Top of the Strand, the Strand
This 21st-floor lounge at the Strand has a retractable roof as well as cabanas and built-in banquettes with silk throw pillows. (Yes, the look is familiar. It was decorated by the set designer for the "Sex and the City" flicks.) The bar has a tasty ginger-pear drink called the Cantonese Cocktail and views of the Empire State Building.
Drink up: This is the place to be most evenings, but in particular on Thursday and Friday nights when a DJ spins tunes. 33 W. 37th St.; (212) 448-1024, http://www.thestrandnyc.com
Press Lounge, Ink48
Located in Midtown's far west side, this Kimpton hotel's rooftop has north-, east- and west-facing views, which means you have spectacular vantage points for the Hudson River and Times Square. The 16th-floor Press Lounge has a glassed-in interior, wraparound terraces decked out with wicker chairs and coffee tables and a reflecting pool that mirrors the neon lights after dark. The bar serves snacks with the cocktails, but come August, brunch service is expected.
Drink up: Come at twilight and watch the sun set over the Hudson. 653 11th Ave.; (212) 757-0088, http://www.ink48.com
Glass Bar, Hotel Indigo
This new Chelsea hotel bar is open-air but with a retractable roof that can be closed in case of inclement weather. Unlike some bars (such as Press), there are tables, and you can order panini and appetizers to go with your martini or cucumber-mint fizz. After work, the crowd is mostly professionals, but as the night progresses the atmosphere morphs with younger lounge-goers.
Drink up: Come on Monday nights, when the Michael Fredo Orchestra plays swing. Or come when you think it might rain, and watch the skyline darken moodily from within the glass enclosure. 127 W. 28th St.; (212) 973-9000, http://www.indigochelsea.com
Upstairs, the Kimberly
As much a restaurant as a roof deck, this new space is tricked out with heated floors, retractable glass walls, fairy lights, leather chairs and bronze wall panels for a look that is more staid and not as sexy. Fortunately, the panels don't block the view of the East River and the Chrysler Building, with its Art Deco crown.
Drink up: Make a dinner of the small-plates menu (which includes steak tartare, foie gras crostini, spiced duck rolls, truffled mac and cheese and baby lamb "lollipops" with ratatouille) and a couple of watermelon cocktails. 145 E. 50th St.; (212) 702-1600, http://www.upstairsnyc.com
Le Bain, the Standard