There are a lot of things you can judge a hotel by. Some people go off its proximity to cool bars, restaurants and how Instagramable the view is from their room. But then there’s me, and I judge a hotel by its rooftop because a sweet hotel should seriously come with all three of those perks on top. And if you have limited time in a city, it makes it that much easier to see it all without paying for cabs, trying to speak a language you don’t know and doing touristy shit. Trust me.
Here are 20 cool hotels that create a seamless transition from your bed to having a drink with a great P.O.V.
VERTIGO GRILL AND MOON BAR AT BANYAN TREE
If you want a 360-degree view of Bangkok, head to the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. This five-star hotel boasts one of the coolest views of the city from its super lux rooftop. Keep in mind, you might get annoyed from all the tourists snapping pics, considering people not actually staying in the hotel can still pay a hefty fee to get up there.
THE BLUE ROOM AT THE IDES AT THE WYTHE HOTEL
Before all of you New Yorkers hunt down my email and yell at me, I promise there’s two more N.Y.C rooftops on this list that are on the over side of the bridge. But the view, and the cocktials, from The Blue Room at the Ides are something you should experience even if you live only for Manhattan rooftops. The art-deco inspired bar space has unobstructed views of Manhattan, and the Wythe Hotel is just bomb in general to explore between its garden space and movie screening room.
RADIO ROOFTOP BAR AT ME LONDON HOTEL
Take a lift to the 10th floor of the ME London hotel and you’ll find an incredible lounge and terrace that’s open way late. Who needs to actually go to attractions like the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the House of Parliament when you can see it all from the top? Did I mention they serve tapas?
SANDS SKYPARK AT MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL
They had me at rooftop infinity pool 57 floors above Singapore. So yeah, it really doesn’t get much crazier than the Sands Skypark at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Between the observation deck, restaurants and luxurious lounge, this is a pretty cool way to experience the city.
ROOFTOP AT SKYLINE HILTON MOLINO STUCKY
Venice, Italy, hilton.com
Besides the fact that the Hilton Molino Stucky boasts the only rooftop pool in Venice, the views from the top of the city are pretty incredible. Staying in the hotel also means having access to its (yes) seven restaurants and a giant spa and fitness center. But let’s be real, you’d probably be in that pool the entire time.
MARQUEE DAY AND NIGHTCLUB AT THE COSMPOLITAN
Las Vegas, marqueelasvegas.com
So taking in the city view in silence with a cocktail isn’t your thing? Then head to Vegas and go to the roof of the Cosmopolitan, which houses the always insane Marquee Day and Nightclub. The world’s leading house DJs play every day and night, and let’s just say the pool parties aren’t exactly average. Oh, the view of Vegas aren’t too shabby either.
THE ROOFTOP TERRACE AT HOTEL DE ROME
If you find yourself exploring Berlin in the summertime, you should make it a point to stop at Hotel De Rome’s gorgeous rooftop terrace above the city’s historic city center. With landmarks like The State Opera House, St. Hedwigs Cathedral and the Television Tower as a backdrop, lounging around day drinking is that much better to do.
ROOFTOP WEST AT THE LONDON WEST HOLLYWOOD
West Hollywood, thelondonwesthollywood.com
You would hope Los Angeles has excellent hotel rooftops considering it’s annoyingly nice 365-days a year. And the rooftop at The London West Hollywood certainly meets expectations, considering the rooftop boasts an incredible brunch and a pool with some serious views.
ROCK BAR AT AYANA RESORT
This isn’t technically on top of a hotel, but it’s on top of a giant natural rock 45 feet above the Jimbaran Bay and its connected to a resort so that’s close enough. The bar is attached to the Ayana Resort, which is known for luxury villas and a gorgeous 290-room hotel. The view does a good job of explaining why it is world-famous though.
OZONE AT THE RITZ-CARLTON
Hong Kong, ritzcarlton.com
One of the coolest places to get a good drink in Hong Kong is literally on top of the city. OZONE at the Ritz-Carlton is officially the highest bar in the world, and the super luxurious spot has amazing drinks and food to go with it. Besides having a resident DJ, you can also take a Cocktail Master Class by their mixologist.
LE BAIN AT THE STANDARD HIGHLINE
New York, standardhotels.com
I’ve been to The Standard in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, and I can say that the rooftop at Le Bain at the Standard Highline by far has the best rooftop (sorry DTLA, you were close.) The atmosphere is extremely sceney, but the indoor Jacuzzi equipped with disco balls sort of transports you back to the ‘70s and in a good way. The view of the city isn’t also bad to look at.
HIGH ROOFTOP AT HOTEL ERWIN
Venice, California, highvenice.com
The rooftop at Hotel Erwin in Venice might be one of my favorite spots in L.A. Since Venice is annoyingly touristy/filled with too many street performers trying to sell you weed, you can escape the weirdness by heading to higher ground at High Rooftop on the boardwalk. You’re met with a 360-degree view of the coastline and the city accompanied by usually good music. Oh, and make sure to order their guacamole.
POV AT THE W HOTEL
Washington D.C., wwashingtondc.com
You can always rely on The W to be super chic and modern no matter what city you’re in, but the POV rooftop at The W in D.C. is something special. Opt for a daytime brunch with views of the White House as a backdrop or drink and dance later on with D.C.’s elite.
ROOFTOP AT THE GRAND HOTEL CENTRAL
Rooftop and badass pools seem to go hand in hand, especially in Barcelona at the Grand Hotel Central. Equipped with a resident DJ, a restaurant and a full bar, you don’t have to leave your actual hotel to experience the city. Who wants to actually try and use college Spanish asking for directions anyway?
ROOFTOP AT GEORGES HOTEL GALATA
With tall mosques and historic buildings, viewing Istanbul from a rooftop is sort of a must. The terrace located at the chic Georges Hotel Galata has one of the best views of the city, and some of the best French food.
LA TERRASSE AT HOTEL RAPAEL
There is a way to get the best pictures of Paris without taking a long ass elevator ride or walking 704 steps up the Eiffel Tower. Hôtel Raphael has famous views from its terrace that will make your Facebook friends insanely jealous. You’ll get to see the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower without actually wading through tourists to get to it.
THE J. PARKER AT HOTEL LINCOLN
You’ll find unobstructed views of Chicago at The J. Parker, Hotel Lincoln’s rooftop. And there’s room to play — there’s over 140 seats outside and 55 seats inside at the bar. Not to mention, you can try award-winning chef Paul Virant’s creations 7 days a week.
THE ROOFTOP AT THE ONE AND ONLY MIRAGE
Not only is Dubai’s Royal Mirage incredibly ridiculous in amenities and design, its rooftop is something out of a dream. Doubling as a sports lounge and hosting live entertainment on scheduled nights, this view of Dubai is one you’ll want to see.
BLUE BAR ON 36 AT HOTEL SHANGRI-LA
This exclusive cocktail lounge is high above Sydney and boasts views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the iconic Opera House. It’s definitely an upscale rooftop that lets you view the coolest parts of Sydney from above.
GALLOW GREEN AT THE MCKITTRICK HOTEL
Chelsea, New York, mckitrrickhotel.com
It might have seem like I favored New York in this list, but it’s only because New York truly knows the value in a great rooftop. And The McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea has the super trendy Gallow Green on its roof to brag about. Known for their giant/dangerous punch bowls and brunch, the hotel is also known for the interactive play “Sleep No More.”
Nicole Theodore is an editorial assistant at Playboy. She has a bachelor’s degree in day drinking. Follow her on Twitter.