Rock Bar, Ayana Resort, Bali
Carved into a seaside cliff on the banks of the Indian Ocean, the aptly named Rock Bar is one of Indonesia’s most exquisite venues. The heat can be stifling, but craft cocktails like the Rockito (Grand Marnier, fresh lime, soda, and mint) and snacks like summer rolls and chilled soba noodles are designed to refresh. Word to the wise: If you’re not a guest at the hotel, arrive before 4pm or you may be stuck waiting in line when sunset rolls around.
Experience Bangkok from 820 feet above street level at this stunning 64th floor bar, which has the distinction of being the tallest open-air bar in the world. Elaborate specialty cocktails designed by mixologist Ron Ramirez are served up from behind an illuminated island bar that changes colors every 90 seconds, because of course it does. When you start to feel lightheaded, saunter into the adjacent Sirocco restaurant for a bite before reclaiming your spot amid the clouds.
If the tastefully appointed bar room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar looks familiar, it might be because it is the same piano bar where Bill Murray met Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. The views of Tokyo City are spectacular from 52 stories up, and with live jazz nightly and a menu of creative craft cocktails – some named after New York landmarks like Radio City and Carnegie Hall – there are plenty of reasons to stick around. The New York Bar also boasts the most extensive collection of American wines in all of Japan, though if you’ve come this far, why not skip the California Cab and try something new?
Savvy New Yorkers know that the many rooftop bars of midtown are to be avoided at all costs after sunset. The real action is down in the Meatpacking District, where well-connected Manhattanites rub elbows with celebrities, artists, and fashionistas high atop the New York sidewalks. Peer into the night through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the bathrooms of Le Bain, or head up to the buzzing upper level patio deck for a smoke; either way, the sweeping views of the Gotham skyline are guaranteed to dazzle.
Creatives in search of inspiration need look no further than the breathtaking terrace of the Grand Hotel Timeo. Overlooking Mount Etna, Cape Taormina, and the Sicilian coastline, it‘s an impossibly romantic setting perfect for sampling Italian wines while writing that novel you’ve been talking about since the '90s. Just be sure to pack a vintage typewriter; breaking out a laptop here would be absolute sacrilege.