As I mentioned in my last post, summer is winding down. In a few months, the temps will drop and everyone—well, at least those of you in colder climes where people have to actually own coats and scarves—will be heading indoors. So now’s the perfect time to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors while you still can. My preference is to enjoy it on a nice patio somewhere, with a refreshing cocktail in hand and a killer view to take in. For this reason, I thought I’d share you with some popular rooftop hotel bars and restaurants, where you don’t have to check in to be able to check out the scene or the scenery. If you have a favorite hotel rooftop hangout that’s not listed here, e-mail or Tweet me and let me know.
Rooftop bar, Omni Royal Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana — The scenic views of the French Quarter and mighty Mississippi from the alfresco rooftop lounge atop this luxe hotel only add to its air of elegance and romance. If you’re thirsty, belly up to the bar and ask for the hotel’s signature Washbucket Martini. It’s fairly big, so just be sure to choose a designated driver first.
AROMA, Palazzo Manfredi, Rome, Italy — The AROMA restaurant/bar offer visitors to the Eternal City a front row seat to the architectural and historical splendor that is the Colosseum. The Domus Aurea, Nero’s gardens, and much more are also on display from a seat at the lovely aerial terrace at this five-star Relais & Châteaux retreat.
Departure, The Nines, Portland, Oregon — Downtown. The Willamette River. Mount Hood. Mount St. Helens. See it all from the pair of rooftop patios at this well-loved Portland eatery atop the chic Nines hotel. Choose from a menu of traditional Asian preparations with a Northwestern twist, not to mention the city’s largest saké list.
Saigon Saigon Bar, Caravelle Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam —You’ll want to save one of your sunsets during your visit to Vietnam’s largest city for drinks at the 10th-floor bar of this popular hotel, frequented over the years by everyone from Pierre Cardin to Bill Clinton. In addition to the scenery, you’ll enjoy happy hour specials and live music nightly.
La Terrazza, Hotel Continentale, Florence, Italy — Kick back on one of the plush couches at this new bar in Firenze’s trendy Hotel Continentale and gaze out at the Ponte Vecchio, Brunelleschi's Dome, San Miniato al Monte, and other top attractions as you sip a fine Italian wine, locally brewed beer, or other tasty beverage. The ride up in the elevator is equally fun; an interactive iPad lets you take a photo of yourself on the trip up.
The Roof, Viceroy New York, New York, New York — There’s no shortage of rooftop roosts at hotels across NYC, like the Bookmarks Lounge at the Library Hotel or Jimmy at the James Hotel, but we have particularly high hopes (pardon the pun) for the lofty perch debuting several dozen stories up at this Midtown hotel sometime this winter. The outdoor deck and lounge, overseen by the Gerber Group, will serve creative cocktails and small bites, along with coveted views of Central Park. Note: The Viceroy in Miami has a wonderful rooftop bar as well.
Gaja Roof & Sky, Swissôtel the Bosphorous, Instanbul, Turkey — After a long day of sightseeing, stop in here and enjoy a cool drink and a panoramic view of the Bosphorous, Blue Mosque, and more. The Swissôtel has 10 restaurants and bars to choose from, but none with a setting quite as awe-inspiring as this.
Luna, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — Authentic Mexican and Spanish tapas and something to quench your thirst are the order of the day at this lovey terrace overlooking the 17th-century La Parroquia (one of the most photographed churches in all of Mexico), and pretty much everything else this enchanted artists’ enclave has to offer.
The Observatory, The Graham Georgetown, Washington, D.C. — The nation’s capital—from the Washington Monument to the Kennedy Center and beyond—is on full display at th aptly-named, 3,000-square-foot Observatory atop this recently opened boutique hotel. It’s the only hotel rooftop bar in Georgetown that’s open to the general public, so pull up a chair and enjoy the show.