Nothing beats New York City during the warmer months, especially when it comes to its social scene. Celebrate the changing of the seasons in true New York fashion: on the rooftops. From premier cocktails to gorgeous exteriors to picture-perfect views, there’s no better way to experience the city we all know and love than from the top of its skyscrapers.
MAGIC HOUR ROOFTOP BAR & LOUNGE
At the Moxy Times Square, Magic Hour doesn’t indicate the start of happy hour, but is rather the name of the hotel’s 10,000-square-foot urban amusement-park rooftop bar that’s rising to the top of New York’s social scene.
Operated by the TAO Group, Magic Hour creates a carnival-like atmosphere for adults to revel in. Topiary animals, elephant light fixtures and a rotating carousel-inspired seating area adorn the exotic space. With five designated areas, Magic Hour boasts both an indoor and outdoor presence and is winterized during the colder months, so guests can play all year long. Perhaps the most alluring attraction is Foreplay, a mini golf course that features animal statues in sexy poses. But the party doesn’t stop at the decor.
Magic Hour’s menu delivers a creative take on “fair foods” such as carnival potatoes, corn hush puppies, boozy cupcakes and Cracker Jacks, as well as everything from innovative cocktails to the wines, beers and champagnes. Here, everyone can find something to sip on that’s absolutely magical.
Further upping the playfulness, certain drinks are served in popcorn buckets, disco balls and ceramic stiletto heels to share with friends. Mix that with stellar views of the Empire State Building and you’ve got yourself the perfect NYC hotspot for an evening of fun.
Need anymore convincing to spend a night at Magic Hour? Last year, Heidi Klum held her popular Halloween bash at the rooftop bar. Who wouldn’t want to party like the supermodel and her slew of celebrity friends? Magic Hour recommends making a reservation before arriving.
485 7th Avenue (at 36th Street), New York, NY, www. moxy-hotels.marriott.com/nyc/timessquare/dining/magichour- rooftop-bar-lounge
High above Times Square, St. Cloud is the sophisticated after-work hotspot where you can grab a drink and bask in the city lights. Located on the rooftop of the luxurious Knickerbocker Hotel, St. Cloud’s name pays homage to the location’s original 19th-century lodge and boasts a refined atmosphere equal to the hotel itself.
Take in bird’s-eye views of Times Square as you socialize, listen to music and relax. For extra comfort, reserve one of the bar’s three Sky Pod lounges so you and your friends can sip in a secluded space. Not only does St. Cloud provide an incredible outdoor location, but guests can also retreat to an indoor bar or to the Club Macanudo Cigar Lounge. There, they can read about each cigar on the menu before selecting their poison or even test out the lounge’s curated pairings.
Your experience wouldn’t be complete without indulging in St. Cloud’s specialized cocktails. Select the Old King Cole or Espresso Martini (rumor has it that martinis originated at this location), or simply sip on a beverage from the bar’s vast selection of champagnes, wines and beers.
St. Cloud, 6 Times Square, New York, NY, www.TheKnickerbocker.com
LE BAIN AT THE STANDARD
This chic rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District features a suave discotheque on the inside and cheeky outdoor seating on the outside. With views of the High Line and the Hudson River, Le Bain at the Standard is the perfect spot to dance the night (or day) away.
Inside, guests can move and groove beneath the disco ball or lounge on the plush black leather couches, taking in the scenery through floor-to-ceiling windows. During the summer, Le Bain takes the party up a notch by opening its plunge pool on the dance floor, where guests can take a dip if they dare.
Then step outside onto the faux grass-covered rooftop, where you’ll be met with quirky, colorful seating and a glass wall that lines the perimeter for optimal views. Select an ice-cold cocktail from Le Bain’s menu, which features beverages such as the Obsession (Mezcal, passionfruit, lime, cucumber and ginger) and the Lost in Music (tequila, watermelon, lime, cranberry and jalapeño). In the summertime, pair your drink with a crepe made in Le Bain’s on-site crêperie. Then relax and soak up the fun.
Le Bain at the Standard, 444 West 13th Street, New York, NY, www.StandardHotels.com
LOOPY DOOPY ROOFTOP BAR AT THE CONRAD
The Conrad New York is known citywide for its contemporary art displays, so it’s only fitting that the rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy, is named after one of its most prized installations: Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple) by artist Sol LeWitt. Drawing its inspiration from this work, the bar is outfitted with purple accessories, including lounge pillows, menu covers and outdoor lighting. Loopy Doopy sits 16 stories high and offers stunning panoramic views of Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
The seasonal rooftop, which opens in April, is known for its signature Loopy Pop drinks. The crafty cocktail features a base of either prosecco or rosé and is topped with a boozy ice pop of your choosing. While Loopy Doopy swaps out flavors regularly, some popular pops include Blackberry Sour (whiskey, blackberries, rhubarb and tarragon) and the Pink Lady Sangria (pink lady apples, sour cherry and red wine).
Loopy Pops are not the only hot items on the menu. Loopy Doopy offers other signature drinks such as the Dark Thymes (Myers’s dark rum, fresh lime juice, ginger beer and thyme simple syrup) and the I Can’t Even (Ketel One, fresh lemonade, raspberries and agave), plus other liquors and wine. Guests can order shared plates to pick at while they enjoy themselves.
Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar, 102 North End Avenue, New York, NY, www.conradnewyork.com
230 FIFTH ROOFTOP RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
Aptly named for its prime location, 230 Fifth promotes the idea of enjoying a night out on the town no matter what the season may be. Open all year, 230 Fifth offers impressive rooftop scenery. Think unobscured views of the Empire State Building, cheeky cocktails and impressive outdoor decor.
No seasonal weather can put a damper on 230 Fifth’s inviting outdoor ambiance. In the summertime, guests can lounge under large umbrellas, which cast away sun and unwanted rainstorms. This means you can enjoy your Empire Sour (a combination of bourbon, lemon juice, simply syrup and red wine float) in total comfort.
When colder months sweep in, 230 Fifth converts into a trendy igloo bar. On display from November to late April, the heated transparent vestibules dominate the rooftop, allowing patrons to escape the frigid temps while still being able to take in New York’s iconic skyline. Trade in ice-cold cocktails for a special beverage from the bar’s hot drink menu, such as a mug of Bailey’s Boozy Hot Chocolate or Hot Fireball Cider.
When you need an escape from all the elements, head down to the enclosed penthouse where you can still take in the sights through large windows as well as lounge and grab drinks at the bar.
230 Fifth, 230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, www.230- fifth.com