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Living Well

Who Needs the Hamptons? Dip and Sip at Manhattan’s Poshest Swimming Pools

By Lili Rosboch and Catherine Smith

This happens all the time, especially when it’s hot: You wake up and decide it’s a perfect day to lounge around a pool sipping something cold.

If you aren’t already at the Hamptons, you’ll need access to deck chairs, a pool and drinks. Here’s our list of options in Manhattan:

By far the most straightforward is the midtown Holiday Inn with an outdoor, rooftop pool, plastic lounge chairs and a long line of liquor bottles that shimmer against a wall the color of sea foam. Frozen-drink machines dispense strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas for $8. Burgers cost $5; hotdogs are $3.

Kids are allowed, though the sign says the lifeguard can eject them at will every hour on the hour for an adult swim.

The pool is open from 10 to 6 daily; access costs $70 and includes a towel. But consider the $25 day pass for the over 21 set. It’s available Monday through Friday after 3 p.m. A little research revealed that deck chairs are first-come, first-served and fill up quickly on the weekend. Cash only.

Holiday Inn Midtown is at 440 W. 57th St. Information: +1- 212-581-8100;

James Hotel

The glass elevator at The James is a good indication of the swank scene that awaits on the rooftop above the 17th floor. The hotel’s modern indoor bar and small outdoor pool with deck, both under a vague door policy, are surrounded by views of Midtown, Wall Street and the Hudson River.

Grab an orange towel and an open lounge chair. Stop inside at the Jimmy for a St. George Absinthe Drip ($22). Don’t despair of the cost; the pool is free from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. Swimming is off-limits at all other times unless you’re a hotel guest.

The James is at 27 Grand St. Information: +1-212-465-2000;

The Peninsula

To get access to the brand-new, wrap-around sun deck opening on July 1 and the glass-enclosed pool at the Peninsula hotel, book a “Spa-cation” Monday through Thursday for $285. It includes 75 minutes of treatments like holistic massage or intensive facial, a bento-box lunch, yoga, sunscreen and more.

While there’s no swim-up bar, there’s a full-time attendant, and cocktails like a $22 frozen margarita are just a room-service bell away.

To get access on the weekend, book two hours of spa services for approximately $400 or ask for a summer fitness membership for $500 monthly with a three month minimum. The luxurious facilities are located on the top three floors of the 22-story hotel with views over Central Park.

The Peninsula is at 700 Fifth Ave. at 55th St. Information: +1-212-956-2888;

Gansevoort Meatpacking

The Gansevoort Meatpacking also offers full access to its rooftop pool Monday through Thursday for the cost of a $299 Renewal Day Package. It includes spa services like massage, facial and manicure/pedicure, and a poolside drink from the adjacent Plunge bar. Cocktails include raspberry caipirinhas and the French Kiss, which combines vodka, Chambord and Champagne.

If you’re claustrophobic, this might not be your place. The sundeck is only a narrow strip surrounding the pool, separated from the bar by a hazy glass wall.

Still, the view is great, and when you have sun, swimming and cocktails in the heart of Manhattan there’s not much to complain about.

Gansevoort Meatpacking is at 18 Ninth Ave. at 13th Street. Information: +1-212-206-6700. Gansevoort Park Avenue also has an outdoor rooftop pool that can be accessed with a similar package for the same price. It’s located at 420 Park Avenue South. Information: +1-212-317-2900;

Le Parker Meridien

Soon, maybe even this weekend, Le Parker Meridien on 56th Street will reopen its outdoor deck near the already open indoor pool, with lounge-side cocktail deliveries available.

A day pass to the facility is $100, on Saturdays and Sundays too, so keep checking their website for details on deck- opening day. Proximity to the Burger Joint is a plus.

Le Parker Meridien is at 119 W. 56th St. Information: +1- 212-245-5000;

Soho House

Of course, you could also book a room in a hotel with a pool like Trump Soho, Thompson LES or The Empire.

Soho House in the Meatpacking district is a members-only club with a small number of hotel rooms offered at $350 and up a night.

The outdoor, rooftop pool has a beach feel. Extra-wide lounge chairs are pushed together on one side to create the largest communal couch we’ve ever seen. The dining area is shaded by umbrellas, and two bars complete the scene. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere where kind servers in striped dresses cater to your needs.

Soho House New York is at 29-35 Ninth Ave. Information: +1- 212-627-9800;

City Pools

There are also 50 free outdoor city pools opening today. We like the Lasker Pool in Central Park which is open from 11 to 7 daily with an hour off from 3 to 4 in the afternoon. Officially, imbibing isn’t allowed in public, though stealth nipping might go unnoticed.

Lasker Pool is at West 110th St. at Lenox Avenue. Information: +1-212-534-7639; rink/.

(Lili Rosboch and Catherine Smith write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are their own.)

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