Travel Tips

8 Can’t-Miss Hotel Rooftop Bars You Can Visit Around the World

Locations in this article:  Chicago, IL London, England Melbourne, Australia Portland, OR San Diego, CA Shanghai, China

Who doesn’t love to accompany their cocktail with an amazing view? Luxe Lodgings contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natlalie Compagno discovered eight indoor and outdoor rooftop bars at high end hotels around the world.

Departure Restaurant + Lounge at The Nines Hotel in Portland


Departure Restaurant + Lounge perches atop The Nines hotel, named after the top nine floors it occupies of the Meier & Frank Building. This historical architectural stunner served as the flagship store of said retailer and at one point housed a pharmacy, pet store, and even Clark Gable as an employee before shooting to fame as a Hollywood star. It is only fitting that guests can now stargaze outside at the Departures Restaurant and Lounge well-designed rooftop bar. With panoramic views of Portland and the Willamette River, night owls flock to this spot for Executive Chef Gregory Gourdet’s lauded modern pan-Asian cuisine as well as the idea of departure. The food takes guests to another part of the globe and the decor—fantasy maps of the “Sea of Love” and “Captivated Island” strung together with actual string—evoke past and desired travels far, far away.

I|O at the Godfrey Chicago


Opened in February of 2014, the I|O Godfrey is Chicago’s largest indoor and outdoor all-season rooftop lounge and bar with approximately 15,000 square foot located on the fourth floor of Chicago’s River North neighborhood. At I|O Godfrey, a state-of-the art retractable roof allows for unobstructed views of the city. What’s unique about their roof is there are no support beams in the way. Instead their unique design retracts from the top and corner supports, allowing guests to enjoy southern Chicago’s skyline. There are two full service bars: the first an intimate indoor bar complete with cozy banquettes; and the second one outdoors with retractable walls as well as the roof, a two-level fire pit, open-air seating, modern cabanas, much of it able to be protected from the elements. Chef Nate Cayer has created a menu loaded with inspired cocktails and tasty bites all from fresh ingredients.

The Rooftop at QT Melbourne


October brought a newcomer to the QT Melbourne called The Rooftop at QT, a chic 11th floor split-level indoor and outdoor venue that holds up to 185 people with spectacular views of Melbourne. The sophisticated space, designed by Nic Graham, features a selection of contemporary outdoor furniture by Australian outdoor lifestyle designer Tait. QT’s Creative Music Director, Andrew Lewis, curated a playlist of modern disco and house music to cater to Melbourne’s late-night party scene. The Rooftop at QT has an innovative cocktail menu designed by Melbourne’s finest bartenders using house-made tonics and local spirits as well as bringing a twist to the classics. Bar bites accompany the cocktail selection. Come rain or shine, The Rooftop at QT is open seven days a week, all year round. There is no covering for the outdoor portion, but in the event of inclement weather the indoor part is used.

Rumpus Room at the Mondrian London


The Rumpus Room is inspired by Bright Young Things, a group of party-throwers and socialites from London’s 1920s scene. Rumpus Room is a bar and lounge at the Mondrian London inspired by this group and that moment in time. With dramatic views of London, Rumpus Room wakes up as the sun goes down, featuring DJs and live entertainment. This glittering glass box is perched atop The Mondrian London and is the place to meet with its urban vibe. The bar and lounge has an outside terrace space open in the warmer months. Rumpus Room specializes in bubbly, serving an extensive list of the world’s best champagne offerings. We recommend ordering a bubbly creation from the hotel’s resident mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, A.K.A Mr. Lyan, and winner of the 2015 Tales of a Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for Best International Bartender.

Tanner’s at Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach


Tanner’s has floor-to-ceiling views of the Pacific Ocean and outdoor seating on two levels at the Paséa Hotel & Spa. With a 72-inch wood-fired inferno grill as a key focal point, both locals and guests will have an unforgettable Huntington Beach dining experience. Tanner’s serves fresh Southern California cuisine, blending locally grown ingredients with innovative techniques. Inspired by the destination and fresh ingredients of the region, the inventive cocktail menu at the rooftop bar features both seasonal selections and signature mainstays. You can sip craft cocktails prepared by award-winning mixologist Cassie Hesse while taking in the uninterrupted coastal scenery at the cozy, indoor bar, or upstairs beneath the lanterns of a centerpiece tree on the fire pit-adorned open-air terrace at Treehouse at Tanner’s.

Upstairs at the Kimberly at the Kimberly Hotel in New York City


On the penthouse level, 30 stories above the street, is Upstairs at The Kimberly, the hotel’s all-seasons rooftop bar with a spectacular view of the iconic Chrysler building as its backdrop. The space was thoughtfully designed to be as elegant and inviting in the winter months as it is sunny and sophisticated in the summer season. For winter, the floors are heated with retractable glass ceilings and walls. Mornings they have a breakfast buffet. Nightly, they serve artistically inspired cocktails and a varied small plates menu. This is definitely old New York. You must be over 21 to enter, and the enforced dress code is business casual.

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s Float Rooftop Bar


For the Neophile, the ambiance at Float, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s dramatic rooftop pool bar and lounge overlooking the Gaslamp Quarter, satisfies as it transforms constantly throughout the day. A chic, quiet oasis in the afternoon evolves into a pulsating evening with resident nightspot DJs. Private poolside cabanas feature outdoor leather lounge seating—hello 1970—flat screen TVs and mini bars also abound—welcome 2016. Paying homage to the spirit of the Hard Rock brand, lyrics from classic tunes by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other renowned artists are drawn into select rooftop walls and planters. For hungry and thirsty revelers, California fare with a dash of Baja cuisine and creative margaritas are served. Banana ketchup or the Big Ginger margarita with Jameson Irish Whiskey, anyone?

Flair Rooftop Restaurant & Bar at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong


The very stylish and contemporary Flair Rooftop Restaurant & Bar makes its home at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong on the 58th floor, making it the highest al fresco dining venue in China. Designed by Super Potato (you read that correctly), the indoor décor is a blend of rustic and contemporary designs creating a loft-like lounge ambiance, while the outdoor setting is elegant and relaxed with lounge sofas offering breathtaking views of the Huangpu River and across Shanghai.

At Flair, Asian cuisine is served tapas-style with a sushi and raw bar for more options. The beverage menu is extensive, offering signature cocktail and spirit selections alongside 40 types of vodka, and fashionable small-distillery rums. With its 100 indoor and 132 outdoor seats, we prefer to invite only our closest friends to join the fun.

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By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for