New York City’s skyline is chock full of stylish rooftop bars, where cocktails are heavily poured, live DJs throw beats and panoramas of the cityscape really anchor you in place. If your bachelor party takes place in anything but the coldest months, make a beeline to these rooftop bars, seven of the best in NYC.
St. CloudThe Knickerbocker The Knickerbocker, New York, NY, United States
The Knickerbocker is Times Square’s first luxury hotel to open in years, though history runs deep here. It was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV and served as the playground for NYC’s rich and famous, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Teddy Roosevelt. Tradition continues thanks to the hotel’s rooftop bar, St. Cloud. The classy, upscale haven has become a magnet for ball-busting executives, dolled-up socialites and a smatter of celebrities like Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. The indoor/outdoor, 8,000-square-foot rooftop (with original, 19th century Beaux Arts structure and facades) has insane views of Times Square below. It’s not too high up (only 17 floors), which comes to its advantage. You’re in the middle of the famed, neon flashing signs and you can actually see all the Times Square action below without having to squint. Book a “sky pod” (VIP lounge) for the ultimate bachelor party hang.
AzulHotel Hugo Hotel Hugo, Greenwich Street, New York, NY, United States
In the Hudson Square area (basically flanked by Soho and Greenwich Village), Hotel Hugo is right along the Hudson River in a relatively off-the-radar area. It’s quiet for NYC but after work hours, this rooftop gets lit. This space is not you’d expect for a quiet hotel. A cool 20 stories high, with heart-stopping views of the Hudson River, Freedom Tower, Midtown and Statue of Liberty, both Bar Hugo and the Havana-themed Azul have live music and a cantina vibe. It’s pretty swank and industrial (think tons of concrete, chrome and leather), and the prices are typical of Manhattan ($9 for a beer, $17 for a cocktail) but it’s worth the night out.
Mr. PurpleIndigo Mr. Purple, New York, NY, United States
Only two years old, Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side is already the hottest spot in the neighborhood. The millennial-centric, urban-inspired hotel (part of Intercontinental Hotels) bough the air rights to the building, so the views are complete unobstructed. The artsy, loft-style, 15th-floor Mr. Purple is one of the wildest rooftop bars in New York City, where you can find everything from hipsters and rockers to investment bankers and Uptown queens making the downtown trek to party hard with the best. There’s an indoor space with massive bar (and cocktail waiters) framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace and a separate outdoor area with swimming pool. It gets packed as early at 5 pm for happy hour, and the views are some of the best this side of Houston.
Refinery RooftopRefinery Hotel, West 38th Street, New York, NY, United States
Crowning the Refinery boutique hotel on 38th street, the stylish Refinery Rooftop is as New York City as it gets. With a retractable roof, brick walls, wooden beams and the type of contemporary furnishings you’d find at Restoration Hardware, it feels a little industrial, a little Midtown and a little Brooklyn all mixed together. If the characters of Girls were going out, you’d likely find them here. It’s a huge hit during lunch (get reservations) and happy hour for sunsets. Definitely come when you’re hungry. Executive chef Jeff Haskell knows guy food (grilled hangar steak, lamb sandwich, meatballs) and how to prepare it.
Le BainThe Standard The Standard, High Line, Washington Street, NYC, NY, United States
Le Bain in the Meatpacking District was the Studio 54 of the late 2000s. It was crazy, it was wild, the music was incredible and there were endless shenanigans any given night of the week. Everyone wanted in, but doorman Ian was as picky as The Bachelor. Thankfully, things have cooled off a bit (though there is still some major lines to cross… if you’re a guest at the hotel you get priority entrance). Le Bain is still action packed, and guy groups often pick it as the last stop on their bar hops. Right on the Hudson River, the views are unmatchable. The indoor space has a hot tub where models like to show some skin, but the outdoor area is the best place to catch a breather and take in the scene.
La PiscineHotel Americano La Piscine, West 27th Street, New York, NY, United States
When Hotel Americano opened five years ago, Chelsea residents rejoiced that there was finally a good rooftop spot in their neighborhood. La Piscine is mostly known for its restaurant, which serves elevated Mediterranean cuisine, but plenty of people come up to chill with the live DJ and bands, and take in the views (including the High Line). It’s also one of few rooftop pools in the city, so you can turn it into your very own swim-up bar. One of the coolest things about this 10th-floor rooftop bar is that you have to take an external glass elevator to get up there: let’s hope you can stomach that ride beforehand–it’s worth it.
The IdesWythe Hotel The Ides Bar, Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Hipsters, wanderers, hippies, artists, nerds, rockers, tourists and new-school preps make The Ides at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn one of the most eclectic crowds yet. It’s also “gratuity free” (as in, tips are included in the price), but you can’t expect less in Williamsburg. The outdoor terrace bar on the sixth floor is the ultimate hot spot for when the weather gets nice, and considering it’s Brooklyn, you can bet there’s small-batch spirits, craft beers and complicated (yet good) $16 cocktails. The sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan’s skyline is as good as it gets this side of the bridge, and the sunsets are spectacular.