It’s official: Alfresco 6 – A Chivas Bar has been crowned the Most Instagrammable Rooftop Bar in the world by our readers. The Southeast Asia venue on the 64th floor of the Tower Club at lebua garnered 54 percent of the vote, ahead of runner-up Top of the Strand in New York, which got 40 percent of the vote.
Other finalists included Terrat at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona; Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong in East Asia; Purple at Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa in Mexico; Celestial Terrace at Jade Mountain; Skylounge at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London; and Paris' Le Georges at the Centre Pompidou.
Below you can find out more about the winner, finalists and other contenders who competed throughout the contest. Happy rooftop bar season!
Winner: Alfresco 64 - A Chivas Bar
Set on the 64th floor of the Tower Club at lebua, this space, which just opened this past March, bills itself as the world’s highest outdoor whiskey bar. The venue has partnered with Scotch whiskey manufacturer Chivas Regal to serve a lineup of Chivas whiskies as well as other premium varieties, plus a limited edition “Chivas Exclusive lebua blend” – the first time Chivas Regal has created a blend exclusively for a partner.
Runner Up: Top of the Strand
Set on the 21st floor of Midtown’s Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, the winner of our New York round is the Top of the Strand. This year-round venue has a retractable glass roof and a drinks menu that runs the gamut from a full lineup of cocktails to beer and wine, and private event packages are also available.
Notable Finalist: Terrat at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
In Barcelona, guests here can enjoy 360 degree views of the city as well as a rooftop dipping pool. A wide range of drinks and cocktails are served up alongside Peruvian cuisine from Chef Gastón Acurio.
East Asia Finalist: Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Billed as the world’s highest rooftop bar, this venue is way up on the 118th floor. Cocktails, Asian tapas and dance parties are on the menu, and the bar even hosts “weddings in the sky” for couples looking to tie the not. No shorts, beach sandals, open toe shoes or sleeveless shirts for gentlemen after 9 p.m., and guests under 18 are only allowed between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily and at Sunday brunch.
Mexico Finalist: Purple at Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa
Looking out over the marina and the stunning Bay of Cortez, the Purple VIP rooftop lounge offers a cool spot to enjoy the sun. By night, guests can party with local DJs while enjoying premium beverages.
Caribbean Finalist: Celestial Terrace at Jade Mountain
Hovering high above the Jade Mountain Club, the Celestial Terrace serves up cocktails and a space for sunset-watching and stargazing. The food grown on the resort emphasizes local ingredients – the estate even produces its own chocolate – while the resort’s organic farm, Emeralds, provides additional herbs and vegetables for the table. Private dining experiences are also available.
London Finalist: The SkyLounge at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London
In the heart of the city, from here guests can take in the Tower Bridge, The Shard, the Tower of London, the Thames, Gherkin and St. Paul’s Cathedral in a 360-degree panorama. Guests can reserve tables in the bar (subject to availability) for a minimum of 10 – otherwise, it’s first come, first served. The drinks menu serves up a number of classic cocktails (takes on a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Negroni and more are all in evidence), as well as wine, beer and liquor. For entertainment, the bar has a resident DJ.
Paris Finalist: Le Georges at the Centre Pompidou
A great spot to grab a quick break from museum-hopping, this hideaway atop the Centre Georges Pompidou in Les Halles offers a number of options for a sweet bite, like chocolate fondant, bourbon vanilla ice cream and apple or lemon meringue pies. Heavier fare, including a croque monsieur, cheeseburger and chicken Caesar salad, is served until 7 p.m.
The Other Contenders
Salon de Ning at The Peninsula New York
We start the contest with a touch of luxury, as well as a stellar view over Fifth Avenue and the midtown Manhattan skyline. Drawing inspiration from the life of Shanghai socialite Madame Ning, the vibe here straddles the divide between ancient and modern, with design accents like intricately carved Chinese screens and an arrival corridor lined in Venetian mirrors. A limited small plates menu is available for snacking, plus wine by the glass and a range of signature cocktails like Bird’s Eye (Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila, agave nectar, red thai chili, raspberry, lime) or the Ning Sling (Hendrick's Gin, fresh mint, lychee & passion fruit.) Good to know: the bar is bookable for private events. Reservations are only accepted for the lounge seating areas or groups of 20 or more.
