The 10 Best New Rooftop Bars for Summer 2019
The hotel rooftop bar will never go out of style. Whether it’s on the 6th floor or the 65th, there’s something undeniably appealing about dining, drinking, swimming and yoga-ing high above the streets of the city below. Here are some of the best (relative) newcomers.
Mama Shelter, Los Angeles
A cool but cozy, living-room-like rooftop lounge is a signature of all Mama Shelter hotels. Their first foray into the U.S., in Hollywood, is no exception. Designed by Thierry Gaugain, the seventh floor rooftop (high by neighborhood standards!) has 360-views from the Hollywood sign to Downtown to South Bay to the west side, and a playful design with colorful, stripe-y cushions and a foosball table.
Altis Avenida Hotel, Lisbon
Lisbon’s cool summer nights and dreamy views make it a perfect city for rooftopping. The latest in town is this hotel’s new Rossio Gastrobar. It’s worth going for the views—over Rossio plaza, the Santa Justa Lift, the castle, the Rua Agustina Arch and the river—and sexy Art Deco vibe. But the food and drink aren’t an afterthought. Chef João Rodrigues, who holds a Michelin star at his restaurant Feitoria (at sister hotel Altis Belem) devised the menu of share plates, which is nimbly executed by chef João Correia, and there are a number of interesting craft cocktails.
As soon as Virgin opened one of its first hotels, in the SoMa district of San Francisco, it quickly became a local hotspot. The rooftop garden restaurant and bar, Everdene, overlooks the city and has a design that’s both modern and familiar—and an eclectic, playful food and drink menu to match.
“Industrial luxe” is the leitmotif at this art-focused hotel in the most remote major city on earth. The crown jewel of the 18 stories is the Rooftop at QT, a high-end bar and lounge with top-quality cocktails from expert mixologists and skyline views of the city.
Blique by Nobis, Stockholm
Sweden’s Nobis Group is known for a portfolio of creative, ingredient-driven restaurants. This hotel’s rooftop, Arc, is a fusion restaurant specializing in Scandinavian seafood and Korean cuisine. Some of the herbs and vegetables are plucked from the rooftop garden, just steps away from the tables where they are served, and the bar has a premium selection of sake.
Casa Gangotena, Quito
Since this boutique hotel opened several years ago in Ecuador’s capital, it has had a small, lovely rooftop for admiring the city below. That recently changed, and it’s grown into a proper place to have a drink (or breakfast, if you’re a hotel guest). It is now serviced so you can order drinks and snacks. What hasn’t changed is the view over Plaza San Francisco, the rest of Quito and the mountains beyond.
Archer Hotel, Napa
This newly built hotel in the center of downtown Napa has a destination rooftop with more than 11,000 square feet for enjoying the views, the social scene and the food and drink. The Rooftop at Archer Hotel is home to chef Charlie Palmer’s second outpost in the hotel, Sky & Vine, as well as a topiary garden, fire pits surrounded by modern rocking chairs, cabanas with stone fireplaces and a shallow ledge pool with sun chairs inside. There’s also a rooftop spa by the locally acclaimed Francis & Alexander, and an indoor-outdoor fitness studio with cardio machines, free weights and a yoga deck.
When this hotel reopens on July 1, it will be home to Settimo, an elegant, subdued rooftop lounge and restaurant with panoramic views over the Villa Borghese gardens and St. Peter’s Basilica. This garden escape on the eighth floor will serve contemporary Roman cuisine with locally sourced ingredients.
SEEN is the brainchild of one of Portugal’s most successful “chef-preneurs,” Olivier da Costa. He opened the first one at the Tivoli hotel in São Paulo, the second at the Tivoli in Lisbon and now the third, at Tivoli’s sister hotel brand Avani’s riverside outpost in Bangkok. This one is a sensual playground of cocktails and cuisine (think truffled lobster salad) in the tropical air above the Chao Phraya River. Beats are supplied by a rotation of DJs chosen by music director Scotty B., a regular at Ministry of Sound. Like the others, it’s meant to be a place to “sin and be seen.”
Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing
From sunset over the Forbidden City until well into the night, the sophisticated MO Bar is a place for international DJs, signature cocktails and tasty bites. Mixologists created signature cocktails to reflect the art and landmarks of Beijing. The Sunset Hunter is inspired by the terrace views at dusk, and the Mint Condition pays tribute to the excellent preservation of Qing Dynasty buildings. There’s also a whimsical design acknowledgment to mixologists of a different era: The bar’s large wooden counter, with drawers and boxes, is similar to those traditionally used by alchemists to store herbs, plants and spices for remedial potions.
I spend half of my life in hotels. I know the difference between true luxury travel and what’s merely overblown and expensive. Follow me on Instagram: @abeltotravel
By Ann Abel