For New York City apartment dwellers, having access to a swimming pool used to mean scheduling time at the community rec center or buying an expensive gym membership. But over the past decade, dozens of luxurious new apartment buildings have been constructed across Manhattan and Brooklyn featuring an amenity once impossible to find in the Big Apple – sparkling rooftop pools.
These resort-style oases in the sky provide convenience, stellar urban views, and a pleasurable ambiance right at home for those willing and able to pay premium rents. Although rooftop pools still qualify as a luxury in the hyper-competitive NYC rental market, they are growing in popularity as newer high-end complexes attempt to one-up each other with lavish amenities.
Why are rooftop pools an increasingly sought-after amenity among New York City apartment renters and buyers? There are several key benefits that make access to a residential rooftop pool highly appealing:
Having a swimming pool onsite gives residents a chance to take a quick dip without needing to leave home or wait in line at public pools. It’s great for fitness, leisure, and entertaining right at your doorstep. Pools are often open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Rooftop pools let swimmers soak in panoramic vistas of the iconic New York City skyline and surrounding neighborhoods from an elevated perspective, which is hard to come by at street level. It’s a relaxing way to admire both historic and modern architecture.
Lounging poolside on a hot summer day with skyscraper views generates vacation vibes rarely found in urban areas. Developers pay top designers to create upscale, resort-like settings. Many rooftop pools have adjoining lounge areas, bars, sun decks and landscaping.
Buildings with rooftop pools tend to offer other luxury facilities like fitness centers, screening rooms, golf simulators, rock climbing walls, and more. Having it all under one roof is a major draw.
Apartments with pool access often fetch higher rents and sale prices in NYC compared to similar non-pool units. For buyers, it can be a smart long-term investment.
Which big-name apartment towers currently boast the best rooftop pools in New York City? Here are some of the most popular picks spanning different boroughs and neighborhoods:
The crown jewel rooftop amenity at Skyline Tower is the heated outdoor infinity pool with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. The sleek pool deck also features cabanas, sun loungers, and a wet bar. Studios start around $2,500 per month.
These shiny copper twin towers are linked by the three-tiered Azure Pool, the highest elevated pool in NYC. The heated pool has a tropical vibe with palm trees, cabanas, and views of the Empire State Building. Rents start around $4,000.
The heated, trapezoid-shaped pool at The Eugene sits on the 8th floor sky terrace, offering excellent Midtown and Hudson River views. Nearby amenities include daybeds, private cabanas, outdoor TVs, and food & beverage service. Rents range from $4,200-$20,000.
The complex at Silver Towers features an Olympic-sized rooftop pool flanked by elegant fountains and overlooking the Hudson. There is also a kiddie pool, hot tub, tennis courts, and half-basketball court. Rents go for $3,000-$8,000.
The glamorous rooftop pool at Level BK is accompanied by a sundeck, outdoor kitchen, and bar offering top-notch views of the Manhattan skyline. Amenities include cabanas, daybeds, WiFi, food and cocktails. Units rent from around $3,000 per month.
This hip Williamsburg hotel features NYC's longest hotel pool, an 82-foot outdoor saltwater pool overlooking Manhattan. Nearby amenities include poolside food & drink service and a bocce court. Rooms average over $400 per night.
The heated rooftop infinity pool at The Edge serves up excellent views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Surrounding amenities include cabanas, an outdoor theater, bbq grills, fire pits, bocce court and yoga deck. Rents start around $3,200.
For those set on securing one of these coveted aquatic amenities, what’s the best way to go about your NYC apartment search? Here are helpful tips:
• Location – Consider proximity to your workplace, desired neighborhood, transit hubs, and other conveniences when zeroing in on pool-equipped buildings.
• Budget – Rooftop pool access commands a rental premium. Determine your budget andsquare footage needs before exploring options. Studios averaging $3k+ per month generally offer pools.
• Timing – Peak rental season is spring through summer. Start looking 2-3 months in advance of your target move-in date. Be ready to apply and sign quickly when you find units meeting your criteria.
• Resources – Check listing sites like Zillow, StreetEasy, RentHop, and The Real Deal for up-to-date apartment rental listings with rooftop pool keyword searches. Cross reference with apartment/developer websites.
• Priorities – Make a list of your must-have amenities, including rooftop pool features like sundeck space, lounge areas, views. Consider neighborhood, other building facilities, and unit interiors as well in your decision matrix.
• Agent – Hire a knowledgeable real estate agent to help narrow options and schedule viewings. They’ll advocate in competitive applications. Vet agents thoroughly.
With proper planning and persistence, you can dive into the rooftop pool apartment living scene in NYC this summer! It takes effort to snag one of these coveted spots, but the luxury perks are well worth it.
You can expect to pay 10-30% higher rent compared to similar non-pool units in the same neighborhood. Unique views generate premium value. Purchase prices also see a bump.
Most residential pools operate seasonally from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day or late September, weather permitting. A few indoor pools are open year-round. Hours are usually 8am-8pm.
Rules vary, but often include: no glass, Monitoring noise levels, accompanied guests only, no diving, no outside food or beverage, etc. Many buildings limit capacity and require signups or pool passes. Check with management.
Access is generally included in rent or HOA fees, but some buildings charge nominal weekly or seasonal pool passes for tenants or shareholders to cover upkeep. Day passes for guests may cost $10-$25+.
Most prohibit unauthorized events or large gatherings. Some allow residents to reserve space or schedule small private events for fees. Large parties are rare due to capacity, noise, and insurance concerns.
Rooftop pools have moved from fantasy to reality for New York luxury apartment living. For the convenience, views, atmosphere and bragging rights, residents are willing to pay premium prices. Although securing a unit can take effort, determination and good timing, being able to unwind poolside with urban skyline vistas in the background makes the hassle worthwhile for many NYC dwellers.
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