Outdoor Saunas & Pools Perfect for a NYC Spa Day this Winter

From hot tubs with sweeping city views to outdoor steam rooms and saunas.

Photo courtesy of QC NY Spa

When temperatures plunge and blistering winds whip through city blocks, New Yorkers don’t hunker down. We’re resilient, and from dining al fresco to carving up the ice at area skating rinks, we’ve found ways to get outside, no matter how far the temperature falls.

So it comes as no surprise that many hotels and spas have taken their saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, and other pampering facilities outdoors this winter so we can fully embrace the season. From saunas perched on rooftops with epic views while schvitzing to hot tubs tucked away in secluded backyards, here’s how you can take in the crispy winter air and enjoy some rest and relaxation outside this winter.

Photo courtesy of QC NY Spa


Governors Island

Typically thought of as a summertime destination for bicycling and lounging on hammocks, Governors Island quiets down a bit in the colder months. But at QC Spa, things are really heating up. The shiny new spa opened in 2022 and houses 20 different wellness experiences including foot baths, infrared beds, and saunas. In addition to all the indoor offerings, two outdoor pools capitalize on the location with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. In the winter, steamy air ripples off the surface, while underwater, music plays from submerged speakers and hydroseats massage your body. Reserve a day pass starting at $98 to enjoy all the offerings (or take advantage of their birthday promotion, which allows free entrance for the seven days after your birthday, as long as you visit with a paying guest).



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, and aromatherapy steam rooms that can be enjoyed in total secluded bliss. Beyond luxuriating in all the space has to offer, guests can book treatments like massages, acupuncture, and scrubs that are performed in open air under the pergola (weather permitting) 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 starting at $45, making it one of the most affordable outdoor spa experiences in the city.

This ultra-luxe gym chain is known for its amenities. But the Hudson Yards location has one of the best benefits around: outdoor individual saunas with a prime view of the city. The gym’s outdoor space, which sits under the glow of The Vessel, features a 10,000-square-foot pool and 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.

Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
Photo By David Mitchell

Gansevoort Hotel

Meatpacking District

The Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop is always bustling come summertime, but some New Yorkers may not know that the pool is actually open all year for staycationers and tourists alike. In the winter, they crank 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.

If you haven’t visited Rockaway Beach since those sweltering summer days, now is the perfect time to return. The Rockaway Hotel + Spa, located just one block from the beach, revamped its popular pool area for the winter with three individual cedar barrel saunas, a heated-up pool, and an apres ski-inspired lounge area with teak furniture, sherpa blankets, and food and drink specials. If you book a room at the hotel for a staycation, access to the sauna and Winter Pool House is included. But day passes are available for just $30, and each booking also gets you 10% off at the hotel’s restaurants Margie’s and The Rooftop for refreshments before or after your day of self care.

SoJo Spa Club
Photo courtesy of SoJo Spa Club

SoJo Spa Club


Although it’s located outside of the five boroughs, this epic outdoor spa situated just across the river deserves an honorable mention. SoJo Spa Club is a Korean bathhouse that spans four floors and is more like a relaxation amusement park than a standard spa. In addition to the standard scrubs, massages, and saunas you’d find available at a bathhouse, the spa offers eight different outdoor baths and spa experiences. An infinity pool with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline on the rooftop is the spa’s crown jewel, but the space also has options with added benefits 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. A day pass starting at $85 during the week and $100 on weekends grants you access to all the outdoor options, plus the indoor baths, saunas, and other amenities.

The William Vale Hotel
Photo courtesy of The William Vale

The William Vale


The William Vale’s rooftop boasts soaring views of the city all year round, but the outdoor spaces have been transformed into a proper winter wonderland this year complete with a skating rink, individual heated 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. One-hour sauna sessions are $80 per person, and 90-minute sauna and hot tub sessions are $120 per person.

Liz Provencher is an editor at Thrillist.You can follow her on Twitter or see what she eats on Instagram.