The 5 Best Rooftop Bars in New York City

AAA/Inspector 592
By AAA Travel Editor Frank Swanson
July 09, 2018
A night out in the Big Apple is bound to be an unforgettable experience, but these five lofty lounges kick it up a notch with views that will take your breath away. Offering an exhilarating backdrop of city lights and landmark towers soaring to dizzying heights, these rooftop bars are the best New York City has on tap.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: The 1 Rooftop bar
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1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
60 Furman St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(347) 696-2500
Can you guess what you’ll see from your poolside vantage point atop 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge? The sweeping vistas of Lower Manhattan from this AAA Four Diamond® property are postcard perfect, and the historic bridge’s Gothic arches never looked more impressive. The design of this hip, modern Brooklyn hotel unites high-tech minimalism with such earthy, ecologically savvy touches as rough stone, reclaimed wood and coarse, hand-knotted fibers. The result is beautiful, and the theme extends up to The 1 Rooftop, a perfect spot for a casual conversation over drinks.
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Interior lobby shot of Hilton New York Fashion District
Courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Hilton New York Fashion District
152 W. 26th St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(212) 858-5888
You don’t need to wait for a balmy night to head up to Rare View Chelsea, the rooftop bar in the Hilton New York Fashion District, a AAA Three Diamond hotel. In summer, Rare View feels like a beachside cantina that just happens to overlook Midtown Manhattan. Guests visiting in winter can still enjoy the skyline beneath a retractable roof that keeps things warm and cozy. And no matter what time of year, featured DJs lift spirits even higher than Rare View’s 23rd-story dance floor.
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Hotel Hugo: Bar Hugo and Azul on the Rooftop bar
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Hotel Hugo
525 Greenwich St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(212) 608-4848
Visit the AAA Three Diamond Hotel Hugo in summertime, and you’ll have two rooftop bars to choose from: indoor-outdoor Bar Hugo and the seasonal, Cuban-themed Azul on the Rooftop. Both offer amazing views of Lower Manhattan including One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. Arrive in the early evening and settle in beneath strings of festive lights to watch the sun set over the Hudson River.
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Rooftop bar at Refinery Hotel New York
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Refinery Hotel New York
63 W. 38th St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(646) 664-0310
Sip a cocktail beneath the spire of the Empire State Building atop this historic hat factory turned luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan’s Garment District. The rooftop lounge at AAA Four Diamond Refinery Hotel New York combines the brick and rough planks of an industrial loft with the inviting outdoor seating of a suburban patio. The not-run-of-the-mill drink menu features tasty selections with whimsical names like Rooftop Sparkler and Stormy Skies. And if you can’t make it for a late-night libation, head on up to the Refinery Rooftop for lunch.
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The William Vale: Westlight
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The William Vale
111 N. 12th St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(718) 631-8400
Seeming to balance on stilts above Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, The William Vale, a AAA Four Diamond Hotel, looms like an anchored spaceship. Westlight, the swank rooftop bar on the 22nd floor, makes the most of its city views by keeping sightlines clear. They’ve even installed mounted binoculars to enhance your visual experience. Take in the nearly 360-degree perspective as you sample selections from the excellent cocktail list.
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