Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy the cool December breeze while waiting for the sun to set or holiday traffic to ease up? We’ve lined up the most interesting rooftop bars in different parts of Metro Manila.
SKY DECK VIEW BAR
10/F The Bayleaf Intramuros, Muralla cor Victoria Sts, Intramuros, Manila (+63 2 3185000). Mon-Sat 5pm-1am, Sun 5pm-11pm.
Though it’s been around for a few years, the rooftop bar at this Lyceum-run hotel does not get as crowded as it deserves to be. The 360-degree view of Old Manila is breathtaking: the green expanse of Club Intramuros Golf Course and the unique Spanish architecture of Intramuros down below, the Manila Pier to your left, high-rise buildings along Roxas Boulevard and in Makati to your right, as well as Antipolo ahead of you (on a clear night).
Best for: Those who want a relaxed and dressed-down evening.
What it’s really like: To get here, you need to take a narrow set of stairs from the ninth floor of The Bayleaf Intramuros. Cushioned rattan couches are neatly arranged on a wooden deck, evoking a beach setting. When it drizzles, they bring out cute umbrellas on stands. A live band plays live acoustic music on Fridays and Saturdays and takes requests. On regular nights, expect piped-in music.
Happy hour: Daily 5:30pm-9.30pm. PHP550 per person for unlimited local beer plus a plate of tapas.
SKYE W HIGH STREET
7/F W High Street Bldg, 28th St cor 11th Ave, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (+63 2 4784284). Tue-Thu5pm-2am, Fri & Sat 5pm-4am.
Skye claims to be the first rooftop lounge in Metro Manila, boasting a view of the less commercial side of BGC’s High Street. It faces the south side of Metro Manila, with a big parking lot just beneath it, so when you feel like taking a break from all the cosmopolitan partying, you simply look down and chances are, you become privy to late-night shenanigans that can and almost always occur in parking lots. Or, you know, you can bask in the lights of the glowing-and-growing Bonifacio skyline.
Best for: Trendy partyphiles looking to party away the stresses of the day, or worse, the week.
What it’s really like: There’s a pool by the bar, faux grass that carpets the deck where the really comfortable couches are, and lots of tables that get packed on Fridays and Saturdays. Big white tents are the order of the day when rain decides to attend the party. Every other Thursday, Skye holds their Unplugged sessions with different live bands. On other nights, they have in-house DJs spinning cool house music to lend that sleek atmosphere to the party place.
Happy hour: Tue-Sat 5pm-8pm. ‘Daily Sunset Sessions’ offers a 4+1 deal on all local beers, 2+1 on cocktails, and PHP500 drink-all-you-can on all mojitos.
3/F Zuellig Bldg, Makati Ave cor Paseo de Roxas, Makati (+63 2 6254831) Mon-Fri 11am-11pm.
If you’re wondering where the building of Swiss pharmaceutical firm Zuellig moved to (it used to be right across the Makati Fire Station on Malugay Street in Bgy San Antonio), its reincarnation is as a 155m high green-certified, all-glass skyscraper near the corner of Makati corner Paseo de Roxas Avenues. Too bad there’s no bar on the topmost floor, but there’s Terraz Bistro on the third level. It’s comprised of dining area and meeting rooms with chairs in funky yellow, orange and green colors, some propped against the floor-to-ceiling windows. Outdoors, there are lounge chairs, making it an area popular with drinkers and smokers (and we do have a lot of them in the stress-inducing CBD area).
Best for: Those who need to get back to work after a few drinks.
What it’s really like: Indoors, the wooden floor and natural lighting lends Terraz a hotel lobby ambiance. It’s great for business meetings, but if you’re trying to seal a deal over drinks and cigarettes, step outdoors and take in the view of Ayala Triangle and Makati Avenue. Just try not to look down on the vehicular mess below. The area close to the windows can be a bit cramped but if you walk towards the edge of the building, there’s enough space to hug a tree, or a special someone.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 4pm-8pm, PHP495++ for drink-all-you-can sangria. Mon-Fri 4pm-11pm, PHP65++ for local beers, PHP125++ for Corona, PHP125++ for Corona and Dos Equis beers.
3/F Heaven Manila, Nakpil cor Orosa Sts, Malate, Manila
We can’t remember the last time we had a gay old time in Malate. Oh wait, we do. Last week, when we got so drunk while waiting for the drag show performance at Red Banana on the ground floor of a renovated building called Heaven. The building that used to house the gay-friendly clubbing hotspot Bed has undergone a makeover, and it now has three levels of fun: a club that features drag shows (Red Banana) and a lounge (Mint) on the ground floor, a comedy bar (Zinc) on the second floor, and an al fresco bar on the rooftop done up in shades of white and powder blue, you’d think you were in Mykonos! Though the owners swear the peg was Santorini.
Best for: Those who enjoy a fun, unpretentious evening with ‘happy’ company.
What’s it really like: In a word: gay. On drag show nights downstairs (Wed-Sun), prepare to hustle your way for a seat in this unofficial waiting area. There’s a view of Manila’s newly built skyscrapers (look, there’s Manny Pacquiao’s building!) and a steady stream of loud, disco music.
15/F Seda BGC, 30th St cor 11th Ave, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (+63 2 945 8888). Daily 5pm-2am.
Located near newly built high-rise condominiums and Metro Manila’s booming clubbing and restaurant scene, this classy bar perfectly plays the role of a boutique hotel rooftop bar with a soaring 360-degree view of the metropolis and hip dance tunes. There’s live music on Wednesday nights.
Best for: Those looking for a chill place before or after hitting the clubs.
What’s it really like: Thanks to the minimalist aesthetic sense of Conrad Onglao, the bar oozes understated luxury. The calming view, coupled with the bar staff’s impeccable service, guarantees a civilized drunken night (if you so wish). Tip: Male guests should check out one of the toilet urinals that’s positioned right next to a glass wall overlooking the rest of High Street, but do cover up.
Happy hour: Daily 5pm-7pm. 1+1 on local beers (from PHP130++), mocktails (from PHP220++), cocktails (from (PHP250++), wine by the glass (from PHP200++).
Main photo of Sky Deck View Bar by Anson Yu. Coconuts Manila tried out these places anonymously.