Best Rooftop Bars and Swanky Hotel Lounges In NYC
The dog day’s of summer are finally lurking around every corner where one can’t walk down the street without seeing a Mister Softee truck peddling the summer staples of dipped cones, popsicles, and your favorite cartoon character in its purest creamy frozen form. We, New York’ers, braved the cold months of snow-pocalyps’es, layers of thermal “heat tech” undergarments, and bulky parkas galore which can now be vacuum-sealed and stored under our beds.
With the falsified “rapture” postponed to the latter part of this year, the time has come to don those summer dresses, boat shoes, and get our sun-kissed selves out of our caves and hit up New York’s summer hot spots. What better way to enjoy that refreshingly cool mojito than atop one of the beautifully designed summer havens amidst the mecca of New York architecture.
The summer rooftop is back and bigger than ever. How can we not fall in love with these secret getaways that make us forget about the hustle and bustle of Times Square or that crowded subway car where perfect strangers get to know each other in ways we never thought possible? Sure, the rooftop is a hidden gem that can be easily located if you’re ready to dust of that pilot’s license or if that long-term investment on your NASA-engineered satellite allows you to control aerial screenshots.
However, for most of us, both of those tactics seem like way too much work (oh, and not to mention, there are those of us who are perfectly content with our own two feet firmly planted on the ground).
Here are our favorite New York City rooftop bars:
Plunge Hotel Rooftop Bar in NYC:
Hotels and rooftop bars go together like “lamb and tunafish”. Okay, all bad Adam Sandler jokes aside, the rooftop has become a necessity for today’s upscale hotel. Here’s the beauty of the hotel rooftop bar, not only do they offer this amenity to its visiting inhabitors, but to the New Yorker who doesn’t mind paying $15 for that Vodka Tonic knowing that the view of our metropolitan home will be well worth that scantily clad waitress dropping off your bill with a hint of New York ‘tude.
Check out one of the Gansevoort Hotel’s locations in either the Meatpacking District or on Park Avenue in Murray Hill.
The Metropolitan Museum NYC Rooftop Bar:
There are few things I love more than art, design, New York, and of course, the occasional cocktail. Now, combine all of these things into a perfect little bundle atop one of the most iconic venues for fine art, and you have yourself the “Roof Garden Cafe” at the Metropolitan Museum. This rooftop quenches the thirst that will be summoned inside your corporeal self whilst looking at Hokusai, The Temple of Dendur, and the breathtaking special exhibit, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (which I highly recommend for its design, curation, and of course, because it is Alexander McQueen).
Not to mention, this lovely rooftop will guarantee you some time away from bus-loads of children, boat-loads of visitors on “holiday”, and security guards watching your every move waiting to devour your soul if you even think of using a flash on that iPhone.
The [Actual] Rooftop Bar
Who said the rooftop bar is hard to spot unless you dig your jetpack out of the back of your closet or rent a hot air balloon? Oh, wait, I did. Well, thanks to modern technology and the invention of the inter-webs, you can easily find that perfect paradise around the corner from your office when you are in dire need of happy hour time with your coworkers to discuss the new interns or the due date of those TPS reports ala “Office Space”.
So, once in the concrete jungle, trade in that machete and whip out your favorite palm gadget which, if you are like me, controls your life, and type in a Google search for that heavenly oasis.
Moral of the story: get on that Wonka-vator and ascend to the top of one of New York’s summer hotspots, grab a drink, and take in the beauty of the greatest city in the world. Be sure to loosen that tie, squeeze that lime into your tumbler, and feel the breeze of that cool summer night.
(Dancing to techno-induced beats is optional, yet, I highly recommend a light foot tap or perhaps a little head nodding action, but whatever you do, leave the fist-pumping for the Jersey Shore.)
The Le Bain Rooftop NYC Nightclub At The Standard
Le Bain Standard Hotel Rooftop Nightclub NYC – Look no further, New York’s hottest club is Le Bain located in the middle of the cobblestone streets of New York’s trendiest part of town in the Meatpacking District. The masterminds at The Standard Hotel have truly outdone themselves this time by bringing Le Bain to New York’ers looking to get wet and wild, glitteraly.
