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TPG Contributor Lori Zaino highlights some of the coolest rooftop hotel pools in the world so you can beat the heat this summer in style. (All images are courtesy of each respective hotel).
Summer has officially arrived and I’ll bet I’m not the only one secretly longing for a refreshing dip in a pool followed by a delicious cocktail. After hearing the new Edition West Hollywood (opening in 2018) will have not one but two rooftop pools, we can’t help but notice that high-in-the-sky pools are more popular than ever — the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown, opening next spring, is also planning to get in on this trend.
With summertime fun on the brain, here’s my go-to list of rooftop hotel pools to soak up the sun this season. And the best part? You can visit some of these even if you aren’t a hotel guest.
1. The James (New York City)
Why It’s Awesome: The James offers a fantastic escape from the Big Apple’s frantic pace and intense summer heat thanks to its relaxing teak wood deck and refreshing rooftop plunge pool. An extensive cocktail list will ensure you’ll stay well-hydrated in your plush chaise lounge chair as you enjoy views of the midtown skyline and Hudson River from its perch in NYC’s trendy SoHo neighborhood.
Details: You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy the pool either — head to the property’s summer pool parties starting at 3:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays at The Jimmy. Rates here during the summer season start at $305 per night in July if you’re interested in staying, and guests can get into the zen zone with free rooftop yoga and meditation sessions Thursday mornings through Labor Day. Note that the pool is only open during the summer months.
2. W Hong Kong
Why It’s Awesome: Swimming 692 feet above Victoria Harbour on the 76th floor is pretty amazing, though those with vertigo should take care. The W certainly isn’t the only hotel in Hong Kong with a rooftop pool, but the gorgeous panoramic views of Kowloon Bay’s glimmering skyline make this particular swimming spot the place to be. Enjoy all-you-can-eat BBQ parties with plenty of grilling and seafood specialties including grilled lobster and sea scallops. If the pool seems too chilly, don’t worry — there’s a Jacuzzi to relax in, too.
Details: The Wet Deck is open to the public weekdays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm for its BBQ pool parties, but you’ll have to pay about $51 per adult (~$26 for children). Want to stay over? This Starwood Category 6 property has summer rates starting at $273 or 20,000 Starpoints per night in July.
3. The Thompson (Toronto)
Why It’s Awesome: This gorgeous sunning spot with 360-degree views of Toronto and Lake Ontario — and a stunning 40-foot infinity pool — turns into a swanky lounge at night. Craft cocktails are the specialty here — my personal favorite is the Cuba-inspired Nacional Cocktail, where Havana Club seven-year-old rum is expertly mixed with amaretto, lemon juice, cardamom syrup, egg whites, tobacco bitters and rum-infused cherry.
Details: Rates this summer start at about $238 per night in July. The pool is only open during the summer months, but you can still enjoy rooftop cocktails all year round, weather permitting.
4. The Redbury South Beach (Miami)
Why It’s Awesome: South Beach is all about about the crowd and the Redbury rooftop is definitely a hip place to be spotted in. The 12,000 square-foot rooftop pool and chaise lounge-filled deck area are pretty cool, too — rumor has it things really heat up in the evenings with plenty of music, cocktails and views of the Miami skyline.
Details: Rates at the Redbury South Beach start at $179 per night in July as Miami tends to be more affordable during the summer. The pool and rooftop deck are also available to rent for private events if you want to host a truly epic rooftop party.
5. Hotel SO Sofitel Bangkok
Why It’s Awesome: This 32-meter infinity pool on the 10th floor makes you feel as if you’ll soon be swimming in the Lumphini Park treetops below — the views of Bangkok’s sweeping skyline are pretty amazing, too. The pool also shines brightly at night when LED lights create a trendy underwater atmosphere.
Details: The Water Club is open to non-hotel guests the last Saturday every month starting at 1:00 pm during the hotel’s Sofitel So Kool Pool Party. With its all-white Ibiza-style dress code and well-known DJ’s doing their thing, this is the place to be if you’re down to party. It’s about $11 to enter (a free drink is also included), while Cabana rentals are available for an additional fee. Summer rates at the Sofitel start at $173 per night in July.
