Sky View Lounges Around the World
Lounges and cocktails: that’s my thing, and you’ll understand why soon. Throughout my travels, I search for the most luxurious yet comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing locations to kick back and enjoy a top-of-the-world view in a glamorous and stylish setting. I’ve experienced some of the best in the world, and you can learn more about a few here. Now I wanted to share the top, and I mean view from the top, lounges worth putting on your list for whenever you may find yourself in these parts of the world.
Hong Kong, China
Ozone Bar – When you’ve been to the Ozone Bar, the highest bar in the world, you’d think my list would be complete. (I haven’t even started). I fell in love with the dimly lit club vibe as I walked down the lengthy grand entrance. I sat at the bar, then the couches, then the patio. I couldn’t get enough of this striking ambiance, stunning view, and delicious cocktails by some of the best master mixologists around.
Four Seasons Hong Kong – When a hotel has two restaurants with Michelin stars, you should have high expectations, and they do not disappoint. Dine or drink, you are in the heart of Hong Kong luxury. I spent my evening in Caprice Bar, which is across from two-star Caprice, a taste of France in the heart of Hong Kong. A bucket list splurge for any culinary connoisseur.
Manhattan, New York
Peninsula Hotel – So many beautiful views throughout the Big Apple, but you know I am always partial to any rooftop view that is part of a luxurious hotel, and thus, the Peninsula is one of my favorites. Of course, I also love this place because of the proximity to Fifth Avenue, so what better than a view and a stiff martini to ease the pain I have inflicted on my wallet from my visit to Bergdorf’s and other high-end luxury stores.
Gansevoort – I have spent many a late night (and many dollars!) at the Plunge Bar and Lounge on top of the Gansevoort Hotel, enjoying bottle service late into the night/morning. It is located in the heart of the Meatpacking District enjoying the 360-degree views of New York City. If you’re up for pumping music, lots of cocktails, glances your way from fellow good-looking patrons, oh, and a view of the Manhattan skyline, then this is your place.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burj Khalifa – “WOW” is the first word out of your mouth when you experience ATMOSPHERE on level 122 of the world’s tallest building. It was the first reservation I made on my first trip to Dubai. There are no words to express the exhilaration you get from this high up while taking in the amazing view below. I sat at the bar, as this was a place I wanted a bartender’s perspective. This was one of my top 5 Martini moments, that is for sure!
Burj Al Arab – I remember the car pulling up and I was quite nervous being in one of the most extravagant hotels on earth, but I knew I would fit right in. I had reservations for drinks at two of the nine world-class restaurants and bars in the world’s most luxurious hotel. (Reservations are a must here). My whole day was spent in anticipation of 7 p.m. Gold on 57 was my first cocktail, then the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor. Both delivered beyond expectations, and it was incredible to enjoy a drink with floor-to-ceiling windows looking at the Dubai skyline. Skyview really took my breath away and the extravagance of Burj Al Arab lives up to the hype.
Los Angeles, California
Sky Bar – OK, this is the old-school me coming out, but I will always love the Sky Bar in the Mondrian Hotel in the heart of the Sunset Strip. I have hosted and organized major parties here for liquor launches, so of course I will admit my bias. I love the openness, the cabanas surrounding the pool, and the upper deck bar area with assorted fresh cocktails and a DJ playing the hottest hits as you strike a pose for all to see.
Orange County, California
Pelican Hill Resort – If you love 5-star hotels, you should know Orange County, California. This may not be an escalated, over-the-city view, but this is one of the most magnificent overall views I’ve ever seen. The coliseum pool, the award-winning golf course, and then the Pacific Ocean. Champagne is mandatory, as just being here is considered a celebration. I’ve never done a favorite hotel list, but when I do, this will be in my top 5.
Guinness Storehouse – The process of how Guinness Irish Stout is made is a true art form that was introduced by Arthur Guinness back in 1759. I enjoy self-guided tours, and the process of brewing is amazing, especially when you learn the specific pouring procedure, which you do yourself. Then the true experience happens when you go to the Gravity Bar on the rooftop and take in the 360-degree view of Dublin’s Rooftops. A pint with a skyline view? Bottoms up!
I’ve decided to steer away from hotels since I am partial to so many in Paris and this list could go on forever since I live here, so here are two of my favorite, casual locations.
