High society

Soak up the stunning views and luxe surroundings of the city's poshest hotels for the price of a drink.

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(left to right) A60, Ava Lounge, Plunge

The Time Warner Center might be little more than a glorified shopping mall, but even jaded New Yorkers can't deny that the location, overlooking Columbus Circle, provides some stellar views.


(left to right) A60, Ava Lounge, Plunge

The Time Warner Center might be little more than a glorified shopping mall, but even jaded New Yorkers can't deny that the location, overlooking Columbus Circle, provides some stellar views. One prime spot to enjoy them is from the comfort of a leather chair at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's (Time Warner Center, 80 Columbus Circle, at 60th Street, 1-212 805 8800) Lobby Lounge, perched 35 floors above the southwest corner of Central Park. Naturally, the drinks aren't cheap (signature cocktails are $17 apiece), but the Fifth Avenue and Central Park South skylines, glittering through walls of windows, make spending those extra bucks worthwhile.

Plunge, the rooftop bar over at the Hotel Gansevoort with access to the adjacent pool, is where you'll find bikini-clad hotel guests. You, of course, will have to wear clothes if you want to make it through the posh lobby and up to the penthouse, but you can strip down once you get there and sunbathe, caipirinha, mojito or margarita in hand. Prices are sky-high but Plunge's $15 Mango Lime Rickey will at least have you tapping to the trendy soundtrack. Nearby, at the Maritime Hotel, preppy striped banquettes give Cabanas a yacht-ish vibe. This rooftop bar offers comfy alfresco couches, exotic drinks served by model-like cocktail waitresses and a canopy of paper lanterns to help set the mood.

Ava Lounge, at the Dream Hotel, is a chic, bi-level space offering gorgeous, nearly wraparound views across Midtown, including an electric vista of Times Square. Equal parts safari, French Riviera and old-school Miami Beach, this spot is a superb perch, and Broadway theater-goers should keep it in mind for pre- or post-show drinks.
Everybody knows that Downtown is the coolest part of town, and it doesn't get any cooler than A60, the rooftop bar at 60 Thompson, where good-looking media types gather to celebrate their fabulousness in a sleek, shimmering lounge. The snag? It is for guests only, but if you're looking gorgeous and it's an off-hour, you might be able to squeeze in for drinks and a killer view.

 

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