60 Thompson St., nr. Broome St.; 877-431-0400
Hotelier Jason Pomeranc's elegant members-only rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel features exotic cocktails, plush patio furniture, and seriously awesome views. Take in a breathtaking showcase of midtown and lower Manhattan from the thirteenth-floor terrace.
The Bar at Hotel QT
125 W. 45th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-354-2323
No need to scale a fence to replicate the illicit pool party in Kids: Hotel QT’s underlit pool is full of late-night partiers frolicking in American Apparel swimsuits. For those wishing to stay dry, a spritzy glass of Honeysuckle at the mezzanine bar is a fantastic alternative.
35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave.; 212-744-1600
Dating back to 1947, Bemelmans at the Carlyle is old-school New York at its finest. The dark, intimate space still evokes postwar class with white-jacketed waiters, a ceiling coated in 24-karat gold leaf, and nickel-trimmed glass tables arranged around the piano.
17 W. 32nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-290-2460
The secret's out about the rooftop bar of the La Quinta budget hotel, and with good reason. Come here early and try to snag one of the round tables for a picture-perfect worm's-eye view of the Empire State Building.
1210 W. 55th St., nr. Broadway; 212-246-2211
Dream Hotel owner Vikram Chatwal got it right when he hired Jody Singleton to craft his hypnotic lobby bar: The silk-brocade sofas, studded columns, and cobalt-blue glass chandeliers are dark, sexy, and mesmerizing.