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We loathe saying goodbye to summer before it's time, but back-to-school commercials always perform hateful Jedi mind-tricks on us. We begin to believe there's only a short time left between swimsuit and turtle neck season come end of August.
That's why we're presenting this "Last Chance Rooftop Party" guide designed to get you out there before the scene packs up and heads to warmer pastures. Those of you in warmer climates have little to worry about, but for those whose barometers are already dropping, this one's for you!
Le Bain at The Standard NYC
This bi-level roof bar and club in the Meatpacking District is as trendy as it gets. In fact, it might be a tad intimidating to those unfamiliar with The Standard's unofficial "live and let live policy". In other words--the pool area? There may be some toplessness about. The best thing to do is don your shades and focus on the choice music, indulging in wicked drinks, and chowing down on freshly made crepes--savory or sweet. And turn your attention to the glittery Hudson River if your eyes are being assaulted by the bumping and grinding of hips dancing. Join party-girl Susanne Bartsch's outlandish Tuesday soirees, groove to house music all night long (4 am on Friday's) and more. BTW, there's no cover charge to partake in all this fabulousness, but there may be a line. Hit up Facebook for guest list entry.
The SLS Hotel at South Beach
Starting at 12pm on Sunday's, the hotel's trendy Hyde Beach pool area turns into the jumping J'Adore party. Live DJs pump up the jam and bikini-and-Speedo clad party people dance the day away. In between shaking their groove thangs, serious cocktails and loads of bubbly is poured and folks dine off a special snack or Brunch menu. How does churrasco con chimichurri (grilled skirt steak with herb salad )or market ceviche prepared Peruvian style with cancha corn sound? Here's where the beautiful SoBe people show up in droves to snag a cabana or lounger, so reserve early and wear your best bathing attire.
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The Graham's new rooftop is guaranteed to be Georgetown's summer hotspot
Mother Nature has played serious havoc with the weather. Suffice to say, those of us located in climates where partying on rooftops is limited to a few months of the year? We are giving M.N. serious sideeye. It's May. It's time for us to sip dranks on the rooftop of a cool hotel that has glorious views of the place we happen to live in or visiting at the moment. Don't hate us for being selfish and not being more concerned about global warming. We have priorities!
So we declare that Rooftop Season Has Officially Begun. Weather gods need to get on board (or the hotels will just put out heat lamps, whatevah, it takes).
The places listed have recently opened, want to let the sunshine in, and help you let your hair down. And you don't even have to be a guest to partake in the fun!
Here's where we want to tipple at some top rooftop bars around the world.
The Midtown Manhattan classic property has kicked off their Drink of the Day specials at Henry's Rooftop Bar (which we'll be talking more about tomorrow!).
This cocktail, called The Hemingway Daiquiri is made with 1.5 oz of rum, 1 oz grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice. It goes perfect with the stunning view of the NYC skyline.
Sounds refreshing, no? Now if only Mother Nature would make up her mind with this weather. We've had our April showers, time for the May flowers and mojitos!
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New Mexico is often called the “Land of Enchantment.” What’s so enchanting? We think its Albuquerque’s best kept secret is Hotel Andaluz.
This is a historic, tastefully lavish, charming boutique hotel located in downtown Albuquerque. Originally built in 1939 as the Albuquerque Hotel (then the tallest building in the state and with AC), it was the fourth Conrad Hilton ever built. Now privately owned, it's the hidden gem of Albuquerque. We were tickled silly to experience the beauty of this spot with its subtle flare, eco-friendly features and fun-filled history.
Take a look a look-see at our photo gallery!
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Even though its winter, you can still take advantage of the relatively drama-free weather on the Left Coast where the rooftop shenanigans live-on. Remember, these haunts are available year-round and come with a side of schwanky--hold the frostbite. So grab your date and enjoy these rooftop destinations for your next romantic romp west of the Mississippi.
Suite 700, Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica, CA
Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica's Suite 700 open-air bar & lounge is the epitome of swank with its Art Deco Hollywood glamour combined with epic views of the Pacific sunset. It's no wonder the hotel was named after the earthly paradise James Hilton spoke of in Lost Horizon. Treat your date to a fire pit and some popcorn chicken avec cocktail, and get lost watching the flames. Or watch the killer sunsets. The nice thing about Shangri-La is you can stay indoors in the lounge if it's breezy, or venture onto the rooftop, so its the best of both. Weekends can be crowded, so try a weeknight or just come early if you want some elbow room.
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We've never known a hotel to be modest about showing off its awesome views. Still, we usually reserve our best window-gazing for later in the evening, when skylines are a-twinkle and sunsets are killer. But guests at the Kimberly Hotel in Manhattan get to enjoy awesome views of the city first thing in the morning, with free breakfasts in the rooftop lounge, Upstairs.
