If the idea of a stale bar scene and commonplace cocktails sounds like a less-than-invigorating way to experience a city, these destinations have created unique and unforgettable exposure to the best of its nightlife with luxurious rooftop bars. Whether you’re sipping on The Observatory’s specialty blend bourbon in D.C. or savoring the Speakeasy Punch while viewing the Empire State Building at the Refinery Hotel’s Rooftop Bar, the sky’s the limit at these new bars that offer the best landscapes and fanciest libations all in one sitting.
The Observatory, The Graham Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
It’s the only hotel rooftop bar in Georgetown that’s open to the public, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The 3,000-square-foot lounge sports views of some of the best the nation’s capital has to offer (the Kennedy Center, Washington Monument and, of course, historic Georgetown). Perched atop the newly opened boutique hotel, The Observatory serves seasonal handcrafted cocktails—try The Graham with Angel’s Envy (the hotel’s own specialty blend bourbon), Campari and candied orange—as well as light fare. It just opened on May 3 and is bound to be a summer hot spot.
The dec Rooftop Lounge + Bar, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel
Chicago may not be the first city to come to mind when you think of rooftop bars, but the Windy City is full of them—and one more is about to join the roster. The dec Rooftop Lounge + Bar is located just off Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel’s lobby and deca Bar. Slated to open in May (weather permitting), the 57-seat rooftop bar features a unique color-changing LED wall and a stainless steel sculpture, The Lenz by David Sorenson, as its focal point. Of course, the real emphasis here is the handcrafted cocktails (classic with a twist) and light bites to savor as you absorb the vistas of the Magnificent Mile 12 stories below.
Stratus Rooftop Lounge, Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
As you enjoy one of mixologist Bess Gulliver’s concoctions (we suggest the Stratus, which is a mix of Belvedere grapefruit vodka, maraschino liqueur, hibiscus syrup and prosecco), you’ll have views of historical Philadelphia and Independence National Historic Park. Debuted in fall 2012, Stratus is already one of the hottest spots in the city. The indoor/outdoor lounge on the 11th floor features several unique spaces—an outdoor patio complete with a fireplace, a DJ booth and plush couches; an indoor bar with garage doors that open on nice nights and comfortable sofas; and two private pavilions that are topped with gargoyles.
The Moment Roofdeck, The Moment Hotel, Los Angeles
Sitting above Sunset Boulevard’s Guitar Row, The Moment Roofdeck is poised to be a must-hit bar in Hollywood. It’s set to open on June 1, and will feature a large center bar surrounded by couches and communal seating. With scapes of the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip, The Moment Roofdeck offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The 2,000-square-foot alfresco lounge keeps with the unique design of the boutique hotel—think sloped and slanted walls with a vivid color palette. For now, the sleek rooftop bar is exclusively for hotel guests and friends, but eventually, it will be open to the public.
Refinery Hotel’s Rooftop Bar, New York
The much-anticipated Refinery Hotel’s Rooftop Bar is slated to open in June above Midtown Manhattan’s Garment District. The focus here will be artisanal cocktails (such as the Speakeasy Punch that’s Bacardi 8, housemade rock and rye, hibiscus tea and lime juice), carefully chosen wines and sights of Manhattan and the Empire State Building. The chic lounge is comprised of three distinct areas: indoor, outdoor and a combination of the two with a retractable glass roof and vintage French terracotta floors. Inside, the décor harkens back to the building’s original use—a millinery—with salvaged wooden ceilings, while the fountain and fireplace warm up the space and remind you that you’re in a swanky bar.
Photos Courtesy of Independent Collection, Kimpton Hotel And Restaurant Group and The Refinery Hotel