Travel

Jenna Berndt
6 minute read
20 Dec 2019
9:08 am

7 of the best rooftops in 2020’s trendiest destinations 

Jenna Berndt

If you're following in the stylish footsteps of celebrities and aristocrats who holiday on the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera, you're likely going to base yourself in Nice.

A tourist stands by the rooftop swimming pool at the Gran Hotel Manzana in Havana -- one of many luxury properties attracting tourists in Cuba. AFP/Yamil LAGE

Nothing says “ultimate travel experience” quite like sipping a cocktail or nibbling on some tapas at a swanky rooftop bar or restaurant – with the panoramic views of the new city you’ve just explored twinkling below. Whether you’re ringing in the new year, or toasting to the start of a brand new year, here are 2020’s trendiest rooftops.

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is one of 2020’s trendiest (and Europe’s most sustainable) destinations to tick off in the new year. The hilly capital city of Lisbon ticks all the boxes for Instagram-perfect rooftop wining and dining too.

Lumi Rooftop at The Lumiares Hotel has a rooftop bar affording fabulous views over the sea of red-roofed buildings of the popular Bairro Alto neighbourhood. Enjoy an elegant dinner and sip on a local favourite such as ginjinha (a cherry liqueur of sorts), Port, or any of the fantastic local wines.

Or head off the radar to the rooftop bar of Terraço 23, a hidden gem in the Campo dos Mártires da Pátria area. Pick a local wine from the short but well-rounded wine list and nibble on some sharing platters.


Scotland

One of the world’s most legendary New Year’s Eve street parties sees the hilly streets of Scotland’s Edinburgh thronged with revellers come the 31st of December.

Escape the crowds in style at SkyBAR Edinburgh, located on the top floor of DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh. The bar boasts staggering views over the city and castle. It’s the perfect place to take in the New Year’s fireworks. Plan your visit beforehand – the bar is usually open to non-hotel guests on the first Thursday of every month, although for special events, such as Hogmanay, this can change.

Seville, Spain

In colourful Seville, check-in at the Las Casas de la Judeira Hotel.

“This chic boutique hotel consists of a series of painstakingly restored interconnected 15th-century Andalusian townhouses in the Jewish Quarter of the city,” says Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation in South Africa.

“Trafalgar guests overnighting in Seville stay in this utterly charming hidden oasis. This is one of our Stays with Stories accommodations: boutique hotels and family-run hotels that are attractions in their own right,” adds Richardson, who counts herself lucky to have visited many of these.

Las Casas de la Judeira Hotel boasts a rooftop swimming pool, the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail in the summer months. Soak up the sun as you admire the views over the Giralda and the Sevillian rooftops.

Ireland

While it’s not a rooftop per se, AbbeyGlen Castle Hotel’s terrace deserves a spot on this list. The terrace of this 19th-century Irish castle boasts sweeping views over Clifden Bay and the wild, unspoilt landscapes of Connemara. Revel in the royal treatment with a glass of champers, Guinness or local whiskey on the terrace under the moonlight, as the sweet sounds of traditional Irish ballads waft on the breeze.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

If you’re exploring Ireland’s legendary north, the capital city of Belfast (set to be one of 2020’s trendiest destinations) is home to some wonderful rooftops.

Stay at Ten Square Hotel, in the heart of the city centre, and whizz upstairs to the cocktail bar on the seventh floor. Choose your preferred tipple from the extensive menu and enjoy the views over the Belfast skyline.

 

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The Jaffe Penthouse at Ten Square Hotel, Belfast. When only the height of luxury will do.

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Nice

If you’re following in the stylish footsteps of celebrities and aristocrats who holiday on the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera, you’re likely going to base yourself in Nice.

Le Meridien is an iconic hotel situated on the Promenade des Anglais and showcases views of the sparkling turquoise waters from its 10th-floor vantage point. It’s pricey, but the views are spectacular. City centre Hôtel Aston La Scala has a rooftop terrace bar, perfect for poolside cocktails in the summer. Or head upstairs to the rooftop of the Boscolo Hotel for gorgeous views over the Bay of Angels. Get there in time for the sunset and grab an apéritif and tapas platters to share.

New York

It’s no surprise that the city that never sleeps is home to a fantastic array of prime rooftop venues.

Travellers visiting the Big Apple in the summer months can take advantage of the warm summer evenings and visit one of the many fabulous rooftop bars, restaurants and viewing decks.

Richardson lets us in on one of her rooftop favourites.

“Trafalgar guests on a New York Explorer trip, a new itinerary for 2020, stay at the boutique Shelburne Hotel by Affinia, in the Murray Hill neighbourhood. Not only is it just a few steps from the Grand Central Station and other NYC attractions, but it has a seasonal rooftop bar, rather appropriately named RARE VIEW,” says Richardson.

It’s been voted one of the city’s best rooftops, so staying as a guest has its benefits. Hotel guests have 24/7 access while outside guests can visit during cocktail hour.

The 5,000 square foot rooftop has 360-degree views over the Manhattan skyline. Capture the ideal photo of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the East River.

Enjoy a cocktail and if you’re peckish, head downstairs for a burger fresh off the grill from the restaurant.

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