Gallow Green at The McKittrick Hotel
In Chelsea, this “garden party” inspired space is perched atop The McKittrick Hotel, which is really the performance space for “Sleep No More,” an interactive, avant-garde take on Macbeth. Notable for its relaxing setting in an array of lush greenery, the cocktail menu here tends toward the old-timey – think punch bowls.
St. Cloud at The Knickerbocker
A relative newcomer – this space opened back in 2015 – this bar is the place to take in Times Square without worrying about the crowds. For even more exclusivity, three corner Sky Pods overlooking the street below are available. In addition to a cocktail menu, a lineup of craft bottled beers and small plates with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients are also served here. Depending on the day, guests can also take in a rotating lineup of entertainment.
Westlight at The William Vale Hotel
Hopping across to Brooklyn, Westlight at The William Vale Hotel opened this past fall on the 22nd floor. The Williamsburg location means guests have a full view of the Manhattan skyline, and the bar program aims to showcase both original and classic cocktails, along with spirits, craft beer and wine. For snacking, the small plates draw inspiration from global street food with items like seared octopus skewers and shrimp cocktail dumplings.
On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, The Delancey’s rooftop bar is the top of a three level club that is also home to a downstairs music venue and main level bar. Designed as a tropical oasis, a retractable roof means parties can take place here rain or shine, even when it’s not technically rooftop bar season. The rooftop is also bookable for private events, either on its own or in combination with the lower two levels.
Le Bain at The Standard, High Line
After a day on The High Line, New York’s hottest new public park, travelers can dance the night away at Le Bain, a penthouse discothèque and rooftop bar on the top floor of The Standard, High Line. During the summer there’s also a plunge pool on the dance floor and a crêperie. Warn your clients: admission is determined at the door, so dress your best!
PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown
More views of Midtown and Times Square are available at the PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown, which has both an indoor and outdoor rooftop space. Designed to resemble a luxury penthouse, the venue is fully enclosed during winter so guests can enjoy rooftop views year-round. Another location is also at the Dream Downtown.
The Press Lounge at Kimpton Ink48 Hotel
At Kimpton’s Ink48 Hotel, which just underwent an extensive renovation last summer, this Hell’s Kitchen bar offers panoramic views and a seasonal cocktail list. Small plates range from an assorted salumi dish to cheese plates and house-made hummus. An “elegant casual” dress code is enforced – no beachwear or baseball caps – and the bar is bookable for private events.
The Loopy Doopy at Conrad New York
On the 16th floor, The Loopy Doopy at the Conrad New York looks out over Lower Manhattan and serves up fun cocktails like the Prosecco & Ice Pop, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. (Ice pop options vary on a monthly basis.) Small plates are also available to snack on. While the bar does not accept reservations, it is bookable as a full buyout, and is also available for photo shoots, weddings, gatherings and outdoor meetings during nonoperational hours.
Set atop an old railway station in the 16th arrondissement, this Italian brasserie recently expanded. With a design emphasizing lush greenery and climbing vines, drinks here run the gamut from healthy – “Detox” cocktails offer a mix of fresh juices – to entertaining, such as the Bunea Sera (Jack Daniel’s, ginger beer, black tea and honey).
Terrasse de l'hôtel Raphael
With a view stretching from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, this luxurious hideaway lets guests order from the hotel’s lunch or dinner menu while sipping on a glass of champagne. Good to know: in the event of foul weather, guests with a reservation will be taken to the hotel’s “Le 17” restaurant inside.
Just opposite the legendary Folies Bergère music hall, this wine bar offers a number of wines by the glass and an extensive wine list that the owners source directly from the winemakers. Food here emphasizes seasonal ingredients – think Pont-Eveque bread with honey and cumin, eggplant millefeuille with chorizo, mellow with oil olive and goat curd as a snack.
The Roof Deck at Selfridges
Atop the Selfridges department store, this new concept restaurant just opened April 11 on Oxford street. Offering California-style dining, guests here can also check out artwork from six photographers -- Andrew Kuykendall, Adam Rindy, Roberto Badin, Kayla Varley, Henrik Adamsen and Stephanie Sian Smith, from the AMP Agency – depicting California landscapes.
