Oh the uniqueness of a New York City rooftop: in any other place, it would provide some of the best bird’s-eye views of a location. But in the Big Apple, rooftops soar above the streets while still standing in the shadows of steel sentinels, reflecting the city in all its glory. The diversity of the five boroughs will dazzle you at every altitude, and the coolest way to gaze upon this sky-high city is with a drink in hand at one of these amazing hotels with rooftop views in NYC – all bookable with Culture Trip.
This eco-friendly hotel proves that the best views of Manhattan’s skyline are not in Manhattan. Located just across the East River in Brooklyn Heights, the hotel’s Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge offers a dazzling panorama of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyscrapers – there’s also a stylish rooftop plunge pool. Enjoy classic cocktails and nibble on seasonal snacks such as edamame hummus or crispy noodle salad. The hotel is just as impressive inside, and it favors the local and the natural: recycled wood from the Coney Island boardwalk is used in the furnishings, lush foliage brings the outside into every room, and the Bamford Haybarn Spa uses all-natural products.
This Lower East Side boutique hotel is the perfect spot to see and be seen. Soak up the rock ‘n’ roll vibe among the hip clientele up on the terrace, while taking in the imposing architecture of the Financial District and soaring One World Trade Center just to the south. When darkness falls, the view is truly magical, as the city that never sleeps is illuminated by thousands of lights. Come morning, the rooftop itself is a welcoming space with plenty of lounge chairs for tanning, plus an indoor gym. And if it’s non-stop panoramas you’re after, the sensational Skybox Loft rooms feature floor-to-ceiling industrial windows with balconies for a private piece of paradise.
Just steps away from Bryant Park and many more stories up, the Refinery Rooftop bar puts you right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan’s urban jungle of skyscrapers, with an especially awe-inspiring perspective of the Empire State Building. The rustic-chic restaurant and bar – with lots of exposed brick, reclaimed wood and a retractable glass roof – features Jeff Haskell’s contemporary American menu, Cocktail Caddies (four servings of handcrafted cocktails), truffle fries and Jacques Torres bonbons.
Located in fashionable NoMad (North of Madison Square Park), the Arlo NoMad rooftop provides tantalizing, up-close views of the Empire State Building and surrounding skyscrapers from its buzzy, 31st-floor bar, A.R.T. NoMad (Arlo Roof Top). Take a stroll over the skywalk glass floor, sip craft cocktails (the Frosé is justly popular) and nibble Middle Eastern-inspired snacks while mingling with the youthful crowd. The hotel itself is known for its reasonably priced micro rooms, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and artfully designed storage to maximize the space.
Perched on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, 11th-floor rooftop bar and lounge A.R.T. SoHo offers ravishing views of the Hudson River and the towers of Jersey City beyond. The Arlo rooftop’s spacious outdoor terrace also provides a vista of One World Trade Center and the visually arresting 56 Leonard in Tribeca – also known as the Jenga Building. The bar serves craft beer, a huge menu of cocktails and small plates, and has a great happy hour on weeknights.
On the edge of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Broken Shaker rooftop bar tops art deco gem Freehand New York. From up here, the spires of Midtown punctuate the skyline to the north, and you’ll catch enchanting views of world-famous architectural landmarks including the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Tower. The bar has a beachy and slightly kitsch globetrotter theme, with lots of lush greenery and an abundance of rattan chairs and artworks from around the world. Stay for the handcrafted cocktails, DJ nights and drunk yoga (a 45-minute beginner-friendly yoga class with wine in-hand).
This modern boutique hotel stands in the hip Brooklyn enclave of Williamsburg. Offering truly hypnotic views of the whole Manhattan skyline – across the East River from Downtown to Midtown – it’s an especially captivating spot at night. The seasonal Rooftop & Pool stays open late, with daily rooftop yoga for those sun salutations, and lounge chairs for those who’d rather just bask in the rays. Higher still is the exclusive turret-shaped Water Tower Bar, fashioned from a former water tank, which boasts the same eye-popping views, plus craft cocktails and rare spirits; book ahead as it’s reservation only.
The ink may have dried on this 1930s printing press, but the hotel is now penning a new chapter within its iconic home. Up on the roof, the 16-story-high Press Lounge is no ordinary affair, granting you an amazing all-season view of Hell’s Kitchen. Indoor and outdoor 360-degree cityscapes extend to Union City’s skyline across the Hudson, as well as the legendary buildings paving the way to Midtown, such as the art deco Chrysler and Empire State. Order a cheese board and a glass of New York-made sauvignon by Gotham Project to really bottle the mood.
The 22nd-floor rooftop bar at the William Vale proves once again that the best views of the Big Apple are from Brooklyn. Make your way to Westlight to drink in 360-degree views of NYC and the cocktails that make New York nights come alive. Cozy up with a winter sunset and rare spirit or gaze at the East River while feasting on finger foods and playing cornhole in the summertime. Choose a room with a balcony to transport the views to your suite.
Nick Dauk contributed additional reporting.
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