This place has EVERYTHING: Naomi Campbell lifeguards, bouncy sugar donut-shaped seating choices, Parisian-style crêpe hovels, and nautical-pirate people. It’s that thing when Brooklyn hipsters and fashionista trendsetters don their finest sailing gear of high-waisted shorts, Gucci leather boat shoes, and silk navy striped dresses from Theory paired with layers and layers of mesh tank tops from Marc Jacobs.
What really ties this look together is a single drop feather earring doubling as Paulie the Parrot, and of course, a tricorn hat directly from the Quaker Oats factory. Think Pirates of Penzance on acid.
If you’re looking to have a good time, look no further. Le Bain has it all: in the middle of the club is a four-foot deep hot tub with luke warm water and more jets than an airforce base. This place offers 360 degree views of Manhattan, the Hudson, and our little midget friend across the way, New Jersey.
Don’t even get me started on the rooftop fully adorned with Brady Bunch Astroturf, enough lawn chairs to host a Mexican family reunion, and terry cloth ghost-rat people. It’s that thing when a 90 pound girl resembling an Olsen twin emerges from the hot tub looking like a drowned rat wrapped up in more towels than a soccer mom at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond semi annual sale.
Seriously though, Le Bain is the hippest club this side of the Mississippi full of class and chic-trash. Once inside the door, after the 30 second elevator ride, and post-fighting your way through smoke and lasers, you’ll be sure to spot an array of characters from jaw-dropping model-types to middle-aged Asian German tourists who are ready to strip their skivvies and party in the hot tub.
Keep the Grey Goose flowing, the jets streaming, and the crêpes a cooking, Le Bain. Trust me, this is an experience you will never forget. Whatever you do, leave the fire hydrant people, Gizblow, and / or human suitcases at home. Le Bain already has all of that, silly! Bottoms up!
Jimmy James Hotel Is One Of The Best Rooftop Bars New York City
The Jimmy James Hotel Rooftop Bar NYC – Yes, we meet again on the ongoing and undying love I have for the rooftop bar. The culprit at hand this time, Jimmy at The James Hotel. This rooftop oasis is set amidst the fashionistas and slew of foreign tourists in the heart of Soho.
Jimmy towers 18 stories above streets of H and M bags, umbrella peddlers, and Europeans on holiday fully clad with fanny packs and sweaters tied around their shoulders. This rooftop bar serves up some serious style in their Soho digs that emit a retro 70’s chic feel with upholstered plush seating, wood accents, and beautiful steel arco lamps.
Once inside, you’ll feel like a true bachelor swinging his way through far-out decor that will have you acting out your best Austin Powers impersonation. Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous view of Jimmy’s indoor bar with floor to ceiling windows offering 360 degree views of Manhattan. Instead, take a venture to Jimmy’s gorgeous outdoor roof deck.
The roof deck is a sight to be seen, literally. Not only are you 18 stories high above the swarm of Soho spenders, but smack dab in the middle of the deck, is a gorgeous swimming pool. If you feel like traveling by land instead of sea, the roof deck also boasts a fireplace surrounded with chaise lounges.
Places like Jimmy make you forget all about the hustle and bustle of New York, and not to mention, give you the sudden urge to don a red velvet smoking jacket whilst everyone calls you “Heff.”
At Jimmy, you are undoubtedly in good hands which you will see once you lay eyes on their cleverly concocted menu of cocktails. Their beverages boast big bragging rights as their juices, garnishes, and herbs are hand-picked from The James Hotel’s very own organic garden. Feeling a little frisky? Try the Chanel No. 9, a prime beverage made from “9 different floral and botanical liquors” paired with champagne and “strawberry pearls”.
