Summers in NYC are for rooftop drinks, and lucky for you, we know just where to get them. Checkout our list below of the best hotel rooftops in The Big Apple—they all have good vibes, good drinks and the best views.
Floating 22 floors above New York City, Westlight is an Andrew Carmellini gem. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, this sparkling rooftop juxtaposes industrial brass accents and a stone-metal bar with soft grey textiles, yellow pops and retro black-and-white floors. When you’re hungry, order one of Carmellini’s eclectic small plates, like tequila-cured salmon or spiced chicken empanadas, and pair it with a rare cocktail from Anne Robinson. Separately or together, both promise a night above The Big Apple that will have you reminiscing for days.
Every rooftop bar has a view, but few have a view like The Roof at Public. A self-proclaimed “crazy bar” with good energy, this floating bar (so it seems) boasts rave-worthy 360-degree views of The Big Apple… and they’re just as good during sunset drinks as they are late at night. And speaking of late night, after dark, this trendy spot becomes one of the sexiest spots in NYC, attracting beautiful locals, A-list travelers and some of the hottest DJs from around the world alike. And when the sun comes up? Still good! During the day, The Roof’s large outdoor terrace becomes a canvas for weekend BBQs, lounge areas, work tables, or places to just take in—you guessed it—the view.
Head to the top of the McKittrick Hotel, and you’ll find Gallow Green: a mecca of live music, handcrafted cocktails, and if you’re there for weekend brunch, a sweet-and-savory buffet. Sitting in a fairytale garden overrun with lush trees, colorful flowers, wooden garden benches and strings of white lights, this indoor-outdoor restaurant-bar serves up fresher-than-fresh fare and cocktails—like the namesake “Gallow Green” sipper with butterfly pea flower-infused vodka, Lillet Blanc and fresh lemon. And when we say fresh, we mean it; some of the herbs and vegetables used in the dishes and drinks come straight from the rooftop’s aeroponic farm.
Sitting on the 22nd floor of this sleek Midtown hotel, Spyglass is an indoor-outdoor space with an interesting menu of beer, wine and distinct cocktails: like the “Archer Palmer” with black tea-infused gin, lemon and simple syrup. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the interior, which is all inspired by a bygone era of sophisticated elegance, and minglers get direct views of The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.
Picture this: an exclusive Waterford Crystal Lounge, living walls covered in greenery, and overlooking Times Square, three “sky pods” that make you feel like you’re floating. Those are just some of the things that make St. Cloud, which sits on top of the Knickerbocker hotel, one of NYC’s most talked about bars. If we’re going to compare it to anything (even though when you go, you’ll realize it’s in a category all its own), St. Cloud would be an eclectic speakeasy—one high above the city with a slight hint of biergarten. Adding to its allure, there’s also a modern cocktail menu, craft beers and small plates inspired by what’s in season.
Considering the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel occupies a former printing house, it only makes sense that it’s rooftop bar and lounge be named The Press Lounge. Sitting 16 floors above ground, this must-try spot is home to a sexy rooftop pool, beautiful people-watching, pod-like lounge chairs, rattan couches, and of course, envious views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. It fills up fast, so if you go, get there early—to accompany its sexy vibes, you can sip on seasonal cocktails, munch on small plates and be tended to with five-star service.
With its retractable roof and walls and heated floors, Upstairs is good all year round. It’s perched 30 stories above Midtown Manhattan, has direct views of the Chrysler Building, and offers 3000 square feet of thoughtfully-designed, indoor-outdoor living space. And when you go, dress to impress—this is one spot you go to to see and be seen.
New Yorkers are well-acquainted with this popular hangout! Sitting on the 23rd floor of the Peninsula New York, this rooftop hotel bar boasts an eclectic Asian-inspired menu of drinks and small plates, all served high above Fifth Avenue. With an intimate indoor bar and two outdoor terraces, this enchanted location plays host to some of NYC’s finest; something I’m sure accounts for its recent renovations, which give this haunt a more “Hamptons”-esque feel.