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The Top 10 New Rooftop Hotel Bars in New York City

May 18, 2010 at 1:55 PM | by | ()

The view from Press, at Ink48

One of the true joys of a New York summer is drinking outside. Actually, it may be the only joy of summer in the city, since it's so stinking hot and you feel like a loser if you don't score an invite to someone's beach house, country house, or Brooklyn backyard. But if you find yourself stuck in town this summer, at least you'll have plenty of options for outdoor drinking, courtesy of all the new hotels with rooftop bars and terraces.

Yes, we know it was just last week that we speculated that the rooftop bar was over, supplanted by hotel courtyards. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the fact that there are a smorgasbord of new hotel terrace bars to enjoy this year. After all, we don't want to feel like losers when we don't get that beach house/country house/Brooklyn backyard invite. With our handy list of The Top 10 New Rooftop Hotel Bars in New York, we'll always have a place to go for an overpriced cocktail and the whiff of a cool breeze...

· Henry's at The Roger Smith Hotel: Named after the resident Boston Terrier, via a contest by the hotel, this terrace on the 16th floor opens Memorial Day weekend, and will operate 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday with a full bar and food. Best For: Techy travelers who dig the Roger Smith's social-media-savvy vibe.

Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel.

· Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel: This one should be open any day now, and we're hoping it will be a nice accompaniment to the roster of more established Midtown rooftop bars (Mad46, Salon de Ning at the Peninsula, et. al.) Proximity makes bar hopping so much easier, after all. Best For: After-work drinks or foodies—chef Gwenaël Le Pape has worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Anthony Bourdain so we're eager to dive into the bar menu.

· Sky Room at the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites Times Square: Opening in June, it will have two levels, and 360-degree views of the city and the Hudson River. Fiber optic lighting inside will also evoke the neon of Times Square, and the South Terrace area on the second level will have illuminated furniture. Best For: A pre or post-Port Authority departure/arrival drink, since it's just across 40th street from the bus terminal. Also a good place to take visiting family members who are impressed by, um, illuminated furniture.

· Bar D'eau at Trump Soho: Set to open this summer on the seventh floor. It flows out onto the pool deck and bocce court. Best For: Modelizers and other kinds of gents who want to scope out rich chicks in bikinis or girls playing bocce.

· Press at Ink48: The massive space here may just be worth the trek over to Eleventh Avenue. Even though we've found Ink48 somewhat hit-and-miss, we think this bar could help the hotel find its groove. It's open daily from 5:30 p.m.–2 a.m., and a "casual elegant dress code" is enforced. Best For: Anyone finding themselves on the far west side, or people wanting a pre-nightclub drink, since the Chelsea clubs are a quick cab ride down the West Side Highway from here.

Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo Chelsea

· Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo Chelsea: We're fans of the Indigo brand, and are betting this new space, which opened last week, could be a more affordable and low-key alternative to the more scene-tastic rooftop bars in the city. Best For: A post-Macy's cocktail, or for when you can't get inside the cooler-than-thou bars and restaurants at the nearby Ace Hotel.

· Top of The Strand at The Strand Hotel: It's in a smallish hotel on an unassuming street, but this can often mean fewer crowds and no obnoxious door policy. The retractable roof means it will stay open later in the season than other rooftop bars, and the Empire State Building views are ah-mazing. Best For: Those views, and impressing tourists with your insider knowledge of bars in surprising places.

The view from Rare View at Fashion 26.

· Rare View Rooftop at Fashion 26: Opening this summer, it also has Empire State Building views, and gives you good reason to visit a Wyndham Hotel in a rather odd part of town (the garment district, a stone's throw from No Man's Land, NoMad, uh, NoChe?). Best For: FIT students, fans of the juicy burgers at Rare Bar & Grill. (The restaurant in the hotel downstairs is also doing the bar menu here.)

· Living Room Bar & Terrace at the W New York Downtown: Now we know it won't have icky views of a deconstruction site, we're much more eager to check out this bar once the hotel opens this summer. (That Deutsche Bank building next door has now been torn down.) But it looks like we'll have to wait until at least August 1st. Best For: Bankers and the people who love them. With this location, it's bound to be the next big Wall Streeter hangout.

The Surrey

· The private rooftop garden at The Surrey: Opening on May 22nd, this one is for guests only but that should keep it free of the Upper East Side's frat-boy contingent (and, unless they return for another deportment lesson, the Jersey Shore girls). We're fans of the hotel's elegant design, and look forward to seeing how it extends to this space inspired by English gardens. (Think Ivy, Perennials, and Lantana.) Open daily from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. Best For: People with deep enough pockets to stay at the hotel, real life Gossip Girls.

[Photos: Courtesy of the hotels; HotelChatter ]

Archived Comments:

Busy Summer Ahead...

This is great and thank you for including the roger smith hotel in this stellar line-up of rooftop bars.
I can't wait to visit them all!


Beekman Tower Hotel

I must tell you that although nothing about it makes a design statement, the views for their Top of the Tower restaurant may better than those on your list.  Less expensive, good service, spectacular unobstructive views from any angle.

Indeed the best Rooftop Hotel

Indeed the best Rooftop Hotel list so far. The view at Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo Chelsea is superb and also the ambiance. Hotels in Thailand and Hotels in Kota Kinabalu

Strand Hotel

I think The Strand Hotel: best hotel in New York. I wonder if they bought the software for its computer network, or download free software and shareware from GPL site

Top 10 Rooftop Bars

Stories like this are always interesting. I thought I knew all the best places to go but there are at least 5 hotels on this list that I have never been to. I remember the excellent bread machines at one of them which included a Zojirushi BB-CEC20 home bakery as well.

I would put Ink48 at the top of my list every time.

The Strand

I personally like The Strand. It has breathtaking views of the city. I remember having bread made from a <a href="http://www.breadmakerbargains.com/">bread machine</a> at one of them also and a nice glass of wine.....not sure if it was the strand through. Last time I checked drinks are served everyday starting at 5:00 p.m.

The Surrey

Woww! NYC has plenty of rooftops to offer!
Is the Surrey's really open for hotel's guests only? I wish I would have a drink there!
Check this article about NYC's rooftops: <a href="http://www.frenchcultureguide.com/05/aint-no-mountain-high-enough/">http://www.frenchcultureguide.com/05/aint-no-mountain-high-enough/</a>