Easy Breezy: 10 NYC Hotels with Incredible Outdoor Spaces

Michael Martin

New York City's green spaces are rightfully among the more popular attractions for visitors—no trip to NYC is complete without a ramble through Central Park's shady paths or a stroll along the wildflower-rimmed walkway of the High Line. Luckily, you don't have to bid farewell to the City's outdoor energy once you've returned to your hotel. More and more hotels offer outdoor spaces of some kind, whether they are relaxing gardens with stunning views, popular pools, lawns built for lolling around or rooftops set up for film screenings. You can even find a sceney beach club, though those who prefer seclusion might instead prefer the private terraces that come with some rooms in town. Read on for where to enjoy your stay en plein air.

The view from the Barrymore Suite Terrace. Courtesy, The Chatwal

The Chatwal, A Luxury Collection Hotel
130 W. 44th St., Midtown, Manhattan, 212-764-6200

A luxury hotel situated in a landmark Stanford White–designed building, The Chatwal boasts rooms and suites restored and renewed in art deco style by architect Thierry Despontin. Several of them have outdoor patios—up to and including the Producer Suite, which has an impressive 800-square-foot roof deck. Ideal for travelers seeking proximity to Broadway theaters and the energy of Times Square, the hotel is home to the Lambs Club, a storied Jazz Age theater club that has been reconceived as a first-rate American restaurant by Next Iron Chef winner and Le Cirque veteran Geoffrey Zakarian.

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The airy sculpture garden at the Crosby Street Hotel. Photo: Martyn Thompson

Crosby Street Hotel
79 Crosby St., SoHo, Manhattan, 212-226-6400

A respite from the bustle of SoHo, this luxury boutique hotel is tucked away on a quiet cobblestone street and has appropriately relaxing outdoor spaces. In the sculpture garden, guests can chill out over coffee and cocktails; at the Crosby Bar & Terrace, breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks are served, along with the hotel's authentic British afternoon tea service. Each of the 86 rooms is individually designed and has loft-style, floor-to-ceiling windows; the top floors offer exceptional Manhattan views; and suites are available with outdoor terraces. Guests can access the indoor gym, screening room and drawing room.

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Dine poolside at the Dream Downtown’s “Dream Beach.” Photo: Edward Menashy

Dream Downtown
355 W. 16th St., Chelsea, Manhattan, 212-229-2559

You'd be forgiven for thinking you've landed in Miami at this boutique hotel, which has a glass-bottom outdoor pool with an adjoining bar and sand-covered patio. The “Dream Beach” is the scene for various summery activities and is now open to the public on weekdays from 11am to 5pm (a day pass is $55). The hotel itself—whose porthole-clad exterior denotes its history as an annex for the National Maritime Union headquarters—has a range of rooms and suites, from starter size to a duplex penthouse. The Dream's restaurant, Bodega Negra, serves upscale Mexican dishes, while the sleek penthouse lounge is a destination for cocktails, DJ sets and a landscaped terrace with sweeping views of the Hudson River and Empire State Building.

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Stunning Manhattan views from the patio. Courtesy, Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Brooklyn

Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Brooklyn
181 Third Ave., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, 718-522-4000

This new contemporary hotel features a rooftop patio that has rare uninterrupted views of the Manhattan skyline. The affordable hotel has 133 rooms and suites, space for meetings and a fitness room; a complimentary buffet breakfast is provided. The Fairfield Inn & Suites is situated close to Prospect Park and Smith Street's acclaimed shopping and dining, and nearby subway lines provide convenient rides to Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. The hotel offers a number of package deals, such as the Brooklyn Zoo package, which includes admission; and the Brooklyn Tour package, which includes tickets to a neighborhood jaunt from Made in Brooklyn Tours.

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An authentic Florentine gazebo graces the grounds. Courtesy, Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island

Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island
1100 South Ave., Bloomfield, Staten Island, 718-477-2400

It's not every New York City hotel that can say it's located on 415 acres of wildlife preserve. The Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island can, and its expansive lawns are dotted with sculptures, fountains and a Japanese pagoda. The hotel has 198 well-appointed business-class rooms and suites, and a newly added 10-story tower offers panoramic views. Lorenzo's Restaurant, Bar and Cabaret serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Broadway cabaret artists perform on select Fridays. After dark, the Lobby Lounge hosts DJs and dancing (Fridays) as does the Above Rooftop Lounge (summer Saturdays), though the latter does function as a bar the rest of the week. Guests can also take advantage of an indoor pool and gym, and a free shuttle service to and from Newark Airport and the Staten Island Ferry makes the stay even sweeter.

