Soak Up the Views at These Stunning Outdoor Saunas and Pools in NYC

Self-care is the antidote to winter blues.

QC NY Spa on Governors Island
QC NY Spa on Governors Island | Photo courtesy of QC NY Spa
QC NY Spa on Governors Island | Photo courtesy of QC NY Spa

New Yorkers’ work-hard, play-hard mentality can lead down a slippery slope towards burnout. When fatigue starts to feel a bit too real, self-care is the obvious antidote. R & R in wintertime temps does not necessarily mean staying indoors. Many of the city’s hotels and spas have taken their saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, and other pampering facilities outdoors, so we can fully embrace the season—minus the teeth chattering. Take in the crisp winter air, while spoiling yourself with these stunning outdoor spas in NYC.

Individual saunas at Equinox Hudson Yards
Individual saunas at Equinox Hudson Yards | Photo courtesy of Equinox Hudson Yards

Outdoor Spas in Manhattan

Governors Island, Day passes from $98
After taking a potentially frigid ferry ride over to Governors Island, QC Spa greets you with the comfort and warmth of open arms. The island’s impressive spa boasts 20 different wellness experiences including saunas, infrared beds, reflection rooms, and foot baths. After a few indoor treatments, head outside to enjoy one of the two heated, outdoor pools offering panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, underwater music, and massaging hydroseats. Also, on Tuesdays and Fridays through March 2024, dancers will entertain spa-goers with acrobatic movement and lights alongside the heated pools and reflection rooms.

Hudson Yards, Membership prices vary
This ultra-swanky gym chain is known for its amenities, but the Hudson Yards location has one of the best benefits around—outdoor individual saunas with prime views of the city. The gym’s outdoor space, which sits under the glow of The Vessel, features a 10,000-square-foot heated pool and a sundeck that’s outfitted with a couple of individual saunas for the winter where you can crank up the heat and sweat away any signs of chill you see through the windows. The space is only open to members of the gym and guests at the adjacent Equinox Hotel, but you can always join the gym, tag along with a friend, or book a staycation to check it out.

Meatpacking District, Daybed reservations from $200
The Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop is always bustling come summertime, but the pool is actually open all year for staycationers and tourists alike. In the colder months, the hotel cranks the heat up to about 95 degrees, so the 45-foot pool is actually more like an oversized hot tub where guests can swim some laps or simply take a dip while reveling in the incredible cityscape views. There’s a locker room and showers for any pre- and post-swim needs, and the hotel also provides a pool service menu for ordering light bites and drinks.

An individual sauna at The Rockaway Hotel and Spa
An individual sauna at The Rockaway Hotel and Spa | Photo courtesy of The Rockaway Hotel and Spa

Outdoor Spas in Queens

Rockaway Beach, Day passes from $30
Year-round seaside relaxation is the specialty at The Rockaway Hotel and Spa. Located just one block from the beach, its Winter Pool House includes two individual cedar barrel saunas, a heated pool, and an apres-ski-inspired lounge area with teak furniture, sherpa blankets, and food and drink specials. Also, take advantage of new wellness technology like infrared mats, as well as red light face and neck masks. If you book a room at the hotel, access to the Winter Pool House is included, but day passes are also available.

Outdoor Spas in Brooklyn

Gowanus, Prices vary for treatment and spa packages
This urban oasis transformed a standard Brooklyn backyard into the spa experience of your dreams. CityWell offers luxurious hot tubs, individual cedar saunas, rainfall showers, aromatherapy steam rooms, and a recently added cold plunge that can be enjoyed in total secluded bliss. Visitors can also book treatments like massages, acupuncture, and scrubs performed in open air under the pergola or a heated sauna that was custom built to create the perfect conditions for an extremely restorative massage. The team also hosts community hours each week where you can book discounted hydrotherapy, sauna, and acupuncture sessions, making it one of the most affordable outdoor spa experiences in the city.

Williamsburg, Hour-long passes from $80
The William Vale’s rooftop boasts soaring views of the city all year round, but the outdoor spaces have been temporarily transformed into a true winter wonderland complete with individual seating areas for enjoying fondue and seasonal cocktails from Westlight and a full alpine spa setup. With four red cedar saunas and a hot tub for plunging, this open-air spa area is perfect for shirking the cold this winter. The space is open Wednesday through Sunday.

SoJo Spa Club in Edgewater, New Jersey
SoJo Spa Club in Edgewater, New Jersey | Photo courtesy of SoJo Spa Club

Outdoor Spas Beyond the Boroughs

Edgewater, Daily passes from $100
Although it’s located outside of the five boroughs, this impressive outdoor spa situated just across the river deserves recognition. Spanning four floors, this Korean bathhouse is more like a relaxation amusement park than a standard spa. In addition to the standard scrubs, massages, and saunas, SoJo Spa Club offers eight different outdoor baths and spa experiences. A rooftop infinity pool with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline is the spa’s crown jewel, but the space also has options like a silk bath with Japanese white ionization technology meant to improve skin elasticity and a carbon-rich bath meant to increase blood oxygen levels and improve circulation.

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Izzy Baskette is the New York City Staff Writer for Thrillist. Talk to her at or find her on Instagram.
Liz Provencher is an editor at Thrillist based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter or see what she eats on Instagram.