When I first moved to The Big Apple, I was obsessed with finding the best rooftops in NYC. Almost every weekend, especially during spring and summer season, I felt the need to try a new one. Whether it was The Press Lounge, Harriet’s Rooftop or 230 Fifth, I developed a sort of rooftop-lifestyle concept which I found in so many New Yorkers around me. The spots I mentioned are considered to be the best rooftop bars in NYC. The coolest part for me has always been the 360° panoramic views you can get from these places; I could admire the city from above after an exhausting workday. My friend Daria, who is lucky enough to live in Florida and gets more sunshine than I do, was also hunting for the best rooftops in Miami. I’ll get to her later as she plays a very important part in this story.
Similarly, I have always been a fan of observation decks. Wherever I traveled, especially to big cities and capitals across the globe, visiting the local observation deck was on my travel bucket list. Starting from the tallest one, the observation deck of Burj Khalifa, to what is considered the classiest one, the Eiffel Tower observation deck, I could literally start a new Instagram profile including just the shots I took from these towers, even though I’m far from being a decent amateur photographer. When family and friends were visiting me, especially from abroad, I always had to plan a visit to what is arguably the most famous observation deck in New York, and one of the most iconic skyscrapers worldwide, the Empire State Building observation deck.
After several years of trying out the same places over and over again, I really got fed up and realized it was not at all a fun experience, especially for someone like me who is highly averse to monotony. Let me break it down for you. First of all, I hate queues. The last time I tried to access the Hudson Yards observation deck with a ticket reserved upfront, it took me over two hours before I could squeeze myself between the multitude of people pushing to take a selfie with skyline views. Large crowds can be fun too, but only if you are chanting with your buddies in the middle of a Rolling Stones (or whatever your favorite jam is) concert. When you’re trying your best not to get hit by selfie sticks flying around you, something isn’t right. I cannot stand it when I have to wrestle my way up to the front to take a decent skyline picture or to order a drink in my neighborhood at a rooftop bar in Williamsburg.
Secondly, the last time I tried to organize a romantic date night with my fiancée at a rooftop in Brooklyn, things turned ugly. We were turned down at the entrance, despite having made a reservation days before at the rooftop bar. We discovered only later that they decided to cancel reservations and host people on a first come, first served basis. You know where this is going: the place was full and the special night I had planned did not end up the way I wanted it to. Last but not least, I hate monotony and hanging out in the same place over and over again. After trying so many rooftop bars near me, I was out of options and still hungry for new spots in town. Luckily, back in September, my friend Daria was visiting me and invited me to try out a Viewnary experience together. And that is when I first tried Viewnary – and loved it.
My Friend Invited Me to Try Out Private Rooftops
Ever wondered how an Airbnb hourly looks like? I got the chance to visit a private New York rooftop through Viewnary. Daria had made the reservation online and just told me to show up at the address she shared with me, which happened to be in front of one of the tallest skyscrapers in New York. Once there, I asked her what on earth the plan was, when suddenly we got greeted by Leonard, the homeowner. He welcomed us warmly and guided us to his skyline terrace. There, he treated us to a delicious glass of Italian wine and tasty bites. He was so hospitable and friendly that not even the best rooftop restaurants are able to live up to the service we received. This experience was truly amazing, not only because of the stunning views of the Empire State Building and the New York skyline we were able to experience, the good wine and amazing pictures we took, but also thanks to the host, Leonard, who truly made us feel like we were at home. All this while we were comfortably sitting on his rooftop terrace and admiring the Manhattan skyline – New York at sunset feels truly magical. If anyone ever asks you how to hang out with your friends and have a great time outdoors, I recommend surprising them with a Viewnary booking. Now I feel like I need to try out the next rooftop in Miami as soon as I’m visiting Daria – even better if it’s a private rooftop pool!
The Best Date Idea!
I loved the private rooftop rental experience I just described so much, that I booked another rooftop terrace the following week. I decide to take my girlfriend to a Manhattan rooftop as a romantic date night idea without telling her anything. I, too, wanted to surprise her, and it turned out to be a hell of a choice. We had a private rooftop dinner just for the two of us, an intimate and beautiful moment in a private setting I had long wished for. Up on the rooftop we were able to enjoy drinks with a view during the golden hour time, which turns out to be my favorite moment of the day. Even the best restaurant with a view I’ve been to do not compare with this place. This experience was simply a great date idea. I never thought you could have a private rooftop dining experience and here I was, proven (luckily) wrong – these are what couple goals look like. Now, I think it’s still too early for me (although damn, time flies!), but if you are ever trying to pin down some creative marriage proposal ideas, you might want to consider a private rooftop rental like this: I can guarantee you won’t be turned down by anyone if you come up with such creativity!
Written by: Lars Sattanathan
Lars is a half-Dutch-half-Indian entrepreneur and budding author. Having grown up in 5 different countries, his written work blends his multicultural background with his experience in finance and startups. He holds a MSc Finance & Investments degree from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, a top-ranked European business school.