Instead of grassy eco-roofs, the latest crop of new hotels is planting bars up top. Maybe they’re there to evade air rights litigation. More likely it’s that bars are more fun—and more profitable—than plants. Either way, it’s that time of year again. The namesake pool at La Piscine, the bar and grill atop Chelsea’s Americano, is purportedly for guests only, but why swim when you can eat and drink? A special elevator carries patrons up ten floors. The Mexico D.F.-based management likes the crowd to lean Latin, so work on your mezcalito and caipirinha pronunciations.
Down at Battery Park’s new Conrad Hotel (as in Conrad Hilton, of Mad Men season three cameo fame), the rooftop bar Loopy Doopy is already a draw for financial fellows and the rest of the fun percent. The bar takes its name from one of Sol LeWitt’s massive gouache murals hanging inside the hotel. Atop the sixteenth floor you’ve got views of the city’s glass behemoths, and across the Hudson, there’s New Jersey.
Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel joins the rooftop bar club with The Ides Bar, run by the same duo behind the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant Reynards. Six stories up, the furnishings are minimal, but the craft beer and specialty cocktail list is extensive. Out-of-towners staying on the Brooklyn side of the river should make for a crew worth mingling with. What are hotel bars for, if not chatting up new faces? If nothing else, prime views of the Financial District will keep you occupied. So get up on a roof and drink. And bring sunscreen and shades, because you’re that much closer to the sun.