Top 10 rooftop bars
ANN Rickard has taken an elevator to many a rooftop bar around the world. She gives us 10 of her favourite sky-high places to slowly sip a martini and take in the views. These are just her 10 picks, she encourages you to discover your own.
CONTAINED and intimate, the rooftop bar at the Hotel U Prince in Prague's Old Town overlooks the historic square and surrounding handsome buildings. Early summer evenings up on the roof of this celebrated and quirky hotel, armed with an aperitif, make a good start for a big night out in Prague.
WITH a view of Shanghai's futuristic sky-line, Sir Elly's Terrace Bar at the Peninsula Hotel is a pinch-me-am-I-really-here? bar. With its slick timber and orange/red furnishing and the signature champagne cocktails, it's the epitome of casual sophistication...even a glass of water hits new levels when you overlook Shanghai's glittering night sky-line.
TOO many choose from in this sophisticated city and the Marina Bay Sands has two sky bars that will have you dizzy even before you've taken a sip of anything. However, Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel is still a favourite with locals. A Passion Sling cocktail and a basket of truffle fries go down well. The night views of dazzling Marina Bay Sands calls for a selfie, and there is always the sassy bed-style seating just right for seniors.
THE Soleil Pool Bar at Rydges Hotel at Southbank might not qualify as one of the highest rooftop bars in the world ...okay, we admit it's balcony bar...but with its night-time, glowing poolside ambience, it's a perfect end-of-day pitstop after exploring the city. Take your mates and share cocktails by the jug, soak up the alcohol with a plate of charcuterie.
WHAT can we say? This SkyBar on top of the Lebua State Tower is the Mother of all the rooftop bars in the world (our opinion, you may disagree) and certainly one of the highest. Suspended on a precipice over the humming city, a circular bar propels out into the sky and is luminated at night to change colour from fluorescent pink to lime green. Dizzying enough, before you even look down on the city 820 feet below. There's an inspired cocktail list for all tastes but you should try a Hangovertini, created when the cast of Hangover 2 was filming at Lebua State Tower.
THIS one is so new we haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it's on our list. The Twilight Sky bar on the roof of the newly opened La Siesta Central Hotel in Hanoi's historic Old Quarter has a 270 degree outlook over the city, and unobstructed views of Hoan Kiem Lake. We are promised handcrafted signature cocktails and fine wines while mellow DJ beats bring their own laid-back vibe to the whole package. Can't wait to go.
EVERYWHERE in Switzerland is a view but from the 360 Roof Top Bar in Lucerne you are high above the rooftops with panoramic vistas and the whole of Lucerne at your whim. With mountains galore all over this small and spectacular country, a city rooftop bar makes for a lively change.
TALK about on top of the world. SkyBar on level 33 of the Trader's Hotel in this bustling city makes you feel you've arrived. The cosy cabana booths and long blue pool are one thing, but it is the views of the Petronas Twin Towers that steal the show way up there.
OKAY, we concede it might not be one of the highest or most trendy rooftop bars, and it doesn't even have a bar or barman, but the garden space on top of the Fraser Place Hotel in the city gives wide views of Melbourne's skyline, and here's the really good bit, guests can take their own tipple up there. Sit among planter boxes of mint and basil and sip a glass of your bubbles and watch Melbourne's evening slowly close over the city.
FELIX Bar, on top of the Peninsular hotel, is known by every Hong Kong local whether or not they have been there. Designed by Philippe Starck, it is small and crowded and has spectacular views through floor-to-ceiling windows of the Victoria Harbour skyline. But it is the men's room that causes all the talk. Behind the urinals, is a sheet of glass through which you look down on Victoria Harbour as you pee. Lucky fellas...we'll say no more.