Rooftop Bar Report

The Rickey
The Rickey, photo by Salt Lake Creative NYC

We've rounded up the latest and greatest rooftop bars, decks and terraces you should check out while on your next travel adventure. 

New Chicago Rooftop Bar to Open in March

The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel at 1 W. Wacker Drive, has announced plans to open a new rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the Chicago River in March 2016. 

The new hot spot, which has not yet been named, will have fire pits, a VIP lounge and 14 beer taps, and will be part of an $8 million renovation at the hotel. The restaurant will seat approximately 160 guests. The hotel reported that the bar's "Chicago-influenced" menu will be curated by Chef Daniel Perez, who's behind the hotel's previously opened lobby restaurant, Staytion

The bar will be the newest in a slew of rooftop restaurants that opened recently, including Cerise at the Virgin Hotel, GreenRiver at Northwestern Medicine, and AIRE at 100 W. Monroe St. The Roof on the Wit, 201 N. State St., nearby opened in 2009.

NYC’s Recent Rooftop Lounge and Cocktail Bar 

The new rooftop lounge, PHD Terrace, is open in New York City, along with the cocktail bar called The Rickey, at the Dream Midtown

PHD Terrace, a multi-level indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge, is the sister property to the PHD Rooftop Lounge at Dream Downtown located in the Meatpacking District. The Rickey is a new concept, and has set out to be a "cultured craft cocktail bar with a lively social scene," according to an opening announcement late last year.

The venue, designed by Josh Held, is situated on the 15th and 16th floors, and offers views of Midtown Manhattan, as well as a rotating schedule of DJs, weekly parties and various events. Held’s past projects include LIGHT Las Vegas, Voyeur Los Angeles, Marquee New York and The Lobby Lounge and Guest House at Dream Downtown. 

For cocktails, PHD Terrace serves drinks including the Hot to Trot (Cazadores Tequila Blanco, cucumber, agave, jalapeno) and Wet Dream (Grey Goose Cherry Noir, white cranberry & pineapple juice, St. Germain), among others. Light bites will range from crunchy orzo and cheese balls to fig and gorgonzola flatbread. 

Also at the property is The Rickey, serving up drinks created by Johnny Swet (JIMMY at The James, The Skylark, Rogue & Canon, Cafe Clover). Ingredients are delivered to the bar fresh daily, while an "ingredients index" on a mirror alongside the bar will help guests to keep track. 

The cocktail menu has two seasonal Rickeys, as well as offerings like The Cartel (Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, pineapple syrup, a block of coconut water ice, topped with grated Colombian coffee bean); Bourgeois Pig (Chopin Single Potato Vodka, dry vermouth, bacon elixir, rosemary bitters, freshly shaved black truffle), and the Jerry Lee Lewis, a deconstructed, modern version of the Fireball (12-year bourbon, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, topped with cinnamon and served over an ice sphere).

In addition to cocktails, The Rickey offers a wine list designed by Matt Strauss.


The Skybar
The Skybar at Grand Hotel Central in Barcelona

Two Rooftop Hangouts to Check Out In Spain

Travelers heading to Spain who may be looking for a relaxing rooftop oasis should consider visiting one, or both, of these unique properties;

The Principal Madrid Hotel, a boutique hotel located on Madrid’s Gran Via, affords panoramic views of the Spanish capital and guests can relax in the property’s rooftop solarium. 

The solarium is surrounded by cypresses and olive trees, with 20 lounge chairs and panoramic views. Guests are encouraged to order a spice mojito from the La Terraza menu, and for rooftop-goers looking to dance, on weekend nights the property has various DJs perform. 


The infinity rooftop pool at Grand Hotel Central in Barcelona is ideal for guests looking for nightlife. The spot offers views of the city, however, access is exclusive to hotel guests while the Skybar offers a menu of cocktails and snacks with the same same city views.


New York City's Tallest Rooftop Terrace Bar

Standing at nearly 800 feet, SixtyFive, a bar and cocktail lounge perched atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the 65th Floor, has been named the tallest rooftop terrace bar and cocktail lounge in New York City by The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

SixtyFive offers views of Manhattan's skyline, with a wraparound terrace. During warmer months, guests can dine and drink outdoors on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the first time since the space was opened in 1934.

Located steps from the Rainbow Room, the property is open for weeknight cocktails and a small plates menu, serving a menu created by Beverage Director Molly Cohen. In addition, a wine selection offers old and new world varietals, as well as sparkling wine and champagne, along with a variety of sake and spirits, including rare bottles like Macallan "M." 

Executive Chef Jonathan Wright serves accompanying small plates to pair with the drink manu, ranging from sushi and sashimi to a variety of snacks and appetizers. Offerings include Fried Chicken served with whipped smoked onion butter, smoked bacon waffles, and chipotle mustard maple syrup; and Crisp Parmesan Pizza with olive oil caviar, tomatoes and basil. 


The Sixty Five
SixtyFive, photo by Evan Joseph

The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel to Open Largest NYC Bar

The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel is slated to open in New York City's Garment District this spring, and with the property’s debut will come a new fifth floor terrace that, at 8,000 square feet, is on track to be the largest rooftop bar in Manhattan

The space will have a retractable roof, private cabanas, comfortable seating and two fully-stocked bars. Elsewhere in the 348 room hotel, there will be a number of terrace suites with outdoor space, including hi-tech add-ons like digital displays projected along the corridor where guests enter that respond to human motion with subtle movements and graphic patterns, as well as an alcove that acts as a "virtual concierge."


Thompson Playa del Carmen’s Scenic Rooftop Terrace

Thompson Playa del Carmen, a 92-room boutique resort situated on La Quinta Avenida and Calle 12, has a 30,000 square foot rooftop deck and bar where guests can enjoy 360 degree ocean and city views.

The space, which is now the largest rooftop terrace in the area, offers an infinity pool, private cabanas with space for up to 20 people, underwater living rooms, and multiple dining options.

Additionally, there is Catch, an offshoot of New York City’s meatpacking district venue, offering contemporary renditions of classic seafood dishes and a variety of unique dining experiences, as well as an open kitchen and lively sushi bar that further compliments the restaurant’s atmosphere.

Thompson Playa del Carmen is situated 35 miles from Cancun, and will be easily accessible through Cancun International Airport