If you haven’t been in a rooftop pool since that time your Uncle Gene threw a plastic inflatable tub on the roof then sprayed you with a hose, then this is the guide you’re looking for. Not only do these pools top some of the most luxurious hotels in the country, but they fuse that basic human urge to sit in water and look down at the world.
1. The Standard Hotel - LA
The Standard itself is about as classy, chic, hip, or whatever adjective the most relevant people are using these days is – but get to the pool that overlooks the entire city, and you’ll be washed over with that terribly cheesy Entourage feeling of “Yeah, I’m going to own this town some day.” It might be a cheesy feeling, but it’s a good feeling, and you deserve good feelings (possibly). So go to The Standard Hotel Downtown LA, grab a high ball from the bar, soak in the pool, attempt to blend in with all the beautiful people, and feel good about yourself for once in your life.
2. Hotel Gansevoort - NYC
The Gansevoort is an “urban resort” located in the increasingly swanky Meat Packing district of New York City. The rooftop pool compliments the rooftop lounge, the Plunge Bar, and all the beautiful people ascending to urban canopies to catch some sun. While offering an unmatched view of the city, the Gansevoort also offers the added bonus of peeping tom on another NYC rooftop pool, the Soho House, which some of us are man enough to admit recognizing from a Sex and the City episode. But if you’re there strictly for pool reasons and not any meat packing reasons (or want to escape the meat-packing crowd), dip underwater for a tranquil lightshow and some underwater music.
3. Hotel Joule - Dallas
Hotel Joule in Dallas ranks among the greatest rooftop pools in the world. Unlike other rooftop pools that are restricted by things like “infrastructure” and “walls,” this pool dangles out over the edge of the building. Feel free to play the ol’ “see how many times you can swim back and forth underwater” game, but don’t come crying to us when you gasp in 1.5 lungs’ worth of water because you looked down and thought you were plunging to your wet cement-y grave.
4. The Colonnade - Boston
Located in the tropical wonderland that is Boston, The Colonnade Hotel offers an escape from the busy streets and Boston drivers down below. The Rooftop Pool, or “RTP” as the popular kids call it, has won a plethora of awards including “Best Outdoor Pool in Boston,” by Boston Magazine, the 6th “World’s Sexiest Rooftop Pool” by MSNBC.com, and “This RoofTahp Pool-Bah is Wicked Pissah!” by Terribly Transcribed Accents Quarterly. Boasting an excellent view of the underappreciated Boston cityscape, the RTP is the only rooftop pool in Boston, and a must-experience on your visit.
5. Perry South Beach Hotel - Miami
Sitting 18 stories above the beach, The Rooftop at the Perry South Beach Hotel brings you that much closer to the hot Miami sun, for all your sunbathing needs. Because why soak up the sun at sea level with the rest of the civilians, when you can be 18 stories above them, getting that much more sun than them? Even better, you get an unparalleled view of the Atlantic Ocean (as well as the rest of Miami). The 26,000 sq-ft veranda surrounds the 110-ft long pool, where you can sit back, relax, and let the unmanageable stress of the beach life below melt away.
6. The Westin New Orleans Canal Place – New Orleans
Neighboring the French Quarter of New Orleans, The Westin’s rooftop pool overlooks both the city and the Mighty Mississippi. On one hand, you could take a step back and appreciate the fact that you’re enjoying a lovely stay at a beautiful hotel, swimming, relaxing and soaking up the sun in a man-made (not nature-made) rooftop pool in New Orleans. Or you could just get drunk, eat a bunch of Cajun food, and talk about how Reggie Bush hasn’t lived up to the potential you thought he would. Either way, The Westin New Orleans Canal Place rooftop terrace is where authentic New Orleans culture meets luxurious rooftop
7. Hugh Hefner Sky Villa - Las Vegas
The Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, which some of us are man enough to admit knowing from episodes of Girls Next Door, requires that you either rent the villa for $40,000 a night (or infiltrate Hugh’s inner circle) to swim in its Playboy Bunny-stamped rooftop pool. A heated indoor pool sits a few feet and a wall away from the Playboy Pool, which projects over the edge of the Fantasy Tower toward the Las Vegas lights. The meeting of sleek lighting, cool crisp water, and the hot Nevada air will set your agony of newfound poverty/thrill of newfound wealth adrift.
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