Want more of a lascivious libation? Try the Redrum Redrum imbibed with rum, cherry liqueur, guava juice, and fresh lime juice. Can we say, “Heeeeeere’s Jimmy!” If you’re feeling a bit more high-brow, try the Madame Bovary, a concoction of Courvoisier XO, Chambord, Champagne, and passion fruit juices. Now, if those drinks didn’t get you all kinds of parched, you need to check that pulse of yours.
Head over to Jimmy at The James Hotel for a night with the ladies, a guy’s night out, or for some post-dinner date decadence. Whether you’re hanging with your buds, ladies, or that someone special, Jimmy is one groovy place. Cheers, baby! Cheers!
Review of the Rooftop Ava Lounge NYC at the Dream Hotel
Ava Lounge NYC at the Dream Hotel – The term ‘heavenly oasis’ is not a term that one associates with New York City amidst the hoards of foreign tourists, business suits, and delivery men toting Seamless bags full of Thai food to the average New York luncher.
However, that’s all about to change with our recent find on my favorite topic, rooftop bars. Yes, dears, do not worry. I am back with what I know and love best. This time the liquor spa we’re talking about is the Dream Hotel Rooftop Ava Lounge NYC.
The Ava Lounge sits atop one of New York’s newest gems, the Dream Hotel, located smack dab in the middle of the busiest place in the city, Times Square. I know what you’re thinking because if you are anything like me, then you have a burning hatred for this tourist hotspot.
Let me just say that the Dream Hotel NYC is definitely worth the trip fending off seas of fanny-pack wielding tourists and my personal favorite people, promoters yelling about some comedy show.
(No, I do not want to go to a comedy show, and if you ask me 19 times, the last thing I want to do is laugh. I would rather take the flyer in your hands and cut my ears off with it.)
Sorry, that was a bit morbid and I digressed.
The Dream Hotel is a modern marvel of chic status for the young professional. With it’s sleek decor and futuristic facade, it’s perfectly tailored for those young, driven, and creative individuals.
Once you walk past the Hotel lobby of this space-age hot-spot, soar 14 floors above Midtown, and check out the Ava Lounge. This anti-sobriety sanctuary is named after one of my favorite actresses, Ava Gardner. What could the two possibly have in common? Beauty, grace, mystery, and sex-appeal, that’s what.
The Ava Lounge screams swank with its 1950’s inspired theme boasting geometric sculptural pieces, mod-inspired furniture and decor, and beautiful wall treatments of pop art colors. This beautiful escape from the city below resembles an Andy Warhol psychedelic dream.
The view is gorgeous overlooking the Hudson and Times Square where you can point and laugh at the suckers weaving in and out of phalanxes of people. If you find yourself in the heart of New York City, be sure to check out the Ava Lounge, grab a groovilicious drink, and celebrate your week by doing the “monkey”. Cheers!
Review of the The Kimberly Hotel Rooftop Bar in NYC
Kimberly Hotel Rooftop – With the recent string of rather suspicious spring weather we’ve been having in New York City (post-snow-Saturday, of course), the time has come to revisit one of our favorite topics that we haven’t touched on for quite some time: ROOFTOP BARS!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are back with featuring our favorite locales for eclectic atmospheres and a fiercely stiff cocktail. Spring and summer seem to be a little far off in a distant land, BUT the seasonal change will be here sooner than you know, hopefully. That being said, we decided to feature one of our latest finds, Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel.
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel is a space unlike many located in Midtown East, Upstairs opens up to a beautiful modern and chic space. Though our recent visit found us there in the colder months, Upstairs has a great sense of panache and a severe aroma of style.
The “indoor” area resembling something akin to a greenhouse is a beautiful and romantic setting with full glass enclosures and a glass-panel ceiling that is retractable for the warmer nights that are to come.
What I really love about The Kimberly Hotel Rooftop is the outdoor patio that is open year round. This gorgeous al fresco area is full of brick walls covered in ivy, wrought iron decor and furniture, and a view that is absolutely breathtaking.
