- Mandarin Oriental
80 Columbus Circle, 212-805-8800
Swimming in New York usually involves battling through lanes filled with goggle-eyed human sharks and enough chlorine to fade your fuchsia suit to beige. And the less said about “whirlpooling,” the better. But if that’s the gritty reality, then the Mandarin Oriental’s new pool is the escapist fantasy. An oasis of tranquillity straight out of Lost in Translation, this 75-foot, glass-encased jewel on the Mandarin’s 36th floor offers a spectacular view of the Hudson and plays soothing music through underwater speakers. This is not your everyday swim; it’s pure indulgence: Unless you’re a guest, you have to book a spa treatment (starting at $190 an hour) to use the pool. Then again, you might be the only one in it.
Best Swimming Pool
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).