From beach-side hotels to luxury rooftop bars, these are the best places in the world to eat, sleep and gaze at the night sky.
Weekapaug Inn, Rhode Island, USA
Classic New England accommodation right on the shoreline and with a history dating back to 1899, Weekapaug Inn offers great local cuisine specialising in ‘off the boat’ seafood, as well as a traditional clam bake every Thursday night. Fridays see weekly stargazing on the deck after sundown with on-staff naturalist, Mark Bullinger, who leads guests in looking at the night sky. Look out for the ‘Full Moon Paddle’ boat trip on the lake which finishes with a champagne toast, as well as a total eclipse viewing party on August 21.
The Scarlet, Cornwall, UK
This boutique hotel on Cornwall’s north coast offers a seasonal five course tasting menu, as well as a great value set-lunch option, or afternoon tea. When darkness falls, head to Bedruthan Steps – just moments along the coast from the hotel – they’ve been awarded ‘dark sky’ status. The hotel are happy to pack a picnic for you, as well as a flask of hot chocolate. You can even borrow their binoculars.
At 282m (925 ft.) above sea level, 1-Altitude is the highest alfresco bar in the world. Watch the stars come out at twilight with a classic cocktail, before enjoying live music from local bands as well as top DJs.
Wild Dunes, South Carolina, USA
Monday August 21, a solar eclipse will be visible from the continental United States, and the last place to see it before it heads out into the Atlantic is the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Wild Dunes are offering the full package, including dinner at the beachside Grand Pavilion Bar & Grill during your stay.
AER, Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai, India
With spectacular panoramic views of the city and the sea, as well as the sky at sunset, AER offers a sundowner collection of ‘two for one’ craft cocktails to sip on while you stargaze.
The Culpeper, London, UK
The Culpeper on Commercial Street, London, has an amazing rooftop garden and greenhouse. Here they grow as much food as they can to use in the restaurant below. Every other month they host a Rooftop Astronomy dinner, where after a glass or two of wine, you’ll enjoy a glorious meal while an expert gives a short talk on what to expect throughout the night. As the skies darken, head up to the roof where, after drinks in the greenhouse, you’ll embark upon a tour of the skies using their large telescope.
Alpino Vino, Colorado, USA
At 11,966 ft. (3,647m) this charming, European-style mountain chalet high up in the Colorado Rockies is the highest restaurant in North America. As you’d expect, it offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the sky. Diners can enjoy classic Italian antipasto, panini, and main courses, as well as carefully matched wines to accompany each dish. Perfect for savouring the unique view
Sirocco, Bangkok, Thailand
Award-winning, sophisticated fine dining al fresco on the 63rd floor of this luxury Bangkok hotel. Chef Gonzalo Ruiz dishes are a tour du force offering refined European-style cooking techniques. Begin with a drink in the sky bar before enjoying dinner under the stars.
Battlesteads, Northumberland, UK
Battlesteads is the only hotel within the UK’s only official ‘dark sky’ park. Here, far removed from the light pollution caused by the surrounding towns, the wonders of the night sky can be truly appreciated. There’s even an on-site telescope you can use after you’ve had dinner, and the observatory hosts numerous educational events for those who want to get to grips with astrology.
The Roof Gardens, London, UK
This historical London landmark opened in 1938 and spans 1.5 arces (0.6 hectares). It’s actually three gardens in one, each individually themed, and is home to fish, ducks and even flamingos. What’s more it’s open to the public and completely free of charge (though it closes for private events, so check website for details). The adjacent restaurant, Babylon, offers the best of contemporary British cuisine, from succulent fish to hearty Sunday roasts and seasonal salads.
Frank’s Cafe, London, UK
Cool bar on the roof of a multi-story car park in south London. Open from mid May, to late September, it offers a range of classic cocktails, and easy-going dishes such as Sweetcorn with Smoked Paprika, to the more substantial Ox Heart Kebab.
The 5th Floor, Innsbruck, Austria
Star gaze from this heated terrace with stunning 360º views of the town and the mountains beyond. The 5th Floor offers a range of cocktails and drinks, with particular care paid to a classic Bellini.
Sky Bar, CÉ LA VI, Singapore
The Sky Bar at CÉ LA VI is a cool oasis of calm offering 360º panoramic views of Singapore, and is a great place to sit with a cocktail and see the city come alive at night as well as gaze at the heavens.