Thompson, Beverly Hills
Photo courtesy of Thompson Beverly Hills
Don’t let its zip code and proximity to Rodeo Drive throw you. This mod 107-room hotel is a welcoming oasis in a neighborhood that’s known for some over-the-top attitude. The staff is welcoming and helpful, and the guest rooms are cozy and well appointed. The highlight, however, is the rooftop. A gathering place for of-the-moment starlets, the pool and bar offer a simple food menu accompanied by sweeping views of the City of Angels — keep your eyes peeled for the planes coming into LAX — the famed hills and, yes, that’s the Hollywood sign in the distance (room rates start at $350 a night; thompsonhotels.com).
The Surrey, New York City
Photo courtesy of The Surrey
Set in one of the Big Apple’s most exclusive neighborhoods, this hideaway feels more like a chic, private home than a hotel. And the guests-only rooftop bar area with pretty city views adds to that vibe. Repose on shaded furniture, savor- ing the bespoke, organic creations of the in-house mixologists and enjoy the expansive new York City vista. Hotel guests can also get a cocktail-making tutorial in-room with the hotel’s dapper team. Don’t miss a visit to the intimate Cornelia spa, which features facials by the world-renowned eponymous esthetician (room rates start at $495 a night; thesurreyhotel.com).
Vanderbilt Grace, Newport
Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Grace
Relive the glamour of America’s storied Gilded Age with a stay at this intimate hotel built by one of the era’s marquee families — the Vanderbilts. Originally created to be the the home of a Vanderbilt mistress, the quiet hideaway is located in town, a safe distance from Newport’s famous mansions. Nearby is the celebrated harbor, along with many restaurants and cute shops. The hotel’s small rooftop bar is the perfect perch to watch the sun set over the quaint seaside city. Additional hotel amenities include two restaurants, a clubby indoor bar, two pools and a cozy spa. All guests are greeted with champagne (room rates start at $495 a night; vanderbiltgrace.com).
Photo courtesy of Lebua Hotels and Resorts
The translucent Sky Bar soars 63 floors above the traffic-jammed streets, modern skyscrapers and low-slung classic Thai buildings of one of Asia’s most bustling cities. Also home to Sirocco, the world’s highest open-air restaurant, this transparent rooftop platform literally juts out over Bangkok. Come at sunset and marvel as the city sky turns a vibrant pink. Sip a Siam Sunray (a vodka cocktail with chili pepper, coconut liqueur and lime) and watch the endless lines of traffic become illuminated and city lights flicker across the Chao Phraya River. Then indulge in an haute tasting menu of multiple courses complete with wine pairings or hit the adjacent Distil, a trendy oyster bar that offers a range of whiskeys, cognacs and cigars (room rates start at $389 a night; lebua.com).