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As outdoor socializing continues to be a favored option for health-conscious travelers, an array of hotels around the country are debuting enticing new rooftop venues that are ideal for drinks, dinner and enjoying the view.
Among the newest options in New York City is provided by the Margaritaville Resort Times Square, which opens in June with 234 guest rooms as well as a two-level rooftop that will offer views of the Empire State Building, the Hudson River and - later this year - the New Year's Eve ball. A few blocks away, the aptly named Rooftop at the NoMad New York debuted an al fresco restaurant in the fall of 2020.
On the west coast, Los Angeles is preparing to welcome a number of new hotels with rooftop venues, including The Shay, which opens this summer and is billed as the first hotel with a rooftop pool and cocktail bar in the Culver City neighborhood. Also new in Los Angeles for 2021 are the Downtown LA Proper, which opens in June with a rooftop pool and lounge/bar/restaurant; the Godfrey Hotel Hollywood, which opens in July with multiple rooftop areas; and the Thompson Hollywood Hotel, which will have a rooftop pool, lounge and garden when it opens this spring.
Existing hotels are upping the ante, too. In March, the Beverly Hilton is unveiling a new rooftop dining pop-up called Sant'olina, which will specialize in creative cocktails and cuisine with Israeli and Mediterranean influences. And in Laguna Beach, La Casa del Camino hotel revamped its Rooftop Lounge in 2020, evoking Hollywood's golden age with new décor touches that include rattan bistro seating and Spanish tiles.
Options elsewhere in California include the Bellanca Hotel, which opened in 2020 on Catalina Island with a rooftop restaurant that serves cocktails and cuisine from the hotel's main restaurant, The Naughty Fox. Further south, the InterContinental San Diego debuted an alfresco Italian restaurant called Garibaldi in 2020.
The Windy City has become another hotspot for rooftop excitement. Travelers can savor sashimi and sushi at the appropriately named Rooftop at Nobu, located at the Nobu Hotel Chicago, which opened in 2020, or sip creative cocktails at the Kennedy Rooftop, a stylish restaurant and bar that opened last year at the Hyatt Place Wicker Park.
The state of Florida is another destination that's a logical choice for open-air rooftop venues. Among the newest is Spruzzo, a Mediterranean restaurant that opened in 2020 at The Ben, West Palm, an Autograph Collection hotel in West Palm Beach. Also new in south Florida is Miami Beach's 202-room Moxy South Beach, which has an eighth-floor rooftop bar called The Upside that offers selfie-worthy views of the Atlantic Ocean, the downtown Miami skyline and South Beach. Still to come is The Ray Hotel Delray Beach, a Curio Collection by Hilton property that opens in July with a 20,000-square-foot rooftop that will include a pool deck, restaurant, bar and lounge areas.
New hotels with rooftops in central Florida include the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, which opened in January and at press time was about to debut a Sunday SkyBrunch at its rooftop SkyBar, with a sophisticated brunch menu to complement the Orlando city views.
Views Around the West
Cities of all sizes, in fact, are debuting new hotel rooftop venues. The Phoenix area, for example, is home to two new sky-high hotel options. ARRIVE Phoenix, which opened in 2020, is gearing up to open Say When, a rooftop bar with a hip 1970s vibe. Nearby, ADERO Scottsdale, an Autographic Collection Hotel, opened in October 2020 and is home to SkyTop Lounge, an open-air cocktail lounge that offers views of the Sonoran Desert.
Even ski enthusiasts can enjoy fresh rooftop views, thanks to the scheduled May opening of The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The property's rooftop terrace, which overlooks the Town Square and Snow King Mountain, will host activities including yoga, meditation classes and live musical performances.
Further north, in Minneapolis, the Rand Tower Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio property that opened in 2020, is putting the final touches on a new fifth-floor rooftop venue with a retractable roof called the Rand Tower Club, which will serve creative French cuisine.
Travelers looking for inspiring views in the Pacific Northwest, meanwhile, might want to consider a stay at the SCP Hotel in Redmond, Oregon. Sitting atop the property is a 1,500-square-foot indoor/outdoor dining space that's billed as the city's only rooftop dining experience.
The state of Georgia welcomed one of the south's newest rooftop options with the opening of the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District in 2020. The luxury hotel actually offers two distinct rooftop experiences: Myrtle & Rose, a garden restaurant that serves light food and botanically inspired cocktails, and Electric Moon Skytop Lounge, a "high-energy" rooftop lounge that hosts live music performances and is attached to The Moon Deck, a dance club.
New options in Tennessee include the Grand Hyatt Nashville, which opened in October 2020 with a rooftop bar called lou/na that offers panoramic city views and serves imaginative cocktails like the Moxie Dew Drop, which is topped with cotton candy, and the Sly Fox, which is served with a tiny chocolate guitar. At many hotel rooftop venues, indeed, creativity and altitude go hand in hand.
Mark Chesnut is a New York City-based journalist, editor, content producer and public speaker with more than 20 years of...
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