Manhattan Plaza Health Club

Fantastic 25 yard Hell's Kitchen sunlit oasis in the city!

Hell’s Kitchen, sunlit oasis cures man flu!

Considering I went to bed last night with full-on man flu, quite surprised I managed a pool today! Took a walk through central park up to strawberry fields and across to Central Park Avenue to see the <a href=”“>Dakota building</a>, not just a morbid look at the spot where John Lennon was shot, but a fascination with a photograph I’d seen from just after its completion in the late 1880s with absolutely nothing around it on the Upper East Side. Sat admiring the architecture for not more than 5 minutes when flu… hit me! Suddenly felt so bad I had to call an Uber back the 8 short blocks down to Hilton Midtown!

Anyway, woke up this morning to find it a bright, sunny day, raced through my morning emails and headed out to walk the 11 blocks downtown, stopped en-route at Junior’s Diner for spinach & mushroom omelette, not bad but it no Tick-Tock.

I already knew this was going to be a pricey swim, but it is Manhattan! Sign my life away at the reception and pay my $35, at least towels are included!

Find a locker, set a PIN code and be ready to go… wait, what PIN did just enter? Balls! Seek help! Locker sorted, make the walk back through reception in my jammers to the pool (weird layout), climb several steps, open the door and … wow, bright sunlight flooding through the glass roof! Apparently, in summer, the glass atrium roof slides open, I can imagine this being quite a Hell’s Kitchen locals favourite spot on a hot Sunday afternoon!

The pool looks great, just the four lanes but it’s not busy. Dump my kit on a sunbed, pick a lane and jump in, only one other swimmer, so we split.

Talking of splitting things, this is my first swim since my bear-arse incident two weeks ago when my old jammers finally gave way mid-turn at my regular home pool and parted for the world to see. Unashamed, I carried on to complete my 1,500m set. The lady in reception had clearly been told as she had to hide her giggles as she shouted bye as I left!

So, a slow 1,200 yards, followed by three almost as slow 100s later, and the swim is done. The pool deck feels quite tropical, hot, humid and with lots of leafy plants swaying. I don’t think it would have quite the same wow on a cloudy day.

Jump out the pool, quick stretch, realise people in the office building adjacent and make a quick hop over to the spa pool. Sit and chill (sweat) for a few minutes then out and changed. Things to do.

I happened to note Manhattan Aquariums was nearby, so headed over to browse through their coral frags and reef tanks (see photo). Purchase a much cheaper than UK Neptune APEX DOS unit (hopefully it will fit in the suitcase!) and take a walk back up to Hilton Midtown.

Swim Stats

  • Length: 1500 yards total swim
  • 1:28 pace / 100y
  • Garmin Swim Watch



As with any private club, the place is immaculate and features every luxury from a spa and free training gear to shampoo in the showers! Would I recommend it? absolutely, and yes, it's worth the $35.

Pool Details

  • Length: 25 yards
  • 4-lane pool
  • Indoor

Manhattan Plaza Health Club
482 W. 43rd St., Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, New York, NY, USA

Previous Pool (Rec Center at St. Matthews) Next Pool (Athletic & Swim Club at Equitable Center)