A buffet spread will offer French toast, pancakes, oatmeal, pastries, omelets, bacon and hash browns. Though the usual cost of the meal is $25 per person, all guests will get it for free through the end of the month. Turns out February isn't such a bad time to stay in hotels after all.
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In addition to sharing the same zip code, subway stations, and, indeed, the same pool, the neighboring hotels will soon divide the work of shuttling visitors to and from their yet-to-open rooftop bar (also shared).
Tentatively titled Sky Lounge, the 25th-floor bar venue will be spread across the rooftop of both hotels. While a sleek, new bar is currently under construction on the Aloft side, the Sheraton side will be all outdoors. The open design will allow guests to wander freely through both areas, but what about elevator access? That's where things get interesting.
While enjoying a stroll through Chelsea yesterday, we decided to stop by the newly-renovated public spaces inside Hotel Indigo Chelsea, which include a street-level Italian restaurant and rooftop bar. But lo and behold, what did we find? A bunch of weird, white tubes sprouting up everywhere! Installed throughout the front courtyard and lobby, the collective tube total could easily have numbered in the thousands (and we weren't about to take the time to count).
We're reminded of the "giant white tentacles" included in the design of HGI Times Square's rooftop bar, XVI. We weren't crazy about the idea of tentacles back then, and we sure aren't now either. But Bill Mehalco, an Assistant General Manager for the hotel, assured us that that these Italian-imported plastic bamboo shoots will eventually be reinforced by the addition of tiny LED lights—though he couldn't say exactly when. More rooftop renovation photos after the jump!
The Roosevelt Hotel wants to do more than just get you drunk—they want you to get drunk and take dance lessons. At the bar. On the roof. To promote their summer movie series, which kicked off last week with a screening of Top Gun, the hotel bar is experimenting with new ways to give audiences the full movie experience. Mad46, where the movie nights are presented, is amping up the evenings with themed drinks, giveaways, trivia contests, and other prizes. Guests last week went home with free aviator sunglasses!
For next Monday's screening of Dirty Dancing, a hired dance instructor from Dance Manhattan will be rallying the crowds for two rounds of mambo lessons. The first class takes place at 8pm, followed by another at 8:30pm. The themed drink of the evening is a tequila mojito ($10), though their full menu of beer, cocktails, and wine is also available. We want to know: how qualified is this dance instructor at teaching a bar full of drunk people?
Another boutique hotel pops up this summer in one of New York City's outer boroughs, and—surprise!—it's got a rooftop bar. Long Island City's Z Hotel, a sleek 100-room tower adjacent to the Queensborough Bridge, is almost ready to open its doors, but will the area's total lack of foot traffic spell doom for the much-hyped project? Owner Henry Zilberman, whose background as the owner of a local car service makes him something of an expert on location, is optimistic about the destination's appeal to tourists and business travelers. In a 2007 interview, Zilberman made the convincing case:
"I drive around here all the time, and you can take the Queensboro Bridge and be at Bloomingdale's in three minutes. Even with traffic, it's faster than the subway. It's a mystery to me why it took so long for Long Island City to be discovered."
Renderings of the Z (Z for 'Zilberman,' or for 'zany?') have been circulating on the web for a few years, and now that the whole thing is up, we have to admit, we like it a lot better than the nearby Ravel Hotel's bland exterior. At the Z, balconied walkways are set off by playful multicolored panels, and the grey-brick-and-glass facade is much more at peace with the neighborhood's industrial backdrop. But the question remains: how will a hotel premised on the appeal of its "Gansevoort vibe" make out in such bleak surroundings?
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In January, we gasped about the Hudson Hotel room that squeezed in up to 20 people for a mini production of the Tennessee Williams play Green Eyes. Today, we're focusing on another of their ample spaces—the exclusive, guests-only, fifteenth-floor Sky Terrace. Yes, it is quite large. And yes, the vibe is a little high-flown. But, no, we're not just telling you all this to make you jealous! It turns out that Sky Terrace, which launched its summer event series last Thursday, has chosen to open up their sought-after venue to Foursquare and Twitter enthusiasts. Because, as we have shown before, if you're not racing to reward your guests through social media promotions and contests, be assured that another equally-suitable hotel will.
...And, the hotel rooftop bars just keep comin'! Over the course of two weeks, we dedicated two separate lists to the cornucopia of panoramic, outdoor lounges around NYC. And yet, it seems we still didn't manage to get to them all. The newest on our radar is XVI, on the sixteenth floor of the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square.
The two-story venue has gradually been generating some buzz around the web—a recent review from Shecky's, while acknowledging the killer views, railed against the "mismatched metallic chaises and funky fiberglass 'tentacles.'" Now, we don't necessarily expect cutting edge design and world-renowned mixologists behind the bar. This is midtown, after all! We're often just happy to get away from the pedicabs and pesky comedy club promoters.