Fully equipped with enough space heaters to give global warming a new meaning, Upstairs’s atmosphere will keep you warm and toasty throughout the night while you dance and drink the night away! Be sure to put on your finest outfit, grab a vodka tonic at the bar, and head outside to enjoy a night of city lights and celeb status. Cheers!
Here are a couple of favorite NYC lounges and bars:
Review of The Hudson Hotel Library Bar in NYC
New York City’s Hudson Hotel Library Bar – Stylish rooftop bars are on the rise yet again, and this time, we’re focusing on the Library at the Hudson Hotel. This bar is quite the site to see and has an array of libations that will soothe your thirsty soul.
The Library at the Hudson Hotel is a beautiful space full of plush leather sofas, wing-back armchairs, and mounds of books begging to be skimmed through as you drink a delicious ‘rare fashioned’ cocktail.
Lining the bar making it a special place in New York, are the books. Being called the Library, it definitely lives up to its name with a plethora of reading material with subjects on fashion, art, theater, and more.
The old-world feel of this bar really takes one to the streets of London basking in its huge fireplace. The glow from the fire along with the smell of books will have you feeling all kinds of cozy.
The Library bar offers a place to really get away and become lost for hours in its inviting atmosphere. With plush leather couches, antique carpets, and an antique billiard table, you’ll travel back in time in luxury. One could only wish that all libraries would serve you some booze as you sifted through pages of Chekhov. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
If you see yourself venturing up to the Hudson Hotel, be sure to check out the Library and all it has to offer. Trust me, this is a place you will soon be dreaming about until you visit it again. Enjoy a quite night out or bring your artsy friends along to engage in deep conversation about Dali, the avant-garde, or the smoothness of your gin cocktail. Cheers!
The Ballroom at the Jane Hotel in NYC’s West Village
Let me tell ya’ what boys and girls, it has been quite some time since I have revisited my favorite topic of all time, BARS! If you’ve kept up with Nazmiyal Blog, you are fully aware of my affinity for swanky shindigs and NYC nightlife.
Today’s special shout out goes to the Jane Ballroom, part of The Jane Hotel in the West Village. The Jane Hotel is a serious hot-spot with numerous fashionistas, models, socialites, and the cultural elite.
From the moment you walk into The Jane Hotel, you will be welcomed by a full breadth of nostalgia from the old-time lobby decor to bellhops straight out of the roaring 20’s. After you pass the Disney-inspired folk, just jute around the river bend / corner, and upon entering, you will see an old-fashioned bar straight from your dreams.
The Jane Ballroom itself is a gorgeous space with a blaring fireplace and enough animal hides to scare the entire Central Park Zoo.
The Jane Ballroom is full of comfy lounge seating, animal hide rugs, and stuffed jaguars, moose heads, and a plethora of taxidermy. High wing-back chairs, cozy french-inspired settees, and deep sinking velvety couches will let you rest your little tootsies.
If the comfy couches don’t tickle your fancy, then kick back with your gin and tonic in the midst of a monstrous flame from the beautiful white marbled fireplace that will take you straight to the streets of France. Make sure to check out the Jane Hotel when in the West Village. Cheers!
Chelsea New York City Hotspot Review – Frying Pan NYC!
Ahoy, matie! Yes, summer is still alive and kicking as I can tell from the chilly air blasting from my A/C. What better way to really take in all New York City has to offer than to get aboard an iconic boat and drink the day and / or night away. The Frying Pan NYC is a hidden sea treasure docked at Chelsea’s very own Pier 66.
Every summer, this bad boy opens up to the public to allow local New York’ers and Chelsea’s hottest hipsters to come aboard this historical ship. The Frying Pan was built in 1929, sank in 1986, and was revived to the surface in 1989.
The boat got a major exterior face-lift where the interior is still closely intact to its original 1920’s status. However, this ship is now home to a major riverside extravaganza serving as a serious ship of sea-shanty swashbucklers.
