Hot New Rooftop Terraces, Lounges & Bars originally posted by Kristine Hansen Frommers guides
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: From Bangkok to Cannes, many of the world’s top hotels have recently transformed their rooftops into hip lounges. Celebrate summer’s end with a refreshing cocktail in hand (and culinary treats in the other) while getting a bird’s-eye view of cityscapes, mountains, rivers, or coastlines. Stick around to enjoy the sunset views in London, Miami, and more must-visit cities around the world.
Can’t squeeze in a trip before autumn arrives? Some of these rooftop bars stay open year-round. Unless otherwise indicated, these rooftop bars are open to nonguests without a cover charge.
Photo Caption: Le 360 at Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes
Photo by Courtesy Radisson Blu
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Skylounge at Mint Hotel Tower of London, England
Given that Mint Hotel Tower of London debuted last winter, this summer marked the first time the Skylounge was finally able to show off its outdoor terrace.
Cozy up in a blood-orange, cream, or copper leather chair and order traditional British pub fare — try Ploughman’s, a platter with ham, scotch egg, Duddleswell cheddar, onion chutney, hedgerow berry compote, and pickled onions — or a contemporary dessert (roasted coconut and meringue balls, anyone?)
Missed your chance to travel to London in the summer? Skylounge is open year-round, thanks to an indoor bar area. You may be distracted by the views of London’s skyline, including the iconic Tower Bridge.
What to Order: Chilean Dream (Bauza Chilean Pisco shaken with fresh redcurrants, Grand Marnier liqueur, and Peychaud bitters, with lemon juice, sugar, and egg white too)
More Info: www.minthotel.com
Photo Caption: Skylounge at Mint Hotel Tower of London, with incomparable views of Tower Bridge
Photo by Courtesy Mint Hotel Tower of London
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Three Sixty Rooftop Bar at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, Missouri
Could this be the new premiere seating area to watch St. Louis Cardinals’ home games? (Busch Stadium is across the street.)
Open since late July, this 275-seat rooftop bar (with a wine wall and flat-screen TVs) is predicted to be the new hot spot in St. Louis — and not just in summer. When it’s too cold to even hang out next to Three Sixty’s fire pits, portions of the 6,000-square-foot space remain open as indoor bar areas are protected from the harsh winter.
Snacks are better than typical sports-bar fare: think truffle popcorn, roasted BBQ oysters, and local artisanal cheeses.
What to Order: The Big Canoe (Citrus vodka, honeydew melon, housemade orgeat, lime and basil)
More Info: www.360-stl.com.com
Photo Caption: Gaze at the Arch from Three Sixty Rooftop Bar at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
Photo by Courtesy of Hilton
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Rooftop 360 at AVIA Hotel Long Beach, California
L.A.’s nightlife scene keeps getting hotter, extending even all the way out to the AVIA Long Beach. Since its March 2011 unveiling, the Rooftop 360 bar — complete with a swimming pool and views of the Queen Mary — is fast becoming the It spot to hang out in Long Beach.
In town to catch a cruise? On weekdays, it’s all about the afternoon cabana rentals. On weekends, the space transforms into a lounge with cocktails, food, and music. In addition to martinis and mojitos, the menu evokes California cool with favorites like a halibut fish taco or frozen chocolate-milk drinks. Every third Sunday of the month features live entertainment.
What to Order: Mango Bellini (Ketel One Vodka and Island Oasis Mango Puree topped with sparkling wine)
More Info: www.aviahotels.com; $10 for nonguests Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday
Photo Caption: Rooftop 360 at AVIA Hotel Long Beach, California
Photo by Courtesy AVIA Long Beach
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Le 360 at Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes, France
Cannes gets a new sort of glitz with Le 360 at Radisson Blu, wedged between the city’s yacht harbor and a beach. An express elevator takes guests (including those not staying at the hotel) right up to the seventh floor where a rooftop terrace awaits.
Although this rooftop bar has been open since January when the hotel was rebranded, it wasn’t until this summer that a panoramic view of the bay of Cannes looked this good. After a day of touring local vineyards or chilling on the beach, Le 360 is the perfect place for a nightcap.
What to Order: a glass of Champagne Rosé
More Info: www.radissonblu.com
Photo Caption: Take a seat and enjoy unobstructed views at Le 360 at Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes
Photo by Courtesy Radisson Blu
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Blue Sky at Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok, Thailand
This 565-room hotel houses many cool spots — eight restaurants and two bars to be precise. But the hippest place for a drink is Blue Sky, its rooftop lounge on the 24th floor that debuted in December 2010. In addition to specialty cocktails, wine, beer, and a full bar, you can order tapas that range from grain-fed beef to desserts like Black Forest cake.
