7 Places to Stay in New York City With Mesmerizing Rooftop Views

A number of New York hotels offer dazzling views of the Manhattan cityscape
A number of New York hotels offer dazzling views of the Manhattan cityscape | @ ben o'bro / Unsplash

There are few skylines as recognizable as Manhattan’s, and these Culture Trip-curated hotels all have spectacular rooftop spots that are perfect for taking in the cityscape over a cocktail or two on your next trip to the Big Apple.

In a city of densely packed skyscrapers, bird’s-eye views often come at a premium. The seven hotels listed here, all hand-picked by local experts at Culture Trip, offer a breath of fresh(ish) air up above the hordes, with views from Manhattan to Brooklyn, Jersey City and beyond. Take a dip in a high-rise swimming pool, relax on a tranquil terrace or sip artisanal cocktails in a hip lounge surrounded by unbeatable panoramas.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

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’s 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.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Terrace
Smoke-free property

The Ludlow Hotel

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 loungers 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.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Refinery Hotel

Just steps away from Bryant Park and rather 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.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
Express check-out
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Fitness facilities
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Smoke-free property

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  • Arlo NoMad

    Located in fashionable NoMad (North of Madison Square Park), the Arlo provides tantalizing, up-close views of the Empire State Building and surrounding skyscrapers from its buzzy, 31st-floor rooftop 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.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Smoke-free property

    Arlo SoHo

    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 Centre 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.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Express check-out
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Smoke-free property

    Freehand New York

    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).

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Terrace
    Bar/lounge
    Smoke-free property

    The Williamsburg Hotel

    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 beach loungers 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.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Conference space
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Smoke-free property
    These recommendations were updated on October 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.