What we really love about this little guy is the booze cruise that The Frying Pan has to offer. (Not that it’s really a cruise since the ship stays stationed on the pier.) Oh, but nonetheless, the Frying Pan NYC is a major hotspot in Chelsea for those looking to take in an after work happy hour cocktail or for those of you who are venturing to continue your post-brunch day drinking before heading to the likes of NYC nightlife hotspots in the Meatpacking District.
Words of cautionary advice: you may have to fight off some pirates for a seat aboard this vessel as it tends to get packed tighter than a can of sardines.
Get on-board this carrier of cocktails, order a pitcher of sangria, and down those liquids whilst taking in the northern sky and boatloads of gorgeous crew members. Careful not to throw the “Heart of the Ocean” down into the depths of the Hudson.
We don’t want Bill Paxton knocking on your door with a nude drawing of your once youthful self in hand. Remember, if the boat’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’. (Unless, you are aboard the RMS Frying Pan.) Anchors, away!
Mars Bar – The Story Unfolds
Mars Bar – Have I finally gone off my rocker and succumbed to being cuckoo for cocoa puffs? Have I absolutely lost my mind to the deep abyss of dementia, hypochondria, and complete and utter hootenanny? I guess the answer to that is debatable. However, if you are reading this post, that means that my little subject header caught your attention, and yes, I am completely serious that there are New York City apartments for ten dollars! Impossible, you say? Well, think again, Debbie Downer!
Here’s the sitch: If you have ever wandered down the beaten paths of the Lower East Side in what I would call Manhattan’s most eclectic neighborhood full of guerilla-style joints that will pull a sneak-attack on you faster than an army of ninjas, then you are fully aware of the LES’s array of watering holes. (Why does it seem like I am always writing about bars and cocktails?) Hidden deep in the recesses of the LES, one may or may not have frequented, Mars Bar.
The Mars Bar is the “diviest” bar I have ever been to in my life, and I am ashamed to even admit that my Oxford-style wingtips graced the floor of this establishment. Let’s just say it wasn’t my choice, and I dipped out as soon as the embarrassment turned into the concoction of the perfect escape plan. All that being said, this dive bar is a historical bar, it’s monumental, it’s blah, blah, blah. What’s more important is that this bar is CLOSING.
Why, oh, why, one might ask? Well, other than being the epitome of a dive bar adorned with sticky floors that would give a glue trap some serious competition, bathroom graffiti prompting you to “Call John,” and more Pabst Blue Ribbon than you can shake a stick at, this bar is being demolished along with its adjoining building to make way for a brand new high-rise. I know. I know. This is New York. Do we really need another high-rise that will undoubtedly offer amenities galore for a pretty hefty price tag? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, in this case, the answer may be yes.
If you’ve looked around Manhattan lately, you are fully aware of the major face-lift that it is undergoing on what seems to be every corner. The Lower East Side is no stranger to the slew of newly constructed buildings of steel and glass. So, what sets apart this new high rise that is to take the place of the historic Mars Bar and the 90 year-old building? Well, the condos, once complete, are offering a deal that is completely unheard of. They are offering the current tenants of the soon-to-be demolished structure a chance, a jackpot, a steal of a find, to buy a brand-spanking new NYC apartment for only TEN DOLLARS! Yes, it is true. Miracles really do happen, and sometimes, they even happen without a jolly old man clad in a red suit and fuzzy hat.
Is it sad that New York’s beautiful buildings are being torn down one by one to make way for new flashy NYC apartment buildings? Yes, I mean don’t get me wrong, I appreciate history, culture, and the preservation of a building to the nth degree, but how can anyone turn down a deal like this? Does it make it right or justify the action? No, but it certainly does help. Let’s face it, ten dollars can hardly buy you a set of forks at Ikea. Now, if only I could find a sweet deal like this for my new abode. Ladies and gents, keep your eyes peeled, your ears open, and maybe, just maybe give that dive bar another chance. You never know what can come of it. Just make sure to wear the “casual” shoes that you won’t mind getting doused with PBR and peanut shells.
This blog about the hottest NYC rooftop bars and the trendiest Manhattan lounges was published by Nazmiyal antique rugs in New York City.