A great rooftop bar has to have a few things going for it; the view, the cocktails and the locale all play into making a lounge-worthy rooftop bar.
Los Angeles gets a bad rap for its smoggy skyline but there are plenty of places around Hollywood and other 'burbs in L.A. to kick back on a rooftop and enjoy the sunset with a craft cocktail.
The Rooftop at The Standard
High above Los Angeles is an oasis in the middle of the city. The Rooftop at the Standard, offers sweeping views of downtown and the mountains beyond the city in a chic setting. Lounge by the heated pool on red AstroTurf decks while downing traditional German beer during the day from the biergarten. The Rooftop transforms to a swank nightclub after 8 pm—you have to be on a guest list or RSVP to get in on Friday and Saturday after 8 pm. Even with those steps, wait times can be lengthy. The roof opens at noon each day and is available first to hotel guests and then to the public. While weekend admission is hard to come by, stopping by on a weekday or weeknight is the way to go for quicker admittance.
ONYX Rooftop Bar
On the beach at Santa Monica, the atmosphere at Onyx Rooftop Bar in the Hotel Shangri-La is everything we love about the 1970s. With a sparkly, flashy disco dance floor and a cappuccino-colored slab bar, this daytime lounge and evening nightclub feels like it comes straight out of a Sinatra album. Small plates and cocktails are served until midnight, and keep in mind that the dress code changes at 8 pm to amp up the high-class '70s nightclub feel.
Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel
The Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel—located in the historic United Artists Building—acts as as live music venue and also plays host to events like book release parties, artists-led advisor sessions, social hours, mixers and much more. The bar is open from 11 am to 2 am each day, ripe for discovering new cocktails from a loveably hipster drink program and small plates menu. This cool, concrete perch also includes a pool and lounge area.
Andaz West Hollywood
While lounging poolside at this West Hollywood rooftop, imbibe a cocktail from The Sundeck or order light fare to savor in a private cabana, all while enjoying incredible views from the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles. See the sun make its first appearance of the day as the pool is open sunrise to sunset.
The Skybar Mondrian transforms from a hip poolside lounge during the day into a hot bar, nightlife scene after dark. From the roof of the Mondrian Hotel, see what's happening along the Sunset Strip or take in views of the city while sipping a Skybar Mojito on the open-air pavilion.
L.P. Rooftop Bar
Stay in West Hollywood and head to E.P. & L.P. for the perfect location to close out the day.
The L.P. Rooftop Bar, open to 2 a.m., is a prime spot to see the Hollywood Basin and Hollywood Hills while enjoying a cocktail at sunset in a laid-back atmosphere.
For a bit more seclusion on the rooftop, duck into Frankie's to enjoy crafted cocktails while lounging on a daybed.
Be transported to Paris in the heart of Los Angeles with a night out at Perch, atop the Pershing Square Building.
Indulge in a classic Parisian-inspired, Perch-classic cocktail such as Midnight in Paris while gazing in all directions at the magnificent L.A. skyline. If the drinks don't provide enough heat, cozy up to a fire pit while enjoying live—or DJ provided—music.
The Roof on Wilshire
Atop the Hotel Wilshire, The Roof on Wilshire offers dining and drinking under the stars. Sit at candlelit tables around the pool, catching uninterrupted views of the city, or move to the indoor bar area. Classic American food on the menu from celebrity chef Eric Greenspan ranges from grilled cheese sandwiches to crispy skin salmon.
Hit the dance floor 21 floors above Wilshire Boulevard at Elevate Lounge.
A reservation is needed to get into this unique penthouse nightclub, open Friday and Saturday, with recurring events like Remix Friday. In addition to a dance floor and plenty of couches, Elevate offers more intimate areas with background music. Order at the bar or arrange for bottle service including Grey Goose and Moet.
A dinner at Takami Sushi and Robata Restaurant—also on the 21st floor—doesn't automatically equal entry into the lounge.
High Rooftop Lounge
The High Rooftop Lounge is a top spot to hit when in Venice Beach.
Atop Hotel Erwin, the lounge offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy specialty cocktails like the Blood Orange Julep or the Mexican Spice Hot Chocolate infused with tequila.