Glittering skyscrapers, ferries gliding across the harbour far below and island dotted vistas - Hong Kong's rooftop bars offer an abundance of citywide scenes. Our girl on the ground, Siobhan Brewood-Wyatt, gives us her recommendations for the best bars in the city.
City of lights and skyscrapers and a place where land meets sea, Hong Kong is an undisputed champion of speculator views and urban scenes. Thanks to its abundance of sleek high-rise buildings, the opportunities for rooftop bars are plentiful and HK's drinking dens have quickly realised their potential.
Overlooking everything from the bustling party streets of Wan Chai to the serene beaches of Repulse Bay, the city's rooftop bars are the perfect place to see this 24-hour Asian hub. If you're there at 8 p.m. keep an eye out from the daily city-wide light show, when iconic buildings light up with shapes, colours and lasers. Alternatively sit back with a cocktail; as well as jaw-dropping scenes these bars also serve up some of the best tipples in town.
Mahalo Tiki Lounge
Photo credit: Mahalo Tiki Lounge
Hong Kong meets Hawaii at the super hip Mahalo Tiki Lounge in the heart of party-centric Wan Chai. A chilled blend of tropical decor and dazzling skyline views greets the bar's young, well-heeled clientele (plus the odd celebrity or two). Stylish without being snobby, bespoke wooden furnishings and lush green plants keep things laidback with a beachy vibe. Expert bartenders mix up tropical drinks with Asian twists (including 26 island inspired cocktails); one of our favourites is the Chinese Delight, a refreshing blend of vodka, Chinese five spice syrup, passion fruit purée, grapefruit juice, pineapple and hibiscus. While you gaze over the sparkling Central district, order a nibble from the freshly prepared menu which includes delights such as pomegranate guacamole and Thai spicy poké. Also worth the splurge is nearby Hotel Indigo which boasts a pool with a view.
Add more to your trip: Visiting on a Saturday? Spend the next morning on a food and culture tour of Wan Chai.
FoFo by El Willy
Photo credit: FoFo by el Willy
Look past FoFo by El Willy's slightly bizarre name and you'll find a swanky, modern eatery and bar with outstanding city views. At night drinkers and diners soak up the cool kid atmosphere, while Hong Kong's iconic skyscrapers twinkle beyond FoFo's wooden outdoor deck. While the contemporary Spanish menu is ultimately the star of the show (dishes include lobster salad served with coral mayonnaise, grilled pineapple, avocado and chilli as well as scallop cerviche with crispy shallots) there are plenty of beverages on offer too. If you're pining for Spain then opt for a Catalan gin and tonic or mix things up with a Japanese inspired passion de Shozhu. If you'd like to take in the cityscape by day, then there's also a tasty brunch menu to help deal with last night's hangover. For a place to crash, nearby Mini Hotel Central is a great budget option.
Add more to your trip: Before you take in the views from above, take them in from below with a pre-dinner harbour night cruise.
Photo credit: The Seafood Room
New kid on the block, the Seafood Room opened in early summer 2016, bringing a touch of chic simplicity to HK's outdoor bar scene. Dubbing itself 'Hong Kong's Premium Seafood Experience' this restaurant-meets-bar enjoys an excellent Causeway Bay location with spectacular views out across the harbour. The entrance is located through an underwater-esque glass green tunnel, while the terrace is characterised by driftwood style tables and bold, primary coloured cushions. If you're there to dine, expect a mouthwatering array of the freshly caught catch-of-the-day platters that feature tuna carpaccio, sea urchin, yellow tail sashimi and grilled prawns. Wash it down with a glass of ice cold white wine before hitting the dance floor for the DJ (weekends only). The Seafood Room is on the pricey side, so save your pennies by checking in to the quirky and highly rated Yesinn Hostel close by.
Add more to your trip: After dining, walk off all that delicious seafood with a night walking tour of the city.
VEA Restaurant & Lounge
Photo credit: VEA Restaurant & Lounge
Perched at the top of the Wellington, VEA is an uber swanky lounge framed by low-level lighting and some seriously impressive views. Marble tabletops and copper fittings define the interior while the petite terrace is all about taking in the shimmering lights from the city's highest towers just west of Central. Located on the 29th floor, you might be content just to sit with a drink shaken up by one of the onsite mixologists. If you can tear your eyes away from the city vistas, sample the eccentric cocktail menu which includes beverages like Le Bries (a watermelon, lychee and blood orange cocktail served with brie cheese and burnt leek ash) or a Darth & Sour (a popcorn macadamia whisky served with a chorizo chip). Afterwards kick back at the ultra contemporary Jervois Suites nearby.
Add more to your trip: The surrounding area of Sheung Wan is fascinating; book in a cultural tour to find out more.
Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge
Photo credit: Wooloomooloo
Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge (try saying that after a beer or three) is a firm fixture on the city's rooftop drinking scene and with far-reaching city and harbour views it's easy to see why. Sitting directly above its famed steakhouse restaurant of the same name, Wooloomooloo is a popular place for happy hour hunters or weekenders. The wooden deck is dotted with low level sofas and stools and lit by ambient, colour changing lights. The beverage menu at this 31st floor drinking den features the usual expertly mixed cocktail favourites and attentive staff mean all you have to do is relax while taking in the HK skyline. Looking for a place to rest your head? The iclub Wan Chai has slick, no-frills rooms with a modern feel.
Add more to your trip: If Wooloomooloo has given you a taste for the high life make time for the city's Ngong Ping Cable Car.
Looking for a beach club but don't want to compromise on amazing city views? Cabana in the heart of Repulse Bay is the best of both, offering a sun deck, outdoor Japanese hot tubs and A-lister decor. Sip on iced cold champagne, while DJs spin lounge music and gaze out towards the verdant outlying islands. As the sun goes down, enjoy the alfresco ambiance as you sip on a cocktail or nibble on a bar snack. All white loungers keep things elegant but the wow-factor comes from the land-meets-water views. Exclusively open during the summer months, book one of the 'Cabana Packages' - which includes use of the changing facilities, drinks and plush terry-cloth robes - for the ultimate experience. Nestled on Hong Kong island's south coast, Cabana is perfect for those seeking to escape the city's bustle; check into the luxurious Stanley Oriental Hotel further down the coast to keep the holiday spirit alive.
Add more to your trip: If lazying around gets too boring get culinary and creative at a dim sum cooking class.
Photo credit: The Mira Hotel
A sleek, design-centric oasis in the heart of the city, Vibes is a sultry lounge bar popular with the late-night crowd. Part of the Mira Hotel, Vibes is nestled in the building's fifth floor courtyard; what it lacks in views it makes up for in style. Flanked by lush bamboo and frangipani trees the low level seating and private cabanas are the perfect place to people watch and mingle with the city's elite. Thursdays are Middle Eastern themed (complete with belly dancing show and plates of meze) while weekends see top DJs perform to the lively crowd. Frequently attracting top mixologists and taste-makers, Vibes celebrated its 5th birthday in 2016. We'll drink to that.
Add more to your trip: Still seeking a once-in-a-lifetime Hong Kong view? Splurge on a helicopter tour.
Photo credit: Sevva
When only 360 degree views will do, head to Sevva on the 25th floor of Central's Prince Building. With panoramas out across the city and the harbour, stylish Sevva is perfect if you're looking for a place to impress. There are two excellent restaurants ('Harbourside' and 'Bankside') as well as an elegant rooftop space. Alongside aptly named signature cocktails (Hong Kong Fog is a popular choice) the venue is also known for its famous high teas; Mrs B's Sweets provides rich and decadent cakes, pastries and treats. Cocktails, cake and a wonderful city centre location? Sevva is pretty much HK rooftop heaven. If you're happy to break the bank then stay at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental across the road.
Add more to your trip: If Sevva's awoken your appetite reserve a place on a HK culinary tour.