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The Best Hotel Rooftops in New York City

Chelsea rooftops, Manhattan, New York City
Chelsea rooftops, Manhattan, New York City | © Francois Roux / Alamy Stock Photo
No matter the season, New Yorkers can’t resist a good rooftop. As they satisfy your sightseeing (and your staycation) desires, hotel rooftops have increased both in number and popularity in New York’s recent past. From popular penthouse discotheques to across-the-water Williamsburg bars, here are the best hotel rooftops to discover in New York City.

Westlight, Brooklyn

Hotel

As the site of much-liked Instagram shots and many first dates, Westlight is Williamsburg’s hottest (or at least highest) attractions. The 22nd-floor rooftop bar at The William Vale is the Brooklynite’s go-to for craft cocktails, rare spirits, and stunning panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the East River, and more.

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Le Bain, New York

Bar, Nightclub, Pub Grub, $$$

Take a cue from the city’s cool crowd, and head to The Standard High Line’s popular penthouse lounge and discotheque. At Le Bain, you’ll enjoy a rooftop plunge pool, performances by world-famous DJs, and far-reaching views from your West Side vantage point—if you can get in, that is. Known as much for its famous clientele as the retro fun it provides, Le Bain is the hottest ticket in—or rather, above—town.

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PUBLIC Hotel, Chrystie Street

Hotel
PUBLIC Hotel, Chrystie Street
PUBLIC Hotel, Chrystie Street | Courtesy of PUBLIC Hotel / Hotels.com

It should come as no surprise that a hotel pledging to deliver “luxury for all” offers one of New York City’s best rooftop experiences. With floor-to-ceiling windows featuring 360-degree panoramic views, an outdoor terrace serving as the site of popular weekend barbecues and everyday lounging, and a record for hosting talented DJs from around the world, the PUBLIC Hotel Rooftop achieves its mission to make indulgence accessible.

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Top of the Strand, New York

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$

The view from this 21st-floor drinking destination is worth braving the crowds for. Perched above Manhattan’s Strand Hotel, the Top of the Strand has become nearly as known as the famous Midtown structures situated nearby. At this glamorous rooftop bar, you’ll enjoy a front-row seat to sights including the Empire State Building, the illuminated crown of Langham Place, and more through rose (or rosé)-colored glasses.

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The Knickerbocker, New York

Hotel, Pubs with Rooms
The Knickerbocker, New York
The Knickerbocker, New York | Courtesy of The Knickerbocker / Hotels.com
Never fear, New Yorkers: the “social rooftop” of The Knickerbocker is not your average Times Square experience. The area’s “first luxury hotel” delivers another exciting first: a Times Square bar even locals will love. Japanese whiskeys, local beers, mocktails, and more pair perfectly with St. Cloud Social’s dazzling bird’s-eye views of one of New York City’s most distinguished (and divisive) destinations.
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La Piscine, West 27th Street

Bar, Pub Grub

The staycation of your dreams awaits at La Piscine, a rooftop “Coastal Mexican Grill” featuring south-of-the-border bites, vacation vibes, and picture-perfect views. Located 10-floors up at Chelsea’s Hotel Americano, this elevated urban oasis offers a refreshing four-foot-deep pool, signature frozen margaritas, and occasional live music and deejayed parties.

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McCarren Hotel & Pool, Brooklyn

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
McCarren Hotel & Pool, Brooklyn
McCarren Hotel & Pool, Brooklyn | Courtesy of McCarren Hotel & Pool / Hotels.com

After cooling down at the city’s most popular pool at McCarren Hotel and Pool, heat things up by heading upstairs to one of Brooklyn’s best rooftop bars. A diverse drinks menu, panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, and a nightly Sunset Happy Hour from 5 to 7 pm round out the unmissable offerings at this enduring Williamsburg hot spot.

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Z NYC Hotel, Long Island City

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hotel

For the best views of Manhattan, you’ll have to leave it. From Queens’ up-and-coming Long Island City, you can take in all the world-famous landmarks New York has to offer. The best vantage point to see sights like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and more is the 5,000-square-foot elevated escape Z Roof, where 360-degree views quench your craving for a bite of the Big Apple.

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These recommendations were updated on July 19, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.