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3 rooftop bars in NYC you need to put on your to-do list

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TRVL Tips 3 rooftop bars in NYC you need to put on your to-do list

There has been a surge in the popularity of rooftop living in New York over the last 15 years or so. It’s up, up, up in the City of Superlatives! So, it’s hardly surprising that many cool hotels have started to develop their top floors into amazing rooftop bars, all striving to have the best views, cocktails, and DJs.

Joan de Haart
Joan de Haart

That’s music to my ears because I just love a hotel that has a great bar with a beautiful view and a clubby vibe! It’s a trend that seems like it will last, judging by the lines in front of the elevators that will whoosh you right up. Don’t wanna wait in line? Prefer to be treated like a VIP by the doormen? Then stay at one of my three favorite hotels in the Big Apple, each of which has one of the best rooftop bars in New York.

Before the Westlight was born in 2016, The Ides was unrivaled. “What is that big white futuristic building close to The Wythe?” a friend of mine asked after returning from New York. She hadn't looked any further than The Ides, thinking that the super trendy bar was all there was to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The tone of her voice made the question sound more like: ‘I hope I didn’t miss anything!?’ Well, I can tell you: she did. She missed out The William Vale, a beautiful luxury hotel with a playful design and a spectacular view from the bar on its 22nd floor. The Westlight is sexy and gorgeous and has 360-degree views of New York’s skyline. It will stun you, as it did me.

2. The Ides - The Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn

The rooftop bar on the sixth floor of The Wythe Hotel was practically legendary from the moment it opened in Williamsburg, one of New York's hippest hoods, in 2012. Word got out fast, and this is now the place to go for sweeping views of Manhattan, a beautiful bar with industrial design, and lots of space to sit down, either inside or outside on the patio. They serve really good bites and special cocktails, too, so there are plenty enough reasons to make your way to Brooklyn and spend an evening across the East River.

3. Refinery Rooftop - The Refinery, Fashion District

This isn’t just one of the best rooftop bars in New York; according to USA Today readers, this is the best rooftop bar in the US! It has a (hi)story, too, because The Refinery used to be a hat factory in the historic Garment District at the turn-of-the-century. The posh boutique hotel boasts a fantastic location just around the corner from Times Square, a great bar, Winny’s Jazz Lounge, and Parker & Quinn, a nostalgic signature restaurant. However, it considers the Refinery Rooftop, which offers unparalleled views of the Empire State, to be its crowning jewel. The Refinery Rooftop is a very popular spot for after-work drinks and, because of its retractable roof, the locals like to come here all year round. The cocktail menu is impressive and lists inspiring names such as Old Dirty Bramble and Penthouse Paloma. Wanna share? No problem: the Cocktail Caddies feature 4 servings of the bar’s handcrafted cocktails at a rooftop price of $55. Yep, it may seem like a lot, but you’re also paying for the exclusive ambiance of a not-to-be-missed NYC experience. And isn’t that what it's all about?


Photo by Nils von der Assen

Nils von der Assen

Nils von der Assen

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