Rumpus Room at the Mondrian London
The rooftop bar of the Mondrian London offers river views, live music on Wednesdays and DJ’s from Thursday through Saturday. The dress code at this South Bank hotspot is smart/casual – no sportswear, sneakers or flip-flops! – with drinks running the gamut from a Victorian Old Fashioned (Dutch Courage dry gin, Colombian Orthodoxy aged gin, drops of absinthe, pine and beer syrup, Talisker 10YO Scotch, bitters) to the East India Elixir (Bombay Sapphire Gin, tea, apple and rice shrub, celery and absinthe drops, citrus, Indian tonic water).
Culpeper Roof Garden
For a greener getaway, this rooftop pub is also the site of an herb and vegetable garden that provides many of the herbs and veggies used on-site. The space also has a custom woodfired grill and greenhouse dining room. Good to know: there are no reservations accepted during the summer.
For something a little different, Frank’s Café is set atop a multi-story car park a short walk from Peckham Rye Station. Again, no reservations are accepted here – just arrive early to enjoy classic cocktails, beer, cider and wine. The bar reopens for the summer May 19.
On the 38th and 39th floors of 110 Bishopsgate, guests here can enjoy a unique mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. Billed as one of the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, even the arrival is an experience as guests take one of two panoramic glass elevators up to the 39th floor. Dress code is “Casual Elegance.”
Infinity Pool Bar at Hyatt Regency Trinidad
Light fare and a chance to cool off pair with spectacular views of the Gulf of Paria at this bar by the hotel’s infinity rooftop pool. The food is light – think sandwiches, burgers and salads – and a lineup of “smoothie” meals is available for those trying to stay healthy. Drinks are tropical, with classics like the mojito and margarita sharing space with the Island Vibes (Patron tequila, Grand Marnier, agave nectar, fresh lemon and lime juice) or the Little Savannah (Malibu coconut rum, blue curacao, apricot brandy, orange juice and pineapple juice). The best part, however, is the view: you can see clear to Venezuela from here.
Altitude Rooftop Bar at Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa
Billed as the only rooftop pool and bar in Jamaica, resort guests here can take advantage of unlimited premium wines, spirits and beers, as well as a selection of cocktails, and a pool that provides a cooling escape. The 360 degree views look out over the mountains, ocean and bay. Good to know: the bar is for xhale club guests only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., after which it’s open until 2 a.m. Happy hour is from 6 to 8!
Dasheene at Ladera Resort
The only resort in St. Lucia on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ladera Resort is perched on a volcanic ridge line 1,000 feet above sea level. That means the resort’s restaurant and bar, Dasheene, is home to spectacular views of the Pitons and nearby Soufrière. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch, this is the spot to go for sustainable cooking focusing on local ingredients.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
In St. Maarten, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is home to two rooftop bars that take advantage of the resort’s dramatic clifftop location. The Sunset Lounge & Bar is located atop the resort’s west end, making it an ideal spot for watching the sun set while enjoying a specialty cocktails. On top of the Azul Restaurant, the Azul Rooftop Bar offers panoramic vistas and full bar service for private events only.
Monkey Business at Hilton at Resorts World Bimini
On the fifth floor of the recently-opened Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Monkey Business looks out over Bimini Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the resort’s adults-only rooftop infinity pool. Cocktails range from “poolside favorites” like pina coladas, daiquiris and margaritas to offerings like the Gateway Fix (Vodka, Sauvignon Blanc, citrus, apple and tonic) or the Shark’s Tooth (Dark and Gold Rum, Maraschino cherry, pineapple and lime). For snacking, there’s a selection of salads, burgers and a BBQ kabob station.
The Mist Rooftop Experience at San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel
This contender is two rooftop experiences in one. By day, Mist provides a place to relax by the hotel’s rooftop pool while soaking in the breeze and enjoying views of the Atlantic Ocean. When the sun goes down, “Nightology” begins – a nightlife experience featuring tunes spun by local and international DJs for dancing and drinking under the stars.
