This summer in South Florida, picture yourself lounging in the clouds, hoisting an agave tequila cocktail in the cool shade of a pool cabana.
Patios and open-air spaces remain at a premium here, and developers have spent the pandemic crowning hotels with a new wave of lush, tree-lined rooftop bars and pool decks. Of the 14 rooftop bars listed in this lineup, only two — Hollywood’s DAER Rooftop Live and Terrazas at Hyde — opened pre-pandemic.
Offering some of the best luxury and panoramic views of nightlife from Fort Lauderdale to Miami to West Palm Beach, here are the newest rooftop lounges worth reaching for the skies.
Mamey on 3rd, 1350 S. Dixie Highway, Coral Gables; 305-266-2639, MameyMiami.com
You’ll have to travel a bit, but Mamey on 3rd, the third-floor rooftop extension of James Beard semifinalist chef Niven Patel’s Mamey Miami, is worth the drive. Sitting atop the THēsis Hotel, this rooftop lounge features daily live music during happy hour, cocktail specials and a menu that includes ghee-roasted plantains and glazed lamb ribs.
City height restrictions limit Rosewater to four stories, which is just tall enough to glimpse the lively nightlife below in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove Arts District. A 22,000-square-foot restaurant and pool bar debuting in September atop the boutique Ray hotel, Rosewater will be adorned with bamboo columns and trellises, a tree canopy, a glass-enclosed cube event space, and a menu of cocktails and seafood-forward eats such as snapper ceviche and yellowtail sushi.
The Reef Pool Bar, 135 SE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach; 561-926-5833, Marriott.com
At four stories, the Courtyard by Marriott Delray Beach is no skyscraper, but its Reef Pool Bar south of the touristy Atlantic Avenue crawl is worth an immediate visit. The pool, framed by many giant umbrellas and loungers, offers sweeping views of downtown and the suntanning set on the beach. The bar also serves light bites, craft beers and cocktails.
The perfect perch for aerial views of Las Olas carousers, the 13,000-square-foot Veranda is a versatile party spot, rooftop bar and event space from Riverside Hotel, located next door. Best of all: the third-floor space overlooks, arguably, the busiest tangle of nightlife on Las Olas. For now Veranda, which debuted July 17, will stage its next public rooftop event Sept. 10 with a concert by Shane Duncan Band, paired with cocktails. Veranda plans to stage more regular public events – live music, dinner parties, themed events and film screenings – this fall.
The Easton, 721 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954-769-9900, TheEastonFTL.com
This ninth floor Fort Lauderdale rooftop, which overlooks Flagler Village’s sprawl to the west and The Parker playhouse to the east, boasts an indoor nightclub with retractable doors that open onto a 10,000-square-foot pool deck, along with two gazebos, a pair of bars, a turfed area, and a lounge menu of pizza, sandwiches and elevated finger food. Access the Easton from a private elevator and entrance on the street inside the Quantum Flagler Village complex.
The long neck of the Hard Rock’s glitzy Guitar Hotel towers high above DAER Rooftop, a 4,000-square-foot extension of the casino’s ground-floor DAER nightclub-dayclub. Though we suspect you’ll be looking down more than up, the bar overlooks party central, the hotel’s splashy Bora Bora lagoon. DAER Rooftop also features a central island bar flanked by flatscreen TVs and live local bands on Fridays and Saturdays.
Terrazas is the chic, ninth-floor oceanfront restaurant atop the 407-room Hyde Hollywood Beach Resort, serving Mediterranean dishes along with salads, flatbreads and pastas. Palm trees, daybeds and cabanas line the rooftop’s twin infinity-edge pools. And the Hallandale Beach water tower, painted to resemble an oblong beach ball, looms nearby, right at rooftop eye level, practically begging swimmers to reach out and toss it around the pool.
Climb the eight floors to Moxy Hotel South Beach’s snazzy rooftop haunt Serena, which debuted in March, and you can just make out the glitterati on Ocean Drive and sun-seekers on the surf. The airy lounge takes its design and culinary cues from Mexico City, and its plush sofas, bistro lights and blooming bougainvillea bushes pair well with Serena’s menu of chorizo huaraches and crab tostadas. Finish off your night with a selfie in front of Serena’s Instagrammable neon sign, which, translated, reads, “last one and we’re leaving.”
If the Lincoln Eatery is for serious food gourmands, Sky Yard, sitting atop the massive food hall, is strictly meant for party animals. An alfresco adults-only arcade, the rooftop bar is teeming with cocktails and, yes, many yard games: golf simulators, pool tables, air hockey, ping-pong, and more. Visitors can refuel with a menu of steakhouse far and Latin dishes, and electronica DJs spin on happy hours and weekends.
Blending Mediterranean and Japanese dishes, MILA’s sexy, see-and-be-seen rooftop eatery and mixology bar overlooks the hullabaloo of tony Lincoln Road below. You’ll drop the equivalent of a car payment on this 5,000-square-foot terrace, but no matter: It’s a perfect backdrop for date night. MILA’s main attraction is V by MILA, an omakase-style evening where guests are served rounds of cocktails infused with liquid nitrogen, dry ice, foams and gels.
Pier 6 Rooftop, 200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-943-2525, Hilton.com
Pompano Beach has been busy beautifying its coastline in recent years, and the Pier 6 Rooftop crowning the new Home2 Suites/Tru by Hilton Pompano Beach hotel has picturesque views of it all, including the rebuilt Pompano Pier. The 3,500-square-foot Pier 6, which debuted when the hotel opened Aug. 5, features three fire pits, sofas and a cocktail bar serving light bites.
Horizon, 1870 Sawgrass Mills Circle, Sunrise; 954-846-0400, Marriott.com
If picturesque views of the 11th-largest mall in the country don’t sell you on Horizon, the eighth story bar atop the new AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Sawgrass Mills, maybe views of actual sawgrass – as in, the Everglades – will. Horizon’s 1,675-square-foot hangout is tall enough to make you feel like you’re perched on the edge of civilization, facing west, watching the fading sun brush the tips of vast swamplands.
A sleek alfresco bar and Mediterranean-accented tapas menu awaits rooftop revelers at Spruzzo, the oasis atop the Ben boutique hotel. An express elevator whisks visitors from the lobby to the eighth-floor lounge, which offers sweeping skyline views of Palm Harbor Marina and downtown West Palm Beach. By day, Spruzzo dishes a raw bar and light bites, and by night morphs into a lounge with live house music.
Follow the hanging Banyan vines from the ground of the Canopy West Palm Beach Hotel to its 13th floor and you’ll find Treehouse, a fittingly lush rooftop garden, pool and lounge. Along with panoramic views of Rosemary Square to the west and the Intracoastal to the east, Treehouse dishes happy hours, live music, a hot tub and daybeds.