The High Life Atop New York’s Hotels: 16 Rooftop Heated Bars for Winter Celebrations

Monarch Lounge Terrace2Kimberly Hotel Outside2Manhattan’s high life is hotter than that of many major cities, including the home turf of the visiting Super Bowl teams. Denver has a scenic Rocky Mountain backdrop, and Seattle has the famous Space Needle. But the Big Apple has a growing number of hotel rooftop lounges with panoramic skyline views. The heat is on at many of these bars, now winterized with tents, heat lamps, or glass-enclosed with retractable roofs. So revelers can capture the outdoor spirit and sip a “Mad Mojito” without the Arctic chill.

PRNewser compiled a list of rooftop venues where you don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the festive ambiance. Nearly all are open to the general public and can be set up for private events, though a few are for hosting groups only. These bars, located in midtown and downtown, on the east and west sides, range from casual to chic. But be sure to check ahead to see if the space is booked that night, or you may end up back on ground control.

The upcoming Super Bowl will attract 80,000 spectators to the Meadowlands, and another 400,000 are expected to converge on New York for related events. At these lofty escapes, you may still be able to look out towards New Jersey over the Hudson River (or perhaps spot traffic on the now infamous GW Bridge). While hardcore football fans will brave the elements, literally blanketing the open-air stadium, cameras are the only gear needed for the elevated bar scene.

However, the Super Bowl isn’t the only game in town, or out of town, this season. There are plenty of other occasions this winter to raise the roof, including:
• Sports events: Australian Open tennis tournament, Sochi Winter Olympics, March Madness basketball
• Media/Entertainment events: Grammy Awards, Academy AwardsSocial Media Week, Fashion Week NY

Here’s a brief profile of the hotspots, with Images below courtesy of each venue. They’re not rank-ordered, but organized according to location, from midtown to downtown.

Midtown West and Lincoln Center Area

Empire Hotel Courtesy of1. Empire Hotel – Rooftop

Location: West 63rd Street
Views: of Lincoln Center
Atmosphere: upscale
Space design: wraparound terraces, indoor lounge
Decor/Features: modern, earthtone motif

Press Lounge Courtesy of12. Ink 48 Hotel – Press Lounge

Location/ # Floor: West 48th Street/16th floor
Views: of Hudson River and sunsets
Atmosphere: upscale
Size of space: holds up to 172 patrons
Decor/Features: large deck with reflecting pool, portable fireplace

Haven Bar Sanctuary Hotel Courtesy of3. Sanctuary Hotel – Haven Bar
Location: West 47th Street (not far from Super Bowl Blvd., on Broadway from 37-47 Sts)
Views: of midtown NYC
Atmosphere: casual
Size of space: 2,500 square feet
Decor/Features: tented and heated, cabanas, greenery

Refinery29 Hotel Courtesy of4. Refinery29 Hotel Roortop
Location: West 38th Street (not far from Super Bowl Blvd.)
Views: of Empire State Building
Atmosphere: trendy
Decor/Features: brick fireplace, wood paneled

Strand Hotel Top of Courtesy of5. Strand Hotel – Top of the Strand
Location/ # Floor: West 37th Street/21st floor (not far from Super Bowl Blvd.)
Views: of NYC midtown skyline
Atmosphere: chic, casual
Decor/Features: retractable roof

Monarch Lounge Terrace26. Marriott Courtyard – Monarch Lounge
Location: West 35th Street (not far from Super Bowl Blvd.)
Views: of Empire State Building (also image upper left)
Atmosphere: casual
Size of space: 5,000 square feet, holds up to 500 patrons
Decor/Features: Outdoor enclosed terrace, glass ceilinged indoor bar

Midtown East

Peninsula Hotel Salon de Ning Courtesy of7. Peninsula Hotel – Salon de Ning
Location: 5th Avenue and 55th Street
Views: of midtown NYC, MoMA sculpture garden
Atmosphere: luxury, chic
Space design: 2 large outdoor terraces and lounge
Decor/Features: Asian influences, Shanghai deco, art collection

Kimberly Hotel Inside28. Kimberly Hotel – Upstairs
Location/ # Floor: East 50th Street, 31st floor
Views: wraparound vistas includes Chrysler Building and East River (also image upper right)
Atmosphere: upscale
Space design/Size: 3 separate indoor/outdoor areas, 3,000 square feet, holds up to 250 patrons
Decor/Features: greenery, fireplace, heat lamps, 2 flatscreen TVs for Super Bowl Sunday

Roosevelt Hotel Mad46 Courtesy of9. Roosevelt Hotel – Mad46
Location/ # Floor: East 46th Street/19th floor
Views: of western midtown NYC
Atmosphere: upscale
Space design: glassed-in indoor lounge
Decor/Features: home of the ‘Mad Mojito’
* Private events only in winter

Library Hotel Bookmarks Loungs Courtesy of10. Library Hotel – Bookmarks
Location/ # Floor: East 41st Street/14th floor
Views: cityscapes of midtown NYC
Atmosphere: casual salon style
Decor/Features: high ceilinged greenhouse
* Private events only in winter

Flatiron, Gramercy, Fashion, Meatpacking Districts

Gansevoort Park Avenue Rooftop Courtesy of11. Gansevoort Hotel Park Avenue – Rooftop
Location/ # Floor: East 29th Street/ 20th floor
Views: of Empire State Building
Atmosphere: trendy
Space design: 6 separate areas, atrium style
Decor/Features: pool, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, wraparound terraces

Rare Bar3 Cropped12. Hilton Fashion District – Rare View Rooftop
Location: West 26th Street
Views: 360 degree views of NYC skyline
Atmosphere: casual
Space design: wraparound glass enclosed terraces
Decor/Features: hosts Game Day events

Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Courtesy of13. Gramercy Park Hotel – Gramercy Terrace
Location/ # Floor: East 21st Street/18th floor
Views: of Gramercy Park, downtown skyline
Atmosphere: luxury, chic
Size of space: 1,500 square feet, multiple areas hold up to 250 patrons
Decor/Features: outside gardens, interior salons, modern artworks
* Private events only year-round

Gansevoort Meatpacking Plunge Courtesy of14. Gansevoort Hotel – Meatpacking – the Plunge
Location/ # Floor: on 9th Avenue near Hudson Street/15th floor
Views: 360 degrees of Hudson River and sunsets
Atmosphere: trendy
Space design: wraparound balconies
Decor/Features: indoor loft, DJ booth

Downtown: SoHo and Lower East Side

Hotel Chantelle Rooftop Courtesy of15. Hotel Chantelle – Rooftop
Location: Ludlow Street, lower east side
Views: of downtown NYC
Atmosphere: casual
Decor/Features: hotel in name only, picnic style benches

Jimmy at the James Hotel Courtesy of16. Jimmy at the James Hotel
Location/ # Floor: Thompson Street in SoHo/18th floor
Views: 360 degree vistas river to river, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge
Atmosphere: trendy
Decor/Features: pool deck, working fireplaces, enclosed bar


That wraps up our “sweet 16” of the heated rooftop bar scene. As locals and PRs know, and visitors will discover, it’s not just New York style hospitality and pizza (with or without a fork) that makes the city worth a trip.