Going up? Since the dawn of electricity, buildings have only gotten taller and taller. As cities grow vertically, rooftops have become a desirable and trendy hangout spot. They’ve also provided the real estate for more city gardens and green spaces – even though those green spaces are 20 stories up. Such gardens work to try and alleviate the urban heat island effect, and sometimes they even provide locally-grown food for nearby restaurants. The best rooftops, though, are the ones that combine the garden and the hangout. The next time you’re looking for a place to stay, try one of these hotels with the best rooftop gardens ever.
McKittrick Hotel – Gallow Green
You can’t check in to the McKittrick Hotel in New York City – all of its rooms are occupied by the smash-hit “Sleep No More,” an interactive reimagining of “Macbeth.” But I would be remiss to leave Gallow Green out of a list of the best rooftop gardens. McKittrick Hotel’s Gallow Green is a bar situated in the middle of an overgrown garden. The greenery encroaches on the picnic tables and wooden walkways as if it’s planning on taking over. With flowers, trellises and string lights, it looks like a secret forest hideaway. In winter, Gallow Green transforms into The Lodge, a rooftop cabin surrounded by evergreen trees. Like everything else at the McKittrick Hotel, it feels almost like a secret that you weren’t supposed to stumble into. You do not have to purchase a ticket to “Sleep No More” to enjoy Gallow Green.
Petite Ermitage – The Private Rooftop
At the top of the Petite Ermitage in West Hollywood sits a garden oasis called The Private Rooftop. Their lush garden is home to so many hummingbirds and butterflies that it’s actually recognized by the National Wildlife Federation. That’s not all, though. You can sip some drinks and relax on the fire deck, which is complete with a sunken outdoor fireplace. In the morning, the Private Rooftop hosts yoga classes for hotel guests. If you get too hot, you can jump into the pool, which provides 360 degree views of the Hollywood Hills.
The Andaz Singapore – Mr. Stork
Mr. Stork is an apt name for this bar and garden, since it’s sky-high atop the Andaz hotel in Singapore. This rooftop garden is filled with trees, grass and winding pathways. Grab a drink from the bar and take a seat in one of their conical conversation tents, complete with mats and pillows. The tents are clustered around firepits, making the entire scene cozy. Other than the lush tropical landscaping, Mr. Stork offers a bird’s-eye view of Singapore and the nearby Marina Bay.
Doubletree Los Angeles Downtown – Kyoto Garden
Another one of the best rooftop gardens can also be found in LA, atop the Doubletree Los Angeles Downtown hotel. Kyoto Garden is a replica of an ancient garden in Tokyo, built for samurai lord Kiyomasa Kato in the 1500s. This half-acre garden surrounded by nearby skyscrapers feels almost otherworldly, with trees, ponds and even a waterfall. Kyoto Garden is a great venue for events, its picturesque atmosphere providing the perfect backdrop to weddings, receptions and more. Stroll along the smooth stone walkways and discover the many hidden treasures of this secret garden.
Fairmont Hotel – Rooftop Garden
The plush Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco is home to a stunning rooftop garden. Fairmont’s Rooftop Garden features huge palm trees, olive trees, a manicured lawn and blossoming flowers. In the center of the garden is a bubbling fountain, spraying a fine mist around the nearby walkways. From the Rooftop Garden, you can even spot the terrace of the penthouse suite, one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the city.
Hotel Raphael – La Terrasse
Head on up to La Terrasse at the top of Hotel Raphael for a picturesque view of Paris. From this champagne bar and restaurant, you can see the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élyseés and the Eiffel Tower. From the champagne bar, you can relax and have a drink in their sumptuous red-and-white seating. At the restaurant, you can treat yourself to French dining in the open air. La Terrasse is overflowing with greenery, and the flowers, trellises and architectural finishes give it the feel of a sophisticated European garden. It’s almost like a maze at times, with little dining tables and lounges surrounded by manicured hedges. La Terrasse’s idyllic setting makes it a perfect backdrop for your next favorite vacation photo.
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