Georges – At the top of the Pompidou Museum is a place I frequently visit because the view is spectacular. I am lucky to live close to the Marais area of Paris, so a quick five-minute walk and voilà, I have a glass of bubbles in my hand. This view is one of the most iconic sights in the City of Lights. Wonderful food and drinks to top off a romantic evening with your amour under the Parisian skies.
Cube Bar – You can accomplish 3 things here: shopping, cocktails, and a view. I’ve been here even on a cloudy day and the warm feel with the bubble coverings will cure your wallet blues from all the money you spent at Galleries Lafayette. (To get to the bar, you must go through the department store, up seven flights). No matter the season, the French love to be outside, and when you sit and marvel at the Eiffel Tower and the entire City of Lights, you will see why.
Park Hyatt – So, a movie took me here. I had to have a cocktail at the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo when I visited on my one and only trip, but I can’t wait to go back. It was as romantic and sultry as conveyed in the movie Lost in Translation. I remember it vividly because the staff was extremely kind and accommodating on my visit, as they were quite packed, but helpful to find me a stool. I felt the sophistication and romance throughout, and you will sure know you are up on the 52nd floor!
San Francisco, California
I lived in the City by the Bay for 11 years, so there isn’t a bar or luxury hotel where I haven’t enjoyed a libation. My two favorite lounges are more old school, but I think everyone should experience the historic glamour that still exists in San Francisco, as these places are iconic.
Marriott Marquis – “The Jukebox” is how we referred to this hotel. The View Lounge is located on the 39th floor and the view is spectacular. My old office with Club Med was a few blocks away, so of course this was a frequent haunt for me. I love the obscure angles of the windows due to the design and curvature of the building. It allows a smaller, quaint feeling from wherever you are enjoying your happy hour cocktail after a long day, whether you are there for work or pleasure.
Top of the Mark – On the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, expect to walk in refined elegance from the penthouse lounge of this hotel. Sophistication exudes from this lounge as you take in the views of either the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bay Bridge, take your pick. If you’re not in the mood for drinks and dancing, well then plan on a visit for Sunday Brunch, accompanied by mimosas I hope!
SkyCity in the Space Needle is currently closed, but if you are a first-timer to Seattle, a visit to the top is a must, and grab lunch or a cocktail if you have the time. I can’t wait to see what is going on here next!
Four Seasons – I used to travel frequently to Seattle and loved when I stayed at this hotel. Pike Place Market is right around the corner, so after a bowl of chowder, head over to the Four Seasons and enjoy the Seattle harborside in 5-star elegance.
The Signature Lounge – My roots are mid-west as I was born in the outskirts of Chicago, so my heart belongs in the Windy City. I’ve visited the John Hancock Building dozens of times, and this lounge is mesmerizing! Did I mention it was on the 96th floor? If you are not a fan of heights, this may not be the place for you, but if you like an expert mixologist creating a crafty cocktail, this is the destination in Chicago.
How lucky was I to have Hawaii as a territory in my job for 19 years. Of course, I had to frequently pop over to the Islands for work, so cocktails with a Hawaiian flare were occurrences many times a year. I am a fan of the Hyatt Brand in Hawaii, so if you find yourself in Maui or Kauai, I promise all Hyatt Hotels will offer a magnificent view. It may not be a view from up high, but what a spectacular view it will still be.
Top of Waikiki – Drinks with a 360-degree view while revolving–please, you know I’m staying for a second round, literally! This is a great place to watch the sunset, enjoy happy hour, or have a romantic dinner with your loved one. A must when visiting Honolulu.
I love this city, and whether you are hanging in La Rambla or the Gothic corner, you will fall in love with every part of this city too. I usually stay at the Hotel Arts Barcelona (and if this was a spa article, I would go more in-depth on this hotel), but instead, for a magnificent view, head over to:
Sky Bar – Grand Hotel Central, in the heart of the city. The outdoor space is surrounded by the infinity pool with a great cocktail bar area, lounging areas, or maybe even some bubbles under the sun canopies.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Visit Sky Bar – In the Hotel Pulitzer on the 13th floor, you will revel in this cosmopolitan atmosphere. This bar was recommended by some locals, and I always love to visit any place local steers me. Great relaxing music and a casual chill vibe are just what you need after a day of sightseeing and getting yourself ready for an evening of dancing.
I will continue to search for, consume, and take awe in the views from the rooftop or any scenic view that allows me to kick back with a drink and bask in the glory of whatever country, city, or rooftop I have the good fortune to visit. Cheers from the top!