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Although it’s a myth that people get drunk faster at higher altitudes, that’s not going to stop us from ascending as close to the heavens as we can for a cocktail or two (or three). After all, a mile high taproom almost certainly offers the promise of a jaw-dropping view whether it’s of city, sky or sea. With that in mind, here are the 10 best bars in the sky.
Umbrella Bar in Olympic Valley, CA

Umbrella Bar in Olympic Valley, CA | Flickr CC: Ray Bouknight

Umbrella Bar at Squaw Valley: Olympic Valley, CA
This might be the highest combination outdoor bar and hot tub in the United States if not the entire world. Umbrella Bar at Squaw Valley—Alpine Meadows in Tahoe (and home to the 1960 Winter Olympics) is estimated at 8,200 feet above sea level, and the bar along with the aptly named High Camp Hot Tub is open all summer long and also in spring based on weather conditions. Hint: Start planning your next vacation to Tahoe now.
Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

Ozone Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Ozone at the Ritz-Carlton: Hong Kong, ChinaNot for persons suffering from acrophobia, the Ozone bar at the 118th floor of the ICC building in Hong Kong holds the distinction of being the world’s highest bar. (We’re getting vertigo just writing about it.) There’s no doubt the views of the city and the bay are a total knockout and the honeycomb interior and supple lighting only add to the allure, but drinking and dining (there’s a menu of Asian tapas) in the clouds doesn’t come cheap so bring your credit card and be prepared to give it a robust workout.
mgp-innenansicht-lounge

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Towering 12,740 feet above the Alps, this restaurant with a bar (been and wine) wins a blue ribbon for its stunning alpine of Swiss, French and Italian Alps. But that ribbon we’re handing it is hardly its sole accolade. It’s also an eco-friendly, zero-energy building and the highest restaurant in all of Europe. Patrons have reported arriving with a bit of altitude sickness so be sure and include a hefty lunch or dinner with those beers.
At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

At.mosphere

At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa: Dubai, UAE
Another record holder in that it’s the highest bar from ground level, the gilded surroundings at At.mosphere provide the perfect showcase for Dubai’s newfound riches. Everywhere you look you can see something magnificent whether it’s out over the Dubai landscape or down below at the world’s largest performing fountains. There’s a full menu available at the restaurant but it’s pricey so just want to stick to having a cocktail in the handsome lounge.
The Rooftop at the Standard in LA

The Rooftop at the Standard in LA

The Rooftop at the Standard: Los Angeles, CA
In a city maligned for not really doing the skyscraper thing, the Rooftop at the new(ish) Standard Hotel bests all doubters with central location smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles (a neighborhood in the middle of a vast and exciting transformation). Picture panoramic views of glittering high rises and office buildings at dusk (and mountains in the background) and also a heated swimming pool, a German biergarten, DJs, an outdoor fireplace, sculptured topiaries and you with a cocktail in hand.
1-Altitude, Singapore, rooftop bars, cocktails, hotels

1-Altitude

1-Altitude: Singapore
A list full of superlatives is bound to have one more and 1-Altitude, located atop the 61st to 63rd floors of One Raffles Place, claims to be the highest al fresco bar on earth. More than just a bar, it’s also a restaurant, cafe, nightclub and green space with 360 views of Singapore. The bar slings cocktails way until the wee hours on weekends, but the party begins at 6pm nightly when 1-Altitude hostsits booze-infused Sundown Affair.
orbitz

Bar 54

Bar 54: New York, NY
Kudos to the Hyatt Times Square for laying claim to having the highest rooftop bar in Manhattan. Its Midtown location guarantees marvelous sunset views in which some of the tallest buildings in the world—including One World Trade Center—glitter like a sea of diamonds. Settle in to a chaise—if you can find one that’s not already taken—and enjoy a specialty cocktail like the Trending Hashtag or the Doctor’s Note.
Stratosphere, Las Vegas, Sin City, casino, hotel, Las Vegas Strip

Air Bar at Stratosphere

AirBar at the Stratosphere: Las Vegas, NV
The highest bar in Sin City—which makes it the highest bar for miles in all directions—AirBar’s location at the relatively isolated Stratosphere Resort and Casino on the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard guarantees spectacular Strip views. The emphasis is on a raucous, clubby vibe so if you’re looking for something quiet try a different bar—or a different city. But if you’re looking for a $4 frozen margarita at sunset and just feet from where adrenaline junkie take the plunge at SkyJump, this is your joint.
Sky Bar at Sirocco in Bangkok, Thailand

Sky Bar at Sirocco in Bangkok, Thailand | Flickr CC: chee.hong

Sky Bar at Sirocco: Bangkok, Thailand
If our research reveals one thing, it’s that the name Sky Bar is hardly original. Nevertheless, this Bangkok fixture is an icon and, at 63 stories, one of the world’s highest open-air lounges. It has a celebrity cache in that The Hangover Part 2 was filmed at nearby lebua Hotels and Resorts (hence the Hangovertini) which is all part of the same complex. And if Sky Bar isn’t high enough for your imbibing needs, there’s always Distil bar one more flight up.
Signature Room in Chicago

Signature Lounge in Chicago | Flickr CC: E.Nekervis

The Signature Lounge at the 96th: Chicago, IL
For years Chicago held the record for the world’s tallest building (the Willis Tower), but despite having had its record eclipsed many times over, this big-shouldered city is still home to a ton of tall and spindly buildings each with its own top level attraction. In Chicago, the highest place from which to imbibe is the classy—if also touristy—Signature Lounge, from which you can see not only majestic Lake Michigan, but also the skyscrapers and architecturally significant buildings for which the city has become famous.

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Tagged: California, Europe, Hotels, Las Vegas, New York

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is an associate editor at Orbitz, a social media marketing consultant and a freelance cultural reporter for numerous publications. His works has been featured in the Huffington Post, Time Out, Passport, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and many others.

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