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Outdoor fun on the lawn. Courtesy, The Out NYC

The Out NYC
510 W. 42nd St., Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, 212-947-2999

Positioning itself as an urban resort, this Hell's Kitchen hotel possesses a number of outdoor spaces, including a 2,000-square-foot lawn that hosts outdoor yoga and movies; a bamboo garden where guests can sunbathe and take advantage of WiFi; and a sun deck adjacent to a two-story waterfall and glass-covered atrium with two hot tubs. Rooms, whether budget bunks or one-bedroom suites, are designed with a crisp black-and-white motif. An on-premises wellness center includes a fitness center, hammam, steam room and Jacuzzis. The restaurant, KTCHN, offers American fare with the occasional Mediterranean twist, and after-dinner entertainment is plentiful at XL, a 14,000-square-foot bar-cabaret-club. Broadway theaters and Times Square are within close walking distance.

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Paper Factory’s expansive outdoor lawn and patio. Photo: Engin Beri

Paper Factory
37-06 36th St., Long Island City, Queens, 718-392-7200

This funky Long Island City hotel, a renovated former paper factory, has a 2,200-square-foot outdoor lawn space and patio that hosts sun-seeking guests and is available for events. Rooms are appointed with reclaimed-wood furniture, vibrant patterns and loft-size windows, and the dramatically lit restaurant Mundo specializes in Mediterranean–South American fusion and hosts a variety of live entertainment, including Latin music nights, flamenco performances and a Sunday picnic. All in all, it's the perfect entry point to the artsy enclave of Long Island City: the hotel is within walking distance of the Kaufman Arts District, which includes the historic 90-year-old Kaufman Astoria Studios (where silent movies were once filmed and current TV shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Sesame Street are shot) and the Museum of the Moving Image, whose exhibitions are dedicated to film and TV.

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Midtown grandeur surrounds the Sun Terrace. Courtesy, The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel
700 Fifth Ave., Midtown, Manhattan, 212-956-2888

The luxury hotel's Sun Terrace offers an excellent view of the Midtown skyline from the 21st floor. Befitting the swank environs, attendants pass by regularly to offer lounging guests sunblock and chilled hand towels. The hotel's famed spa abuts the terrace; you'll find luxe treatments, a fitness center and teak-lined pool. Rooms and suites range in size from the 370-square-foot superior to the six-room, 3,300-square-foot Peninsula Suite, which comes with airport service in the hotel's BMW. The restaurant Clement serves contemporary American dishes, while the rooftop bar Salon de Ning provides a beautiful perspective on Fifth Avenue to a stylish after-dark crowd. Many popular attractions are nearby, including Central Park, the Fifth Avenue shopping district, Rockefeller Center and Broadway theaters.

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The private roof garden overlooking Central Park. Courtesy, The Surrey

The Surrey
20 E. 76th St., Upper East Side, Manhattan, 212-288-3700

An elegant slice of classic New York City, this luxury hotel has a lobby that doubles as an art gallery, showing pieces from A-list artists such as Chuck Close, Jenny Holzer and Claes Oldenburg. The 189 rooms and suites, decorated by Lauren Rottet, are meant to evoke townhouses; the hotel’s private roof garden, lined in fragrant teak and ivy (the hotel’s “signature scent”), offers a panoramic view of the Central Park, less than a block away. The on-site restaurant, Café Boulud, is the Michelin-starred, French-inflected domain of Daniel Boulud, and Bar Pleiades is a luxe destination for cocktail enthusiasts that evokes art deco style and glamour from the 1930s.

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Summertime flicks on the terrace at the Yotel New York at Times Square West. Photo: Peter Novosel

Yotel New York at Times Square West
570 Tenth Ave., Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, 646-449-7700

This slick, hip Hell's Kitchen hotel combines a jet-age aesthetic with Japanese efficiency; its 669 small but well-appointed rooms are described as “cabins.” Yotel's large fourth-floor outdoor terrace, overlooking the border of Times Square, is ideal for sunning by day and relaxed cocktailing by night. This summer, the terrace is the site of a film series curated by the popular London-based Rooftop Film Club and open to the public; classics (Blade Runner, Clueless and the like) are shown four times a week. The East & West restaurant connotes an airline lounge and serves Asian-American fusion. The hotel is a short distance to Broadway theaters, Penn Station and the northern terminus of the High Line.

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