Summer Shake-Up

No pool? No problem: 6 places in the city worth diving into this summer

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With weather now consistently in the 80s and up  for the foreseeable future, those of us in no-frills buildings may feel a pang of amenity envy. Luckily, there are places for city dwellers to have a beach club experience, minus the actual beach club. From a Midtown building that opens its pool to (paying) outsiders to a handful of swanky hotels, here are your summer-in-the-city options for cooling off and lounging by the pool. (There are even some free options!)

Mercedes Club

Gain access to the amenities of the Mercedes House, a massive rental building in Midtown West, without moving in. For membership costs ranging for $175/month, plus a $300 initiation fee (though there are is currently a deal on offer that gives you a discount for both). For that, you get unlimited use of their 80,000-square-foot fitness center, classes, a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, steam room, and sauna.

 Mercedes Club, 550 West 54th Street (at 11th Avenue),, 212-265-1111

McCarren Hotel & Pool

A major draw at this Williamsburg boutique hotel is the spacious rooftop pool, which offers reserved seating and poolside service. If you're not a guest, you can snag a day pass for $55 Monday through Thursday, and $65 Friday to Sunday. A day bed will cost you  $325, Monday to Thursday, and $375 on weekends. Beds are available a week before you come, day passes can be booked the day before you come.

 McCarren Hotel & Pool, 160 N 12th Street,, 718-218-7500

Soho House Rooftop Pool

One of the most exclusive clubs in the city, Soho House boasts a 15-by-32-foot heated pool atop its roof. You can only access it, however, if you’re a hotel guest or a member. And membership does not come cheap or easy. The  Local House membership, in which you just have access to the Meatpacking District property, is $2,100, plus a $500 application fee and taxes. An Every House Membership, which includes membership at Soho House properties all over the world, is $3,200 annually and application is $500. (Members under 27 pay $1,050 or $1,600 and $300 for the application fee, while children of members get in for $250.) Perhaps more importantly, you'll have to pass an arduous application process that includes detailing your career experience and why you'd be a fit for the club, as well as including a picture of yourself.

Soho House Rooftop Pool, 29-35 Ninth Avenue,, 212-627-9800

New York Peninsula

While the Peninsula in Midtown operates as a hotel, it also sells memberships to its 35,000 square feet of facilities. Non-guests can use the fitness center, pool, sun terrace, sauna, and steam room, and take group exercise classes. Summer memberships for individuals are $480 per month, with a three-month commitment, though families who join get the fourth month free. You get four guests passes for kids.

New York Peninsula, 700 Fifth Avenue,, 212-956-2888

Vale Pool, William Vale Hotel

At 60 feet, Vale Pool at the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg is the longest pool in Brooklyn, and it also happens to have amazing skyline views. There are cabanas, chairs and pergolas, and prices during the week range from $150 for two people for a pergola to $400 for up to six at a cabana. On weekends, prices range from $180 for two people to $550 for up to six.

William Vale Hotel, 111 N. 12th Street, Williamsburg,, 718-631-8400

Profundo at Ravel

Details are scarce (you'll also notice no photo above) about this pool club located at Ravel, a hotel in Long Island City, but according to a representative we reached by phone the pool will be available to the public -- for a fee-- starting in July.

Ravel Hotel, 8-08 Queens Plaza South,, 718-289-6101

The Dream Downtown  

The pool in the posh Dream hotel is glass-bottomed and floats above the lobby, offering a truly one-of-a-kind view for swimmers (and people checking into the hotel). There are also cabanas with flatscreen TVs and real sand so you feel like you’re in the Hamptons (sort of). Day passes for non-guests are $65 apiece, Monday through Friday from 11am to 5pm. You can also rent a cabana for $1,500. Expect to spend extra cash on drinks and food, and come early: The hotel specifically warns that buying a day pass won't guarantee you a pool chair.

 The Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street,, 212-229-2559  

La Piscine at Hotel Americano

At the top of this 56-room Chelsea-area hotel stands a rooftop pool that’s probably not suited for those looking to swim laps, but will be just fine for anyone looking for a cool dip on a hot day. And the price is hard to beat in a private setting: $40 per person from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and free on the weekends from 12-5 p.m. There are daybeds and a nearby grill and bar, so what more could you ask for?

Hotel Americano, 518 West 27th St.,, 212- 216-0000

NYC's public pools 

A decidedly less sexy option than Soho House or the Dream, the 60 or so public pools scattered throughout the city are, however, free, and open from June 29th to September 10th (the season was recently extended!). Bring your own lock, leave the electronics and wallets at home, and note that all cover-ups and t-shirts must be white.  

Some of the more popular public pools are the Astoria Pool, which offers lap and open swim; the Asser Levy Recreation Center, which offers free swim lessons; and McCarren Park, which was renovated in 2012. For more info, see the city website.

[This story was updated in June, 2017.]



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