NEW YORK As the unofficial start of summer approaches (that would be Memorial Day weekend), the selection of outdoor places for entertaining clients or hosting events is heating up. Rooftops are still all the rage, so here's a look at the newest options.
1. Top of the Strand
Last month, just ahead of the furor surrounding the opening of Sex and the City 2, the Strand Hotel opened Top of the Strand, its rooftop space designed by the film's set decorator, Lydia Marks. On the 21st floor of the boutique Midtown property, the 1,100-square-foot bar and lounge is furnished with cushioned banquettes and semiprivate cabana-like areas. With a retractable glass roof, the Top of the Strand is available year-round and can be booked for private events of as many as 75 guests.
2. Glass Bar
Not far from a handful of other roof lounges is the Hotel Indigo's open-air aerie, dubbed Glass Bar. Measuring 1,600 square feet, the space sits 20 stories high and is surrounded by tinted glass walls. Partially covered with a glass canopy, the Chelsea spot serves cocktails and appetizers and is available for events.
3. Sentry Center Midtown East's Garden Terrace
One of the few sky-high outdoor venues not attached to a hotel, the expansive garden terrace of Sentry Center is a blank slate available for corporate and nonprofit functions and is not open to the public. With stunning views and an open-plan layout, the terrace can be used for 450-person receptions or 300-seat banquets. Although this MIdtown conference center's outdoor space doesn't come with a retractable roof, the 4,000-square-foot Wharton Ballroom, which sports a virtually identical configuration, is offered as a foul weather contingency option.
4. Gansevoort Park
Expanding on the concept popular at its meatpacking district property, Gansevoort Hotels is planning a multistory Plunge Bar & Lounge for Gansevoort Park. Scheduled to open in July on Park Avenue South, the trilevel complex will house wraparound terraces, a 40-foot-long heated pool, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and six distinct spaces for events. The One Group will handle the food operations, dishing out shared plates of upscale snacks.