230 Fifth Ave., at 27th St.; 212-725-4300
This 8,000-square-foot room on the twentieth floor features walls of partitioned glass, an op-art pile carpet, and purple fluorescent lights. If that’s not impressive enough, the massive roof deck provides unobstructed views of the Empire State Building, the Met Life building, and Jersey.
80 Columbus Cir., at 60th St.; 212-805-8876
At the posh Mandarin Oriental’s equally upscale lounge, mahogany walls warm up the ovate area, with large panels of mod art adding the only color. But everyone is looking at the view—Central Park greenery during the day and flashing taillights whirling around Columbus Circle at night.
The Lobby Bar
335 Bowery, at 3rd St.; 212-505-9100
With Persian rugs, a vaulted sandstone fireplace, and a wall full of antlers, the Bowery Hotel’s bar may be the most decadent room in the city. Old New York is vibrantly reflected in the mural along the top of the walls and the gargoyles carved into the back of the seats.
2 Lexington Ave., at 21st St.; 212-920-3300
Artist Julian Schnabel and owner Ian Schrager are behind the palatial, slightly Spanish bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Take in the fifteen-foot gold-leaf “Rorschach” print by Warhol, followed by a similar set of riches (aged Scotches and exotic liquors) on the oak-leaf-shaped shelves that tower over each bar.
The World Bar
845 United Nations Plz., at 47th St.; 212-935-9361
Here, would-be masters of the universe unwind with stiff martinis after another seventy hour week, relaxing in the plush, over-sized chairs. Everything from the back-lit marble bar to the bronze tables reeks of luxury (not to mention of Trump).