Sky Bar at Finest Playa Mujeres
Relax while enjoying the sea breeze and a background of mellow, downtempo beats from this bar’s signature soundtrack of electronic house music. Drinks here run the gamut from molecular cocktails and trendy gins to old standbys, like a Caribbean Rum & Coke.
The Rooftop at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel
High above Cabo San Lucas, this al fresco “sky garden” pairs sweeping views of the downtown and El Arco with lush greenery and flowing water. Mixologist Nestor Can has created a menu of handcrafted cocktails and local beers. Good to know: the bar is now available for private events.
Sky Bar at Beach Palace Cancun
On the 14th floor, this poolside rooftop bar has a range of ways to refuel: cocktails, spirits, beers and snacks. Drinks are served 9 am to 1 am, while snacks are served up 11 am to 5 pm.
For a more relaxed vibe, Mexico City’s Downtown Mexico has a partially glassed-over rooftop terrace with views of the city’s skyline and historic center, including the Torre Latinoamericana and the Casino Español. There is also a pool and Jacuzzi for a quick dip or a long soak. The hotel is a member of Grupo Habita, Design Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Hotel Parque Mexico
Another Mexico City contender, the Hotel Parque Mexico has a terrace custom-built by a single craftsman, with a design inspired by a Greek amphitheater. In addition to a wide selection of drinks and cuisine with influences hailing from Oaxaca, the Yucatan, Puebla and the Pacific, guests here can enjoy live music twice a week.
How does a nice steak work for a bar snack? This Hong Kong steakhouse and bar is perched high above Wan Chai, with views of Victoria Harbour and the Happy Valley Racecourse. In addition to an extensive wine list, guests here can sip on cocktails like the Champagne Mandarin Collins (fresh mandarins muddled with mandarin infused vodka and freshly squeezed lemon juice; charged with champagne) or the Wooloomoooloo Flirtini (Fresh pineapple muddled with pineapple juice and Grey Goose vodka; invigorated with champagne).
Sugar (Bar.Deck.Lounge) at EAST Hong Kong
Another Hong Kong venue, this 32nd floor deck serves up drinks, tapas and tunes from a resident DJ from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Note: Guests 18 and under are not allowed.
X25 at W Beijing – Chang’an
Moving to Beijing, X25 lets guests take in the old city wall, ancient observatory and skyline. Music lovers will be at home here, as the venue hosts a rotating lineup of live musicians and local and global DJs, arriving nightly at 9pm. There is also a dance floor for those so inclined. Signature cocktails include the Marvelous Blue, Chang’an Cooler and Beijing Night.
Two Rooms Grill Bar
High above Tokyo’s Fashion District, this bar and restaurant aims to fuse Old and New World cooking techniques with an emphasis on fresh market produce. The venue works with winemakers from around the world to curate a glass walk-in cellar, which also doubles as an entrance to a private dining room. Up top, views of the Tokyo skyline pair with an extensive cocktail list and wood-and-leather décor highlighted by a 50,000 year old swamp Kauri from New Zealand.
New York Bar at Park Hyatt Tokyo
Live performances from top international jazz artists nightly are on the menu here, as well as a drinks menu spotlighting original cocktails, cognac, brandy and a wine list that’s billed as having the largest selection of American wines in Japan. There’s also a casual dining menu for snacking. Good to know: a cover charge of 2,400 JPY (exclusive of tax) is applied Monday through Saturday from 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 7:00 pm (staying guests are exempt).
Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
With 360 degree views of the Bangkok skyline, guests on this 45th floor venue can groove to the sounds of live DJs and sample new-age fusion food, including Asian-style tapas platters and a seafood bar, along with a selection of wines and cocktails. There is also a lounge and private room.
Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok
Featured in The Hangover Part 2, this al fresco dining experience serves up seafood and premium steaks 61 floors above the city. Signature drinks include the Vertigo Sunset (pineapple, cranberry and lime juice with Malibu rum).
Summit Lounge at Pan Pacific Hanoi
Moving to Hanoi, this bar offers a panorama of both the city skyline and an ideal spot to watch the sunset on West Lake. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, and the space is open 4 p.m. through midnight. Attire is “smart casual.”
