From the 118th floor of a Hong Kong skyscraper to old Quito’s best-kept secret, these cocktail bars—and their spectacular rooftop views—are worth a trip across the world.
1. Flair Rooftop Restaurant Bar, Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, China
Discover the best views—and drinks—in Shanghai on the summit of the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong, 58 floors above the bustling metropolis and overlooking the Huangpu River, the Bund, and the evolving skyline (punctuated most notably by the futuristic Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower). Ask for the off-menu Flair in the Cloud, an ever-changing mystery cocktail by resident mixologist, YK Chen. If late night drinking isn’t your thing, check out afternoon tea on the roof of China’s highest alfresco bar, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
2. Moon Bar at Banyan Tree, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand is home to some of the world’s most amazing sky bars, but none carry the awe factor quite like this gravity-defying restaurant and bar combo, jetting 61 stories towards the heavens atop the Banyan Tree Bangkok. With 360-degree views extending to the horizon in all directions, it’s like hovering over Bangkok’s dazzling cityscape, a sensation heightened by multiple rounds of Thai Sabai, a potent mix of Mekhong (a national sugar cane and rice-based spirit), lime juice, basil leaves, and a splash of soda water.
3. La Dolce Vitae at Majestic Hotel & Spa, Barcelona, Spain
Head 10 stories above Barcelona’s frenetic Passeig de Gràcia to the top of the 99-year-old Majestic Hotel & Spa for unobstructed views of the city’s iconic thoroughfare and the Gaudi-designed Sagrada Familia. Sip on fruit-filled, Instagram-worthy sangria (the cava and red versions are equally delicious), snack on the signature tapas sampler by Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany, and strike a pose in front of the rooftop mural by Barcelona-based American artist Philip Stanton (after posing in front of the cityscapes, of course).
4. Room 09 at Tinto Boutique Hotel, Santiago, Chile
Chile’s bar of the moment is this under-the-radar, clandestine rooftop lounge at Tinto Boutique Hotel in Santiago de Chile’s bohemian Bellavista neighborhood. Expect to rub elbows with the “farándula” of Chile (the jet-setters and artists) at this members-only club, which you can access for nightcaps as a non-member after dining at Restaurant 040 on the hotel's lower floor. Then, you’ll see exactly why co-owner/bartender Diego Olivera and his drinks like the Frank Costello—a watermelon and gin based cocktail served in a bird cage—are all the rage in southern South America.
5. Ozone, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
The world’s highest rooftop bar is exactly what dreams are made of. On the 118th and ultimate floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, you’ll bask in extreme views of Hong Kong Island while sipping an HK Skyline, a blend of Zacapa Centenario Rum, absinthe, Imperial Oolong syrup, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, and Dom Pérignon foam. Oh, and if you do venture from the indoor bar to the outdoor terrace, don’t look down!
6. La Terraza de Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador
This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito's colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.
7. L’Oiseau Blanc at the Peninsula Paris, France
Toast to the romance and beauty of the City of Light, marveling at panoramas of the Eiffel Tower and Paris’s famed rooftops at this vintage aviation-themed lounge crowning the Peninsula Paris. The interiors (which include an actual plane) and the cocktails (like the Aviation and the Take Off) pay homage to French pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli, who attempted the first transatlantic flight between Paris and New York on the plane L’Oiseau Blanc.
8. Baba Nest at Sri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand
Just when we thought we had seen it all with coastal Thailand’s array of high-design rooftop infinity pools, comes Baba Nest at Sri Panwa resort in Phuket. Baba Nest is a floating bar in the center of a mountaintop infinity pool, strewn with comfy, oversized pillows and serving Sri-jitos (Sri Panwa’s fabulous take on the mojito with lemongrass-infused Grey Goose vodka, lemongrass tea, fresh lime, and mint).
9. The Rooftop at the Cape, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico caught on a bit late to the rooftop scene, but its first (and currently only) high-rise bar has been worth the wait. Say hello to the Rooftop at the Cape, a Thompson Hotel, which opened in the fall of 2015 and is still the undisputed place to see-and-be-seen in Los Cabos. Gaze at the Sea of Cortez, the cactus-speckled landscape, and the iconic El Arco natural rock formation while sipping mezcal-forward cocktails by mixologist Nestor Can.
10. Pergola on the Roof at Television Centre, London, U.K.
Situated atop the old BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, and open May 3 through October 1 for the 2017 season, Pergola on the Roof is one of London’s hippest rooftop venues, serving food from four acclaimed local restaurants—Salt Yard, Rabbit, Patty & Bun, and Le Coq — under a canopy of ivy, wisteria, and bougainvillea. We love the bookable day beds that seat up to a dozen, games on one of two boules courts, and a roaming drinks cart if getting up seems like too much effort.
Original article by Condé Nast Traveler