The Beach at Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues), Chelsea
Float above the bustle below in the glass-bottom pool—its porthole windows look down into the lobby—at Dream Downtown’s rooftop getaway, The Beach. The large deck also has a curated summer menu filled with shareable dishes, including shrimp ceviche and lobster tostadas. If you can’t physically get to the ocean, grab a spot—and a day pass—on one of the 50 chaise longues, sip a frozen drink, and put your toes in the sand (they don’t call it The Beach for nothing!).

best rooftop pools nyc
Photo courtesy of The Beach at Dream Downtown

Jimmy at The James, 27 Grand Street (at Thompson Street), Soho
This is where Megan Rapinoe and her fellow World Cup winners bikini-boogied and partied the day before their NYC ticker tape parade. And you don’t have to be a hotel guest to do the same; all are welcome to the summer pool parties here every Saturday and Sunday, 3–9 p.m. In fact, you don’t even have to wear your swimsuit; this pool is better for putting your feet in while you chat and sip than it is for swimming. Between the sweeping Soho views, DJ music, quality cocktails, and all the poolside eye candy, you’ll be glad you didn’t skip town. 

best rooftop pools nyc
Photo courtesy of The James New York – SoHo

Sixty LES, 190 Allen Street (between Stanton and East Houston Streets), Lower East Side
Head to the third floor and keep your fingers crossed for a cloud-free afternoon at the chic Sixty LES Hotel. Between dips, I like to order a bunch of small plates for lunch—the spicy bean sprout laced with chili paste and sea-salted shishito peppers make my mouth water—from the hotel’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya. And when I really want to splurge, I book one of the hotel’s prized poolside cabanas, with a private bathroom, an exclusive sound system, and fully stocked refreshments. Let us arrange that cabana—along with a room that gets you pool access—when the sun finally gets to you.

McCarren Hotel & Pool, 160 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Reserve your poolside seats in advance (they go fast) at Brooklyn’s largest—and most colorful—outdoor swimming pool (you can actually play a proper game of Marco Polo here!). Read your book; do some laps; and order my favorite light lunch, the avocado toast with poached eggs and heirloom tomatoes, from the in-house restaurant, Oleanders. The McCarren pool is my personal pick for an awesomely chill day. We can make it yours, too. 

best rooftop pools nyc
Photo by Conor Harrigan

1 Hotel Brooklyn, 60 Furman Street, Dumbo
This “eco-luxury” hotel was built with recycled materials, runs completely on wind power, and boasts a rainwater reclamation system and natural green art. It also boasts a rooftop plunge pool for guests only—set to be ready by the time summer starts, so let us book you a staycation so you’re one of the first to dip into it—complete with lounge chairs, fire pits, and breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bar will serve up curated cocktails, so sit back, relax, enjoy the view, and take pleasure in knowing you’re doing your part to save the planet.

best rooftop pools nyc
Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

William Vale, 111 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
This rooftop pool and terrace is the perfect summer staycation locale for me because it hosts two of my favorite dips: a quickie in the pool (without getting my hair wet) and my all-time guilty pleasure, ice cream from Mister Dips! Put your summer-bod workout on hold for the day, because my obsession runs deep; with an Airstream trailer pumping out soft serve cones, burgers, and waffle fries, I’m set for a long afternoon filled with food, fun, and sun…are you?