10 Cool Rooftops for Winter Fun

Matt Crawley/Snowbird

Who said rooftops were just for summer? Instead of going into hibernation when temperatures drop, these haute rooftops crank up the heat to offer an elevated winter experience. From an outdoor ice bar on a rooftop in Moscow to the “hottest” New Year's Eve rooftop in Barcelona and even a swanky spot for après-slopes in Switzerland, check out these cool winter rooftops before things start to heat up.—Kristy Alpert

DoubleTree by Hilton

Skylounge Amsterdam

WHERE: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Open 365 days a year, the SkyLounge sits on the 11th floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal and offers not only the most impressive views of the city, but also a most impressive cocktail and wine list. The outdoor portion of the bar is heated during winter and features a live DJ every night of the week with special RoofTop sessions from local musicians throughout the season.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Amsterdam Guide

Michael Muraz Photography

230 Fifth

WHERE: New York City, New York

Every year, New York’s biggest rooftop garden transforms into a winter wonderland, offering bottle service inside iridescent igloos on the outdoor terrace. Spiked cider, hot chocolate, and coffee top the menu at 230 FIFTH over the winter, where guests can warm themselves by the space heaters or cozy up with one of the bar’s signature red snuggies.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s New York City Guide

Thermalbad Zurich

Thermalbad Zurich

WHERE: Zurich, Switzerland

The thermal baths at the B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa are some of the coolest in the world. But we’re not talking temperature cool; they’re cool because they’re contained in the old brewing barrels of the former Hürlimann brewery where visitors can actually hop in the barrels to heat up. Even cooler is that the rooftop of this brewery turned boutique hotel is entirely liquid, where spa guests can soak in the views of Zurich while soaking in the 40-degree Celsius pools containing pure Swiss thermal water.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Zurich Guide

Sri panwa

Baba Nest

WHERE: Phuket, Thailand

Baba Nest doesn’t just offer an escape from the chills of winter with its balmy year-round climate; it offers a delicious remedy for winter ailments with its therapeutic views and herbal cocktails, like its cold-fighting lemongrass-infused vodka drinks. This Thai oasis features 360-degree views from its perch atop the Sri Panwa resort, where guests can lounge on giant pillows that put them almost eye level with a wraparound infinity pool that blends seamlessly into the calm waters of the Andaman Sea.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Phuket Guide

Ararat Park Hyatt

Ararat Park Hyatt

WHERE: Moscow, Russia

As if winter in Russia isn’t cold enough, each year the rooftop Conservatory Lounge and Bar at the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow takes it to the next level with their outdoor ice bar. The bar opens in late December, and patrons can gaze out on the Red Square and the Bolshoi Theater while sipping icy shots of vodka or steamy mugs of gluhwein before trying out all the flavors of the bar’s signature pirozhki (traditional Russian pastries).

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Moscow Guide

ME London

ME London

WHERE: London, England

This tenth-floor aerie above the ME London hotel allows guests the chance to enjoy the stunning birds-eye views of Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Covent Garden with a signature cocktail in hand. Radio is open year-round, and during winter the outdoor terrace heats up with fire pits and chic ambient lighting.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s London Guide

Matt Crawley/Snowbird

The Summit

WHERE: Snowbird, Utah

Although The Summit at Snowbird isn’t technically a rooftop, the fact that this mountaintop patio is the highest outdoor terrace in the state (more than 11,000 feet above sea level) is what earned it a spot on this list. The Summit is accessible only by skis, snowboard, or ski lift, and is the perfect spot for après-slopes. The terrace closes with the last ski lift, making it the perfect place to toast a day on the slopes with a pint of local Squatters beer while looking out on the American Fork Twins, the Gad Valley, and Mineral Basin.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Snowbird Review

Design Hotels / www.designhotels.com/the-serras

The Serras

WHERE: Barcelona, Spain

Although there may be higher rooftops in Barcelona, the rooftop at The Serras hotel has become a favorite for locals with its upscale yet unpretentious vibe. This heated rooftop bar looks out over the Marina Port Vell, on top of what was once Pablo Picasso’s first studio. Although dinner service stops during the cold months on the roof, the bar atmosphere sizzles year round, transforming each year into the platform for one of Barcelona’s most exclusive New Year’s Eve parties.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Barcelona Guide

Raised

Raised

WHERE: Chicago, Illinois

The outdoor space at Raised is just high enough to look out onto the Chicago River and just low enough to hide beneath the chilly winds of a Chi-town winter. The VIP greenhouses and space heaters help keep things toasty up top while an indoor space stands ready for anyone needing a quick warm up inside. This industrial-chic space tops the third floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, and features wine on tap, decanted cocktails for groups, and a beer list that will make any true Chicagoan proud.

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Chicago Guide

Le Farinet

Le Farinet

WHERE: Verbier, Switzerland

Bands perform every night of the winter ski season at this hotspot in Verbier. Après Ski at the Hotel Farinet is located right below the ski lifts and right above the pulse of the city. It’s become a rite of passage to dance on the bar after a day on the slopes, but the true claim to fame for this bar is its sliding roof that closes automatically if the snowfall gets too intense on the bar.

 

PLAN YOUR VISIT: Fodor’s Verbier Guide

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