Being such a vertical city, there’s no shortage of stunning views to be had in Hong Kong. We’ve picked our favourite rooftop bars where you can make the most of it, from relaxed, spacious patios upon which to languidly pass the evening, to stylish sky-high establishments in the heart of the city.
Date Night: Popinjays
It takes two consecutive lift rides to reach bar-restaurant Popinjays, situated at the top of luxury hotel The Murray. The view from the outdoor wraparound bar more than repays the effort, with an unobstructed vista extending from the Mid-Levels to Government House, the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, and the banks of Central. Quench your thirst with the Flight of Fancy before heading indoors for modern European fare by Chef Didier Quennouelle.
22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central
Live Music: Red Sugar
Located on the eastern corner of Kowloon in Hung Hom, the Kerry Hotel’s Red Sugar is the perfect spot for watching the sunset in the evenings. Their terrace is surrounded by Victoria Harbour with 270-degree views of twinkling lights and water. At the weekend, they have a Sundown Session that includes free flow tapas and drinks, plus a live musician. As well as a cocktail menu that takes guests on a nostalgic journey to 1960s Hong Kong.
7/F, Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom
After brunch: Piqniq
Styled after the ‘guingettes’ of Paris, Piqniq sits on the rooftop of the H Queen’s art gallery tower and stands out for its vibrant surrounds and unmissable Yayoi Kusama pumpkin centrepiece. During the day, guests can dine on highly Instagrammable picnic platters, while revellers head here at night for the whimsical, fairy-light strewn atmosphere. We like to come after a filling brunch to while away the afternoon on the supremely snug bean bags.
R/F, H Queens, 80 Queen’s Road Central
Weeknight drinks: SHÈ
SHÈ’s location on the roof of IFC makes it a convenient after-work drinks spot for those with offices in the Central area – just make sure to stay until 8pm to catch the nightly ‘A Symphony of Light’ laser show across the harbour from the restaurant’s alfresco terrace. A dependable wine list with global representation will please most oenophiles, while Asian-inflected cocktails reflect the bar’s Chinese influences.
Level 3, ifc Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central
For that ‘70s vibe: Terrible Baby
While Terrible Baby has no harbour views to boast of (its name, by the way, is derived from the French enfant terrible), the bar’s sprawling patio at the Eaton Hotel lends it a special charm. Sat on rattan sofas between thickets of banana leaves, guests will be mesmerised, if not by the glowing bubble lifts climbing up and down the hotel’s facade, then by the hulking, neon-bathed tenement building on the other side of Nathan Road. From the tongue-in-cheek menu, we recommend the #Busy (aperol, Ford’s gin, Fernet Hunter and yuzu juice).
4/F, Eaton Hotel, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan
Post-gallery hopping: ICHU Peru
Another of H Queen’s watering holes is ICHU Peru, the Peruvian restaurant opened by Chef Virgilio Martínez of Central fame. ICHU’s terrace is a rare oasis in the city, evoking the Amazon rainforest by way of the garden wall and planters of broad-leafed plants. Mixologist Massimo Petovello’s cocktails mirror the geography of Peru; the El Nino Effect conjures the coast with pisco, sake, gentian and plankton, while the Espinoso is inspired by the country’s desert regions with its recipe of blanco tequila, cactus, Szechuan button, and aloe vera.
3/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central
Alternative harbour views: Cruise
Off the beaten path in North Point’s sleek Hotel VIC, Cruise is a bar-restaurant that boasts a rooftop patio offering another perspective of the harbour, with views towards Hung Hom and East Kowloon. Spacious seating, imaginative cocktails and two locally inspired house beers make for a relaxed lounge experience at a noticeably slower pace than the more well-trodden watering holes out west.
23/F, Hotel VIC on the Harbour, North Point Estate Lane
To impress visitors: SEVVA
No survey of the city’s rooftop bars is complete without tastemaker Bonnae Gokson’s bar-restaurant, SEVVA. Its expansive wraparound terrace atop Prince’s Building is the haunt of Hong Kong’s fashionable crowd, thanks to unbeatable views of Statue Square, Legco and the the Bank of China Tower. With a cocktail in hand and bathed in the luminous glow of the adjacent HSBC Building, it’s easy for residents and visitors alike to be swayed by the charms of Hong Kong for the first time, or all over again.
Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central
Pre-dinner drinks: Portico
For plenty of outdoor space and the feeling that you are in the beating heart of Hong Kong though, this is the perfect spot. Located on Queen’s Road Central, the bar is attached to Italian fine-dining restaurant Spiga, and pulls in an after-work crowd of city slickers. Join them for classic cocktails — barrel-aged negronis, old fashioneds and cosmopolitans — served at low blue-and-white sofas that feel more beach club than city-centre terrace. On a steamy night, there’s a lively buzz in the air with honking taxis and the sounds of Hong Kong in the distance, the only reminder that guests are not, in fact, on holiday.
Central, 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong
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CreditHeader image courtesy of Kerry Hotel