Decorated with cherry-red oval tables and art installations with a bluish glow, this outdoor bar is the best-kept secret in Bangkok — for the moment. Fortunately, during rain or cooler temperatures, the inside portion of Blue Sky remains open.
What to Order: Blue Sky (Blue Curaçao, vodka, lime, and lychee)
More Info: www.centarahotelsresorts.com
Photo Caption: Blue Sky at Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok
Photo by Courtesy Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Highbar at Dream South Beach, Miami, Florida
Fresh off its July opening, Highbar — Dream South Beach’s brand-new rooftop bar — features 1970s-inspired décor, but with modern amenities (like a custom infinity-edge pool that glows with blue and purple lights at night) and food from the downstairs restaurant (Tudor House by celeb chef Geoffrey Zakarian).
Described as a contemporary take on the famed discotheque Studio 54 in New York City, the Lucite and glass tiles help promote a vintage vibe but the all-white structures (and two bed-size cabanas with flat-screen TVs) remind you that this is South Beach. In addition to drinks, food can be brought to you from Tudor House, ranging from upscale poolside snacks (poached tuna in a jar) to meatier options like organic buttermilk fried chicken or a Cuban-style pressed sandwich.
What to Order: Peggy’s Punch (Grey Goose Vodka, fresh watermelon, lime juice, and basil)
Photo Caption: Highbar at Dream South Beach, Miami
Photo by David Durbak
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Ibiza at Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, New Mexico
While this 107-room hotel opened near Albuquerque’s Old Town in 2009, the rooftop bar didn’t reveal itself until April 2010. Named after the nightlife-centric island in Spain, Ibiza boasts a view of Albuquerque’s skyline — and the Sandia Mountains.
On weekdays, appetizers served at Ibiza during happy hour include flatbreads topped with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients; paella with black mussels, chorizo, pork loin, clams, rock shrimp and bay scallops; and a Croque Star sandwich with Spanish sweet-potato fries.
What to Order: White Wine Sangria
More Info: www.hotelandaluz.com
Photo Caption: Join the party at Ibiza at Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque
Photo by Ramona D’Viola
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Level 3 at Four Seasons Hotel Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City’s latest high-altitude attraction — a third-story rooftop terrace with a pool — was revealed just before Memorial Day weekend. Outfitted with lounge chairs and beds with sun shields, Level 3 is typically reserved for hotel guests, except for Thursday nights when it’s a scene with 300 to 500 people.
A special menu from EDGE, the hotel’s steakhouse, includes lighter items such as spiked frozen “push-pops,” ceviche, grilled fish tacos, and key-lime tarts. During the day, complimentary flavored tea lollipops and smoothie shots are available poolside.
Because this rooftop bar is weather-dependent, the fun is not expected to last beyond Sept. 15 — so you better get to Denver soon.
What to Order: Clocktower Cooler (Patron Silver Tequila, lime juice, cucumber, agave nectar, Sprite, and mint), named after the views of Denver’s historic D&F Clocktower
More Info: www.fourseasons.com/denver; open to nonguests on Thursday nights only
Photo Caption: Level 3, a new hot spot for cocktails on the rooftop pool terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Denver
Photo by Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Denver
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Rooftop Lounge at Thompson Toronto, Canada
Since opening in June 2010, the lounge has had two personalities: a poolside club during the day (complete with cabanas and an infinity-edge pool) and a nightclub vibe after dark. No matter what time of day or night you swing by, enjoy panoramic views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline.
Even when autumn arrives, this lounge is worth a visit: An indoor bar area is decked out with lots of windows and sleek décor (think black-and-white-striped couches and a black granite bar). Above all, exclusivity is flaunted here; you must be a hotel guest or member to enter.
What to Order: Thompson Toddy (cinnamon, anise, and cloves infused in Belvedere vodka, plus Grand Marnier, Marmalade English Breakfast tea, and squeezed lemon)
Details: www.thompsonhotels.com; open to hotel guests and members only
Photo Caption: The Rooftop Lounge at Thompson Toronto
Photo by Courtesy of Thompson Hotels Group
Best Hotel Rooftop Bars: Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
Even as Lantern’s second summer draws to a close, the city’s pulse continues to throb up on the roof of The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, in the Marina Bay waterfront area. Sample tapas (like mini Wagyu beef burgers), and enjoy live Latin music and DJ-spun tunes.
Orchestrated by a well-known designer in Asia (Andre Fu), Lantern has a swimming pool, a mixologist at the ready, vintage-inspired furnishings, and tropical-inspired landscaping. But it’s the 360-degree view of the city that sets this bar apart from the rest.
What to Order: Red Lantern (Don Julio Blanco Tequila, watermelon, cucumber, and lemon)
More Info: www.fullertonbayhotel.com
Photo Caption: Lantern at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore
Photo by The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore