Manila's 7 Coolest Roof-Deck Bars
In Hollywood movies, and lately in K-Drama trope, rooftops are settings for heart-pounding action scenes, romantic trysts, and in the case of The Hangover, a drunk friend left to bake under the hot sun. In real life (or IRL for millennials out there), a rooftop is a really cool place to party. Where else can you enjoy the company of your friends, nurse a drink, and get the best views of the city as it lights up for the night?
Before the usual storms lash out at Metro Manila, we offer here, a list of some really amazing places if you want to hang out from way up high. This list is not ranked.
1| Firefly Roofdeck Bar
The bar offers a relaxed atmosphere on the top floor of the City Garden Grand, perfect for those who prefer a quieter night out than the more raucous happenings on the Strip down below. To the left, the pool sparkles teasingly for a dip; the middle area houses a buffet table that courts disaster for your waistline.
Signature cocktails are offered, cold beer is served on tap or by the bottle, bar chow is available ala carte (try the burgers!), and the long bar holds its requisite bowl of peanuts. Make sure to come by sundown to get one of the most amazing views of the sunset from the Makati POV.
32/F City Garden Grand Hotel, Makati Corner Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City; www.citygardengrandhotel.com
2| Vu Sky Bar and Lounge
Because it is situated right smack in the middle of the metro, Marco Polo Ortigas’ rooftop outlet Vu offers a stunning 180-degree vista of Metro Manila. Apart from the skyline scenery, guests are also treated to a gastronomic experience, with Filipino, Spanish and other Mediterranean favorites occupying the menu. Their Aperitivo promo offers a wide range of appetizers, such as cold cuts, pizzas, cheeses, croquettes, and a free flow of house wine from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
Live music comes courtesy of bands and artists with feel-good repertoires that will get you tapping to the rhythm. Their resident mixologists are on hand to concoct your cold drinks or you can also choose from their curated wine list.
45/F Marco Polo Ortigas, Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City; www.marcopolohotels.com
3| Straight Up
BGC’s Seda Hotel has a rooftop bar that offers a panoramic view of East to West, overlooking the parks, upscale boutiques and restaurants of the Bonifacio High Street area, all the way to the twinking lights over at Laguna de Bay. There is an option to enjoy drinks al fresco or to lounge indoors. A private room is also available for exclusive parties.
Tapas are the menu highlights, with their “apericena” promo that follows the Italian tradition of enjoying complimentary finger foods with cocktails—or mocktails from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. A separate buffet for wine enthusiasts is offered from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring favored reds and whites. Live music is provided by singers specializing in bossa, soul, and jazz on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., while a DJ spins your tita’s '70s to '90s music on Fridays and House beats on Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Seda BGC Hotel, 30th Street corner 11th Avenue, Taguig City; Instagram @straightupatseda
4| Prism Plaza
It is technically not a bar, but an open-air deck concept that houses several restaurants with diverse culinary choices such as Alba Restaurante Espanol, Uncle Cheffy, Uprice, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Redd.
Customers can choose to dine inside the establishments or order and eat out at the al fresco area, which has a great vantage point for the Manila Bay sunset, the weekend fireworks display at the nearby Mall of Asia, or a bird’s eye view of the MOA concert grounds. The venue is great for barkada nights or for family bonding time. So, yes, during the daytime or on the earlier part of the evening, there might be a few kids running about to add to the ambience of this public commercial space.
4/F TwoE-ComCenter, Mall of Asia Complex, Harbor Drive, Pasay City; Instagram @PrismPlazaMOA
5| Z Hostel Rooftop Bar
If you are really out to paint the town red and mingle with world travelers, head out to where the cool kids like to party. This, boys and girls, is possible at Z Hostel’s rooftop bar. This is a place where (almost) anything goes, with a dress code that simply encourages you to come as you are as long as you look decent enough. Their only ode to adulting is the RFID bracelet that is loaded with a P350 minimum at the door, where P300 is fully consumable for food and drinks.
Don’t expect anything super fancy by way of food, but the Adobo Flakes and their Cheeseburgers are the bomb. Beer is available and affordable but you might want to try their clever signature drinks—rhum-based Punyeta and Vodka-based MayForever. Live music is on at Tuesdays and Sundays, a DJ spins on Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Z Hostel, 5660 Don Pedro, Makati City; www.zhostel.com
6| The Nest
In the mornings, The Nest hosts Vivere’s breakfast buffet, so you can get a great view of the Laguna Bay as you chow down on crispy bacon strips and omelettes cooked ala minute and down your glass of healthy OJ.
It takes on a different dimension at night, with the dinner crowd enjoying heavier courses of steak and toast to the view with select wines and drinks of the month as you enjoy that laid back vibe that the South is famous for. A Tapas and Wine pairing promo makes for a great start to the weekend. Music is piped in, but a talented pianist (who takes requests) also comes on board to move entertainment along. BTW, since the air is cooler—and fresher—in the South, we suggest that you bring a jacket.
31/F Vivere Hotel, 5102 Bridgeway Avenue, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; www.vivierehotel.com.ph
7| Sky Deck View Bar
For all its glorious sensorial overloads, Manila is simply splendid at night. One of the best places to appreciate the beauty of this historic city is from the roof top restaurant of The Bayleaf Hotel in Manila. The bar gives a great view of the unrivalled Manila Bay sunset, followed by a charming view of the City Hall’s clock tower at nightfall. The location inside the walled city of Intramuros gives guests the feel of that more romantic, oft-forgotten side of Old Manila, and is perfect for impressing foreign friends and balikbayans.
Live music accompanies the ambience and the drinks list ranges from cocktails to an impressive wine list which is worth a look especially if you are toasting to a special occasion. There are tapas to nibble on, but we also suggest springing for the heavy hitters such as the classic bagnet from the Heritage menu.
The Bayleaf Intramuros, Muralla corner Victoria streets, Intramuros, Manila; www.thebayleaf.com.ph