Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pool Party, Budget Edition

The many spoils of summer leave a Bitch to wonder- what does it take to stay cool in this city? If you’re not blessed enough to have a wading pool in your backyard or an oversized tub on your roof for splashin’, it’s time to get real. And by real, we mean wet.

There is truly an art to crashing a hotel pool. Not altogether unlike the old suburban days of hopping fences to skinny-dip in the neighbor’s in-ground pools, hotel crashing requires just a hint more sophistication and a whole lot more discretion.

  • Step One: Look the part. Don’t don your loudest printed cover-up (or worse… oversized t from your high school sports team) and Old Navy flip-flops and sashay through the lobby, looking for the pool. Let your surroundings dictate your ensemble. Remember you’re trying to look like you below here.
  • Step Two: Be prepared. Since you are not a guest of the hotel, you will have nowhere to go back and change. It is important to dry off completely before hitting the concrete after your swim, and wet boob marks aren’t flattering on anybody.
  • Step Three: When asked, “Are you a guest at this hotel?” your answer should always be YES. No hesitation, no nervous giggling.
  • Step Four: Timing is everything. Try to choose a time when the lobby will be particularly busy and nobody will see you come in. This will increase your likelihood of successfully getting into an elevator, at which point you can really just ask where the damn pool is.
  • Step Five: Don’t be shady. Pool attendants and hotel employees are just waiting for someone to crash. If you’re your usual bubbly, chatty self, you should have little to no problem getting into the pool area. If key access is required and you are unable to tag along to a group entering with their keys, figure out a way to loiter inconspicuously until somebody comes to your rescue.

Best pools to crash:
  • Le Parker Meridian (118 W 57th St)-pool sign-in required, rooms are numbered with four digits so don’t blow it!), pool on the rooftop deck
  • Sheraton Manhattan Hotel (790 Seventh Ave), indoor pool only
  • Skyline Hotel (725 Tenth Ave), pool is on the penthouse floor, indoors only
  • Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle), lap pool is on the 35th floor
  • Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel (1605 Broadway), pool is on the 15th floor but be aware of the $25 flat rate for non-guests. Make this one convincing.
  • Holiday Inn (various locations)- nobody really cares. Don’t make a scene, play it cool, and make friends with out-of-town visitors
  • Hotel QT, 125 W 45th St- pool is on the second floor

*Note: Do not even attempt the Hotel Gansevoort. NOT worth it.

Not quite daring enough to attempt a stolen swim? We’re totally judging you. Here are some places where you can find other crybabies, for a fee.
  • Asphalt Green Aqua Center (1750 York Ave and 91st St), $25 for adults
  • Waterside Swim and Health Club (35 Waterside Plaza and 25th St), $20
  • Asser Levy Recreation Center (East 23rd St and Asser Levey Dr), free but overrun with children
  • Chelsea Piers (West Side Highway and 22nd St), $50
  • Riverbank State Park (679 Riverside Dr and 145th St), $2

Got a better pool for us to crash? Let us know and we’ll give it a try! Comment below, send us an email at, or Tweet us @bbonabudget.

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