6. The Revere Hotel Boston Common
Why It’s Awesome: This rooftop pool is actually indoors, with the cabanas and bar outside, offering the perfect combination of a relaxing indoor swim and a sexy rooftop bar cabana experience. The Rooftop@Revere is an open-air lounge located on the 7th floor — the bar area really gets going after sunset. The cocktail list is simply divine, and I’d recommend trying their signature Wicked White Sangria or the Berry Vojito, made from Bullyboy vodka, lime, simple syrup, mint and blueberries.
Details: The pool and bar are both available to non-hotel guests for a fee. For those looking to swim and enjoy the atmosphere, day passes are available and run between $20-$30 per person depending on the season. Cabana rentals are also available for an additional fee. Rates at the Revere Hotel Boston Common start at $258 per night in July.
7. Grand Hotel Central Barcelona
Why It’s Awesome: Barcelona is an incredible city to see from above, thanks to the sparkling Mediterranean seafront and iconic buildings like La Sagrada Família. Grand Hotel Central Barcelona offers fantastic views from its rooftop pool — the combination of gorgeous scenery, funky house beats and tasty tapas makes the whole experience perfect.
Details: While the pool is only open to guests during the day, those who aren’t staying here can still make reservations for dinner at the SkyBar between 9:00-11:00pm. Dinners here are fixe prix with your choice of starter, main course and dessert plus water and bread for 35 euros (~$39) per person. Room rates start at $258 per night in July if you’re looking to spend the night.
8. The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Why It’s Awesome: While all Ace Hotels are inherently cool thanks to their stylish designs and overall hipster vibes, this rooftop pool scene is particularly fabulous thanks to the property’s solid team of LA mixologists and the funky crowd it attracts. The city views are pretty amazing from here, and thanks to the practically all-year-round sunshine, you don’t even have to wait until summer to enjoy this pool. Plus, the building was once an old theater and its design was inspired by the spires of European cathedrals, so if the idea of sipping a cocktail while marveling at Gothic arches appeals to you, this is your spot.
Details: You don’t necessarily have to be a hotel guest to enter the pool — just plan to purchase a drink or two. There are many evening and afternoon events and parties at the pool that non-hotel guests can also partake in. Rates start at $299 per night in July in case you’re interested in an LA getaway.
9. Downtown Mexico (Mexico City)
Why It’s Awesome: This is one of the most affordable hotels you can stay in with a rooftop pool — and a rooftop jacuzzi — south of the border. Even though it’s not super high up (the hotel only has two floors), you’ll still score some great views of Mexico City’s colonial architecture. Anyone who’s been to Mexico City knows that it’s quite an attack on the senses, with intense heat and humidity, crazy crowds and lots of smells wafting around. This boutique hotel’s pool is a true escape if you’re craving tranquility after a long day of sightseeing.
Details: Rates at the Downtown Mexico start at just $133 per night, making this the most affordable property on our list.
10. The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown (Texas)
Why It’s Awesome: This heated outdoor pool is open all year long thanks to Austin’s mild climate. The geometric, boxy shape of this pool makes it especially eye-catching, not to mention all the impressive views of the city below. Summer Sundays through Labor Day mean pool parties for hotel guests, featuring live music and specialty summer cocktails.
Details: Room rates start as low as $179 per night in July, so start packing.
11. W Amsterdam
Why It’s Awesome: Because it feels like you’re almost on top of the insane Dutch architecture that surrounds the pool. Amsterdam isn’t a spot known for its pools, perhaps due to the area’s cooler climate, but when a hot day hits, this is the place to be. If it’s too chilly to swim, you can at least enjoy signature cocktails and fabulous views on the roof.
Details: Rates at this SPG Category 6 hotel start at 288 euros (~$320) or 20,000 Starpoints per night in July.
12. Marina Bay Sands (Singapore)
Why It’s Awesome: Currently the largest rooftop pool in the world — perched on the 57th floor — this pool is roughly three times the length of an Olympic sized-pool at 150 meters long and holds 376,000 gallons of water. This impressive infinity pool drops right to the edge, so if you’re scared of heights, stick to the lounge chair section.
Details: Unfortunately, you do have to be a hotel guest to access this pool, so be prepared to spend a minimum of $363 per night for a stay in July — non-hotel guests can still check out the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck on the 57th floor for about $17 per person.
Will you be visiting any of these amazing rooftop pools this summer?
Featured image courtesy of The James, New York.
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