We discover the world’s best bars in high places, where the caliber of cocktails matches the panoramas
There is an inherent appeal to drinking at altitude; perhaps it’s the experience of literally rising above our quotidian street-level lives. As our cities increasingly stretch upward, so does the real-estate potential for sky-high bars, the modern-day mountaintop from which we can have perspective on the world below—a feat best celebrated with a well-mixed drink in hand.

Juvia Miami Beach

Sitting pretty atop what is the city’s most audaciously designed parking lot—Herzog & de Meuron’s temple of concrete and glass—pass through the lower level shops to reach Juvia in the penthouse position.

Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design, the interiors feel like the beach house of your daydreams, with distressed wood and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Out on the patio, it’s a parade of water features and vertical gardens, not to mention the knockout vista. From the 13-seat gemstone-topped bar, there are uninterrupted views east and creative cocktail creations such as the Perfect Yuzu, a heady mix of vodka, sake and vanilla.

The restaurant is helmed by noteworthy chefs: Laurent Cantineaux, the protégé of chef Daniel Boulud; Executive Chef Sunny Oh, previously of Nobu on South Beach; Executive Sous Chef Kaoru Chang, also a Nobu alumni, and Pastry Chef Gregory Gourreau, who took his tutelage from Alain Ducasse and François Payard.

The menu finds the meeting point of Asian and Peruvian cuisine, all prepared with French flair and a focus on seafood, such as the Salmon Nashi with truffle oil, dry miso and micro arugula. Expect dramatic presentation to match the citywide panorama.

Distance from Conrad Miami: 21 minutes by car

Skylark New York

This is the skyline of our cinematic fantasies, known to us before we’ve even stepped foot in the city, and from this sweeping rooftop bar you can take it all in: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, all the way out to the Hudson River.

The Skylark was delivered by a cluster of nightlife impresarios including club veteran David Rabin, party planners at Abigail Kirsch and former JIMMY bartender Johnny Swet.

Occupying the 30th and 31st floors of this Art-Deco building, there’s a wraparound lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, copper light fixtures and plush leather furnishings, all in sleek black and grey, with a roof deck upstairs.

The cocktails are twists on classics, such as the Dry Oak Manhattan spiked with American Oak extract, or the Montreal 75, which adds maple syrup to a French 75. Bar snacks reach their zenith with the Mac & Cheese Cupcakes.

Distance from Conrad New York: 27 minutes by car

Sevva Hong Kong

Sevva, pronounced ‘savor’, is the creation of tastemaker Bonnae Gokson: a businesswoman and style icon (Chanel’s former Asia-Pacific Communications Director), she also champions decadent cakes via her coffee-table tome Butterflies and All Things Sweet.

This Hong-Kong hotspot, on the 25th floor of the Prince’s Building in Central, is as lavish as her culinary creations, which are sold from Ms B’s Sweets in the restaurant bar. Spread across several sections, enter via the glass-walled foyer, admire the giant Venini chandelier and vertical garden sprouting succulents, and then head for a spot on the 360-degree wraparound balcony, where you’ll catch views across the harbor and the sparkling Kowloon skyline.

This is where you want to be for the Symphony of Lights show at 8pm. Come by day for the Marie-Antoinette treatment during high tea, or in the evening for an (equally sweet) cocktail.

Distance from Conrad Hong Kong: 6 minutes by car


Duck & Waffle London

London’s skyline is swiftly becoming a vision of the future as ever-more skyscrapers redefine the view. The tallest of the bunch may be The Shard, but Duck & Waffle stakes the claim as London’s highest eatery, and unlike some restaurants that dine out on their view, the food and drink here are worth the visit alone.

On the 40th floor of the Salesforce Tower, at 110 Bishopsgate, the elevator is an experience in itself as it rushes up at a surprising speed. The kitchen is manned by talented British chef Dan Doherty, who creates decadent flavors best eaten alongside drinks, such as the Foie Gras Crème Brûlée or the meltingly tender Spicy Ox-Cheek Doughnut.

Cocktail guru Richard Woods is behind the bar and his latest Urban Decay menu taps into the sustainable drinking trend, getting playful with products that are normally considered waste, such as citrus husks and spent coffee grinds. Try the velvety rich Green Banana Daiquiri, which uses banana skins, sour milk and coconut-husk cordial with remarkable results.

Open 24 hours, the scene moves from a buzzing city brunch crowd to peckish partygoers throughout the night, but the views of the Gherkin and beyond remain wildly impressive no matter the time of day.

Distance from Conrad London St. James: 26 minutes by car



Next to the World House Hostel Café on Beyolu’s bustling shopping boulevard Istiklal Caddesi is the doorway to a 19th-century apartment building—an unassuming entrance that is easy to miss. Head up to the eighth floor and you’ll find an impressively constructed chrome-and-glass penthouse bar intended to show off the 360-degree panoramas for which it’s famed.

The views, stretching over the steeple of St. Antoine’s Church and Hagia Sophia Mosque and all the way out to the Sea of Marmara, definitely steal the show. Some come to dine on Turkish fusion mezze, but the wine selection is the main event. On the weekend, DJs entertain a sophisticated arty crowd.

Distance from Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus: 24 minutes by car


Smoke & Mirrors Singapore

Located above the old Supreme Court building, now home to National Gallery Singapore, make time to take in some Southeast-Asian art on your way up to Smoke & Mirrors.

The interiors are warm and intimate with plenty of rich wood-and-copper surfaces, where a curvaceous island bar takes center stage, the city’s lights glinting on its polished surface.

The terrace overlooks the Padang, Singapore’s green playing field, and out beyond to the architectural wonder of Marina Bay Sands. The cocktails come from famed local bartender Yugnes Susela, who has created a beautifully abstract menu with theatrical presentation.

Some drinks are inspired by the art downstairs, such as the Painting Class—a sake-meets-pisco concoction with edible paint—while others venture into culinary cocktail territory, such as the Duck’s Fat Hope with jackfruit-infused rum, five-spice honey, lemon and a few drops of Peking Duck jus from the Cantonese restaurant downstairs, giving it a complex, savory edge.

Distance from Conrad Centennial Singapore: 6 minutes by car


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