Summer is (unofficially) here and what better way to take in the glorious New York City skyline than from a rooftop bar? Visitors and locals alike can unwind at the end of the day at these new sky-high boites, often found on swank hotel roofs. They've got specialty cocktails, glam settings, great music, and, of course, views of that iconic Big Apple cityscape in store.
Press Lounge, Ink48
One of the city's largest rooftop spaces is this lounge at Ink48, a Kimpton Hotel on 11th Avenue in still-becoming-hip Hell's Kitchen. The 8,500 square foot bar outfitted with comfy couches and pod-like chairs, provides expansive views of the towering skyscrapers around Times Square—not to mention gorgeous sunsets over the Hudson River. Drinks-wise, caipirinhas and margaritas hit the spot, along with snacks like salumi and farm stand cheese plates.
La Piscine, Hotel Americano
Just off the High Line on 27th street, the Hotel Americano is part of the chic Mexico City-based Grupo Habita boutique hotel chain. A favorite with the fashion and art worlds, the rooftop is a see-and-be-seen space with a small pool, sexy cabanas and daybeds, and an intimate dining area serving grilled fish and meat dishes. Sip a glass of Mexican mezcal and take in the West Side views, including a straight-on shot of the Empire State Building.
Everyone knows Brooklyn's where it's at—and, more specifically, Williamsburg. The epi-center of cool? The Wythe Hotel, a 72-room boutique that's home to the jam-packed Reynards restaurant from chef/owner Andrew Tarlow as well as an even-more-packed sixth-floor lounge. Think red banquettes and a breezy terrace to enjoy cocktails like Negronis and Dark 'n Stormys. But the real star up there is the unparalleled view of the dazzling Manhattan skyline.
Rare View, Fashion 26
Located on Seventh Avenue in the Fashion District, Fashion 26 is a stylish Hilton-owned hotel not far from Macy's and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Its rooftop lounge, called Rare View is surrounded by midtown's skyscrapers. Things get going during the lively happy hour where 9-5ers sip wine and beer and the fun vibe keeps going well into the evening when the skyline lights, including those of the Empire State, create a dazzling tableau.
Z Rooftop Lounge, Z Hotel
For one of the best views of the big guns of the Manhattan skyline—the Chrysler, Empire, Citicorp Building, and, now, the Freedom Tower, make your way to...the Z Hotel in Long Island City. This fairly off-the-beaten-path Queens hotel (ten minutes from the 59th bridge and a quick subway ride to midtown) has truly breathtaking panoramas from its 5,000 square foot, tenth-floor lounge. And the drinks and pizzas made from the on-site oven are pretty good too.
Pod 39 Hotel
The second branch of this hip and affordable hotel in a landmark brick-accented building—the other is nearby on 51st street—now has a charming little rooftop with views of the East River and midtown's lit-up office towers. The drink list includes several craft beers and specialty margaritas, in keeping with the Mexican flavor of the lobby level restaurant Salvation Taco, an upscale taqueria from April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman of Spotted Pig fame.
Photo Credits: Press Lounge, Ink48: Courtesy of The Press Lounge; La Piscine, Hotel Americano: Courtesy of HÃ´tel Americano; Ides, Wythe: Chris Goldberg/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0); Rare View, Fashion 26: Hilton New York Fashion District; Z Rooftop Lounge, Z Hotel: Reuben Negron Photography; Pod 39 Hotel: Pod 39 Hotel