While beach eats have improved exponentially in recent years, so too have the offerings at the city’s numerous high-end hotel pools, which offer an opportunity to see and be seen in your skimpiest suit, multiple stories above the city. So if you’re tired of sunbathing in the sand with the hoi polloi at Coney Island, stretch out on a chaise surrounded by skyline, with a Moscow Mule and lobster roll instead.
The William Vale: Andrew Carmellini and the NoHo Hospitality Group oversee all the food and drink offerings at Williamsburg’s East River-abutting, modernist hotel, an even more appealing feature than the 60-foot long pool itself (i.e., the longest outdoor pool in NYC). Which means, you’ll likely spend more time lounging outside the water than doing laps, thanks to baby gem Caesar salads, grilled chicken Sandwiches with harissa and gruyere, and Aperol Spritzes and Southside Fizzes, made with vodka, mint, seltzer and lime.
Hotel Americano: The Mexico-based, internationally-branded Grupo Habita is behind this boutique hotel, located steps away from the Highline. It also notably features an open-to-the-public pool (flanked by daybeds overlooking the Hudson River) and a coastal, adjunct Mexican grill, which far exceeds the hummus and guacamole offerings of similar rooftop destinations, with thoughtful fare like Jersey corn elotes, duck carnitas tacos, grilled 60-day aged rib eye cap (prepared on the parilla and served with fresh tortillas), as well as agua frescas and paletas.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Stop by on weekends for the Adult Summer Pool Parties at this DUMBO newcomer, which rocks a boomerang-shaped plunge pool, peeping out at NYC’s most iconic landmarks (the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge), and drinks and eats from Michael Oliver—an Andrew Carmellini protégé—including whipped ricotta and market tomatoes on focaccia, fried mochi bites with tofu dressing, and “Heatstroke” cocktails, made with Avion Blanco, mezcal, pineapple and lime.
Gansevoort Park: Though one of NYC’s few roof-situated pools that is heated year round (fixed with a collapsible garage door between the indoor and outdoor spaces), there’s no better time to chill deckside at this luxe Nomad fantasia, with a dead-on view of the Empire State Building, and a café menu comprised of lobster rolls, Kobe beef corn dogs and tabbouleh topped with grilled lamb lollipops.
McCarren Hotel & Pool: Though one of the first painfully chic hotel behemoths to plant its flag in Williamsburg, McCarren has had to really work in order to keep up with the Joneses. Thankfully, its 30-by-16-foot saltwater pool (accessed via day passes, for non-guests) has always been one of its most appealing features, especially since it boasts its own food and beverage program of ballpark-style hot dogs, absinthe-tinged “Green Beast” cocktails and boozy ice pops.