New York is a city that likes to show off and it truly excels when it comes to rooftop bars. From the low key Art Roof Garden at the Met with its Central Park views to the see-and-be-seen Press Lounge at Ink48 with it’s 360 panoramic vista, there’s a roof and a cocktail with your name on it.
The latest addition to the boozy skyline is The Roof which is perched on top of the Viceroy Hotel on West 57th street. It has a separate entrance to the Midtown hotel and it feels like the walkway to the hotel kitchens but no fear, there’s a reassuring man waiting in the elevator ready to whisk you up to the 29th Street.
There’s absolutely no question that you will be blown away when you step out on to The Roof’s terrace. It looks directly over Central Park from the southside. The park seems more like an expansive, densely packed forest from up here. The sense of space on The Roof is glorious. While you don’t see any of the iconic buildings when facing upper Manhattan, you do feel like you’re taking a real breather from the craziness of the city below and there are no other tall building inhibiting the soaring views. That’s a true rarity. On the night we went, there was a typically dramatic New York thunderstorm which rolled in low from the west. We were so high up, it felt we were actually part of the storm. I loved it, my friend wanted to get down.
At this point we retreated inside to the lounge with our cocktails and sunk in to the luxurious leather sofas. The fact I haven’t even mentioned the drinks yet just shows how great the view is. The cocktails are sublime. The bartenders here specialise in a couple of drinks: the mojito and the margarita. Naturally, I tried both but the Jalapeño Margarita stood out for me. It was very simple, just Maestro Dobel tequila, fresh lime juice and muddled jalapeño. It was light, fresh and had a kick. One of the best cocktails I’ve had in New York and that’s saying something! My friend had a Lyric Pinot Noir from the Etude Winery in Napa. She is currently trying to source crates of this. The wine list has clearly been given a lot of thought and attention. The staff were equally passionate and knowledgeable about the drinks they were serving.
The only let down for us was the food. It’s nothing to write home about when you know what you could be eating down there in the city. We tried the Charcuterie Board which featured a strange tomato jam that looked and tasted like cold condensed tomato soup. The couple of cuts of meat were not very exciting either. But no bother, it’s not the food you should be here for. This place is about starting your evening in style and relaxing with a good drink on a swanky terrace taking in New York’s most breathtaking view. This is definitely a rooftop that can stand tall with the best of them.
The Roof at the Viceroy Hotel New York, 124 West 57th Street; Rooms start from £180 per room/night ($309) Bookings: www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/new york, or call +1 855 647 1619.