Sipping cocktails head- and -shoulders above the rest is the coolest way to appreciate New York: sing it from the rooftops...
Join New York’s trendy crowd and head for the rooftops, where a slew of achingly hip bars are attracting fashionistas, locals and A-listers alike. Go on, reach for the stars…
Situated in New York's trendy Meatpacking District , the Gansevoort Hotel is cool itself. And one of its funkiest features? The 45-foot heated rooftop pool, which boasts underwater music and coloured lighting, and is completely surrounded by glass, offering a no-holds-barred, 360-degree panoramic view of New York city and the Hudson River. The accompanying Plunge rooftop bar and lounge ensures there's always a perfectly-blended cocktail ready-and-waiting.
With a Julian Schnabel colour palette and Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst works of art hanging from the wall, The Private Roof Club and Garden at the Gramercy Hotel is a delightful mélange of Bohemian luxury. An indoor and outdoor space, with a retractable roof, this bar/spa/business venue/cocktail den is set in lush landscaped gardens and dazzles with luminous light installations. The drawback? You have to be staying at the hotel - or be a private member - to go there, and prices aren't unsubstantial. But for a special treat? It's perfect.
Chic, sleek and achingly hip, the 60 Thompson is a relatively small (100-room) luxury boutique hotel in New York's hottest district - Soho. The A60, no, not a motorway in England, is its intimate rooftop bar, full name: Above 60. As with many of the hotel rooftop bars, the A60 is a members and guests-only venue, but it's worth checking in for a night just to sip cocktails with the cool crowd while overlooking New York's It-downtown destination. Ssh! Insiders say its not as exclusive as it may first seem and, with some excellent blagging techniques and eyelash-flutters a-plenty, the nice bouncers might just let you in without a hotel keycard.
Run by the brain behind famous New York nightclubs Roxy and Palladium, 230 Fifth offers a disco-diva '1940s modernist' interior and a large funky exterior with views of the most recognisable landmarks in the Big Apple, including the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. Open to the public every single day of the year - from 4pm to 4am - this is the place where trendy New Yorkers head to let their hair down and party, party, party.
In keeping with the über-cool Meatpacking Districts urban warehouse conversions, Soho House has a minimalist vibe and, as a members-only venue, this place is see-and-be-seen territory. Crunch on figure-friendly food from the Raw bar, or tuck in to salads and grilled fish or meat, while looking out over the West Village and Hudson River, with your little toe dipping in the 15ftx32ft rooftop pool. Trés trendy.
Fancy a taste of the Oriental? The mystical East meets modern West in this mid-town Manhattan bar with fabulous views over the famous Fifth Avenue and the citys superb skyline, which you can enjoy from your relaxed Chinese-style day-bed. Munch on Asian-inspired light snacks and sip on their signature cocktails for a truly luxurious treat.
OK, it doesnt get much flasher than this: table service, an air-conditioned games room, fancy cocktails and even a hammock. Whats not to love? The Hudson Sky Terrace is a guests-only gig, so book in for a night and take the chance to check out its other famous venue: The Hudson Bar. A Manhattanite-favourite nightspot, its lit glass floor and decadent yet modern furniture not to mention its constant flow of funky DJs ensures this is one bar that never stops buzzing.
This James Bond-style lounge bar is one of the more laidback, less exclusive venues on the list, but makes the perfect pit-stop for New Yorkers hunting out after-work drinks. The rooftop is small but packed out with a mix of people, including NYU students, suits, and fashionistas. New wave, soul and funk DJs provide the perfect backdrop for some sharp moves on the D-floor, and the happy-go-lucky vibe oh, and the 2 for 1 happy hour - means this is somewhere youre likely to get a bit tiddly.
The Lower East Sides resident club and goth headquarters lightens up on a Tuesday night when it opens its roof deck for $5 all-you-can-eat barbeques. The drinks are reasonably priced ($8 frozen blends are available from the margarita machine) and beers are a purse-pleasing $6 a piece. Plonk yourself down on one of the wooden benches surrounded by lush-looking plants and soak up the views of the Williamsburg bridge. Its open every day from 5pm to 4am, so youve got ample time to appreciate it!
You couldnt blame the Local West if it suffered from SBS (Small Bar Syndrome) as its situated on top of a one-storey building, but for a chilled out refreshing beer, its a top little spot. Peckish? Chow down on nachos, calamari and chicken strips. You get the impression.