In Ho Chi Minh City, travelers can dance the night away at this club and lounge bar on top of the AB Tower and adjacent to the New World Hotel. Billed as the first “skybar” concept in Vietnam, bartenders here serve up classic and signature cocktails, as well as premium spirits, champagne, wines and bar snacks.
Skypark at Marina Bay Sands
57 stories above the ground, the Skypark at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is actually home to a number of different venues. There’s CÉ LA VI, with 360 degree skyline views; the Flight Bar & Lounge; Sky on 57 by Justin Quek, which serves modern Franco Asian cuisine; and Spago by Wolfgang Puck. Also here: a spectacular rooftop infinity pool that’s considered by some to be the world’s highest.
1-Altitude at One Raffles Place
Also in Singapore, this dining and lifestyle hotspot occupies the top three floors of One Raffles Place, offering up signature dining experiences and hot nightlife. The bar is billed as the highest alfresco bar in the world, and it plays host to top local bands, international DJs and, of course, great cocktails.
SkyBar at Traders Hotel
On the 33rd floor of this Kuala Lumpur hotel is a spot with a direct view to the city’s famous Petronas Twin Towers, particularly from the bar’s cabana booths. DJs spin tunes here nightly, and it’s open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. (til 3 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and the eve of public holidays). Guests under 21 are not permitted after 7 p.m.
Luna Bar at Pacific Regency Hotel
This 34th floor venue offers 360 degree views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, as well as an environment that’s described as relaxing. It also won the Excellence Award, Best of Malaysia 2012, as well as a number of other nightlife accolades.
Le Moon Terrace Bar at Amanjaya Pancam Hotel
In up and coming Cambodia, the capital city of Phnom Penh is home to this riverside gathering spot with a 270 degree view of the Mekong and Tonle Sap, as well as a sizable slice of the rest of the city. The menu incorporates a number of both classic and original cocktails, and the breeze off the river keeps things cool.
Billed as having the best view in Jakarta, Indonesia, this bar is also home to the country’s first zero-degree vodka room. The venue also sports an extensive wine list, plus dishes ranging from seafood to rice and pastas.
The Roof at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut
With both skyline and Mediterranean sea views, patrons here can enjoy periodic live entertainment and an Asian fusion menu that includes a selection of sushi and sashimi. For drinks, the bar serves up a selection of signature cocktails and mocktails, and the space is even bookable for private events of up to 130 guests.
Cu-ba at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Elsewhere in the Middle East, this rooftop bar – accessible by a glass elevator ride to the hotel’s top floor – combines panoramic views of Dubai with Latin-inspired hospitality. Tapas and cocktails are on the menu, while guests can choose from indoor and outdoor seating, private cabanas or plush couches by the pool.
Conservatory Lounge & Bar at Ararat Park Hyatt
Headed over to Russia, this 10th floor Moscow venue looks out over Red Square and the renovated Bolshoi Theatre. Also in close proximity to the Kremlin, guests here can enjoy a light meal or a pastry, as well as a selection of premium beverages and cocktails. For business travelers, the bar also serves a special business lunch menu at either two courses (1,700 rubles) or three courses (2,200 rubles). Alternatively, a daily afternoon tea menu is available for 990 rubles per person.
Aer at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai
In India, panoramic views of Mumbai are on the menu at this 34th floor open-air lounge, which is open year-round – including during monsoon season, when a canopy and windscreen provide protection from the elements and a memorable experience for patrons. The happy hour menu offers two for one craft cocktails, champagnes by the glass, single malts and spirits while, in the lounge – billed as one of the highest in the country – the resident DJ plays nightly sets. Note: non-hotel guests must pay a cover charge of INR 2,500 per person on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. until closing.
CATCH at Thompson Playa del Carmen
High above the famous Quinta Avenida at Calle 12, CATCH serves up dishes like salmon belly carpaccio, bourbon-miso black cod lettuce wraps or Cantonese lobster in a setting surrounded by 360 degree views of the Riviera Maya. In addition to the bar, there is also an open air dining room and a pool.
Soho House Barcelona
This rooftop dining and pool space offers the perfect place to chill, with views of the Port Vell Marina and the city skyline. In the morning a menu of tapas, poke bowls, rosé by the glass, house tonics and more are available, while by night a raw bar is added to the menu.