Take an outdoor rooftop pavilion, add a sleek, see-and-be-seen bar, a sparkling pool, and stellar views for miles, and you’ve got the makings of one perfectly fabulous night.
Nothing quite says summer in the city like an alfresco lounge on high. And thanks to the wealth of urban hotels that have been opening cocktail aeries, travelers looking to add a little height to their vacation getaways have never had so many options for taking to the skies.
Cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami dominate the hotel rooftop bar trend. You can float atop the Manhattan skyline at the Peninsula’s Salon de Ning, soaking up its glamorous 1930s Shanghai vibe, complete with Chinese daybeds. In South Florida, preside over the ocean with a mojito in hand at the Viceroy Miami, which towers 50 floors above Brickell Avenue; visitors can see from Biscayne Bay all the way to the Everglades. Want to mingle with the stars under the stars?Finagle your way into the recently revamped Skybar at the Mondrian West Hollywood and you’ll have no shortage of gorgeous L.A. views.
But that’s just the start. You’ll find great new open-air watering holes from coast to coast. In Dallas, the poolside bar at the Joule, designed by Adam Tihany, is widely considered to be the city’s top summer spot. In Atlanta, buzzed-about barmeister Rande Gerber has opened Whiskey Blue atop the W Buckhead. Chicago is getting into the act with 29th-floor C-View at the Affinia Hotel, which serves food from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, while the Dana Hotel’s new Vertigo Sky features a 1,000-square-foot outdoor terrace.
And more high-altitude hot spots keep opening their doors. In New York City alone, two stylish newcomers, the Standard and the Jane, plan to have their own renditions in full swing by the summer solstice. A bit further uptown, the Marcel at Gramercy will soon open the Baboon Lounge, a 10th-floor space designed to be a whimsical wine bar with South Beach–style cabanas and 360-degree views of the Empire State Building.
It’s time to get up on the roof.
Additional reporting by Catesby Holmes, Sarah Kantrowitz, Stirling Kelso, Soren Larson, Jason Sheeler, and Brendan Spiegel.