13 rooftop drinking spots to check out in Metro Manila

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It’s that time of the year when friends and relatives will be knocking at your door begging for a reunion — where should you go? Coconuts Manila scoured Metro Manila for the best bars and restaurants with a view and these are the establishments that made it to our list. (Top photo: The Nest at Vivere Hotel in Alabang). See also: 5 best rooftop bars in Metro Manila with happy hour deals

 

ORTIGAS/MANDALUYONG/PASIG

VERONA
23/F Privato Hotel, 706 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong; www.facebook.com/privatohotel, +63 2 7175888. Mon-Sat 5:30pm-11pm.

The décor here is simple and sparse, all the better for you to focus on the sweeping views of Bonifacio Global City, Rockwell and Pioneer Street from the pool area. There are no EDM DJs or live bands here, and the piped-in music is soft enough for you to whisper sweet-nothings to a special friend.
Best for: Quiet time for yourself with a book or an intimate chat time with close friends. Also ideal for a private party.
What to order: The drink menu has a thoughtful selection of wines, liquors and really cheap cocktails — piña colada for PHP65, dry martini for PHP85. Bar chows include spicy nuts (PHP110), taquitos (PHP250) and beef salpicao (PHP280). 

VU’S 
45/F Marco Polo Hotel, Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig; www.facebook.com/marcopoloortigasmanila, +63 2 7207777. Daily 3pm-1:30am.

This is Marco Polo Hotel’s attempt to up the nightlife game in the Ortigas area. It has all the elements of a classy night out: fashionably-dressed attentive staff, video walls, a DJ booth and dim lighting. Two outdoor smoking areas offer stunning views of Pasig City and Ortigas.
Best for: Impressing the client or having drinks with an executive from abroad.
What to order: Pretty extensive list of drinks that’s on the pricey end, with beers starting at PHP170, a shot of gin at PHP280. Happy hour prices (3pm-8pm) get you 50-off. Food: tapas and sandwiches like beef sliders (PHP780), pasta carbonara (PHP650) and braised Spanish meatballs (PHP450).


SKY HIGH BAR
21/F Ace Hotels and Suites, Brixton cor Pioneer Sts; www.facebook.com/acehotelsuites, +63 2 6281888. Daily 5pm-1am.

You feel the hip and youthful vibe the moment you step into the bar and get assaulted by the video screens and loud pumping muzak. Not your thing? Step outside to the balcony and take a couch or sofa as you enjoy the view of bustling Ortigas and BCG. If the weather is clear, walk up a flight of stairs towards the open-air dining area. Props to the owners for offering battery-operated desk lamps to assist the guests reading the menu.   
Best for: After-work drinks with friends.
What to order: Mixed drinks cost around PHP165, beer starts at PHP100. Happy hour from 5pm-8pm gets you 50-off.  Sizeable bar chows include fish or chicken mini burgers (PHP200), or osso buco (PHP390) and pork pot roast (PHP320).

MAKATI/BGC


VIEW DECK
32/F City Garden Grand Hotel, Kalayaan cor Makati Avenues, Makati; www.facebook.com/citygardengrandhotel, +63 2 8888181. Daily 3pm-12am.

As of this writing, “View Deck” is not the official name of this venue, since the hotel’s management is still deciding on what to call it. That said, it Is so easy to fall in love with this space, essentially an open-air veranda next to the hotel pool. You can relax with a drink or slouch on the deck chair while taking in the amazing views of Makati and Mandaluyong. If you want to take a dip in the hotel pool, that’s PHP500 per person.
Best for: An unpretentious pool party. 
What to order: Bottomless cocktails, served in glasses that light up from the stem, costs PHP699 from 6pm-9pm. A bucket of five beers sets you back PHP399. Food includes spicy pad thai (PHP280), fish and chips (PHP360) and a 10-inch margherita pizza (PHP350).


OZ’S BAR
20/F Holiday Inn & Suites Makati, Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Makati; www.facebook.com/holidayinnandsuitesmakati, +63 2 9090888. Sun-Wed 11am-12am, Thu-Sat 11am-1am.

This cozy bar is crammed on the top floor alongside the hotel gym and pool. It is comprised of an indoor bar area and an outdoor smoking section that also serves as the poolside lounge area. It has all the elements of a great hangout place such as a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, good food and drinks. But, sad to say, there is no view to speak of. For some reason, management has blocked the view of Ayala Center with a row of plants.  
Best for: Waiting out Edsa traffic.
What to order: Local beers start at PHP140, cocktails, wines and spirits from PHP200. Occasionally they might tie up with a liquor company and offer discounted cocktails and drinks. No happy hour. Bar chow hits include vegetable tempura (PHP260) and herb cheese fries with two kinds of dip (PHP240).


71 GRAMERCY
71/F The Gramercy, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati; www.facebook.com/71gramercy, +63 917 8477535. Mon-Sat 6pm-3am.

The highest of all the rooftop bars in Metro Manila also aspires to be the metro’s most popular club, attracting celebrities, models, fashionistas, party goers and like-minded folks. There is an indoor lounge area with a DJ booth and an in-house restaurant managed by Chef Carlos Miguel.
Best for: If you want to see and be seen.
What to order: Unless you are here for an event with an open bar, it is best you learn the fine art of nursing your drink. Beers on tap starts at PHP160, mixed drinks at PHP280 and a shot of vodka or whiskey at PHP240. Bar chow is less prohibitive: spiced nuts (PHP80), truffle popcorn (PHP180), pizzas (from PHP320).

TOP OF THE CITI BY CHEF JESSIE
34/F Citibank Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City; +63 2 7505812. Mon-Fri 11am-11pm.

At first glance you’d think that this is just another elegant fine dining restaurant with a spacious main dining room and a small bar area. But that changes once you step out to the balcony. It transforms into an enchanting place as you view the lights in Makati’s high-rise buildings. From where you are standing, the traffic below sparkles like strings of diamonds and rubies. You have to come up here as early as possible, as they don’t let anyone come up past 9pm.
Best for: Date nights, wedding proposals, drinks with clients, nights out with close friends.
What to order: Local beers start at PHP120 while a shot of gin costs PHP130. Cocktails and other mixed drinks are priced between PHP220 and PHP265, with bar chow like spicy chicharon bulaklak (PHP195), sweet and sour calamari (PHP350) and pork sisig (PHP350). If you like you can stay on for the six-course set dinner, PHP995+ per person.


RAVEN/THE NEST
W Fifth Avenue, 5th Ave cor 32nd Street, BGC, Taguig; +63 917 8749999. Mon-Sat 5pm-1am (The Nest), Wed-Sat 9pm-3am (Raven).

These twin venues are the latest additions to BGC’s night scene. Your game plan: dinner and drinks at The Nest’s garden atmosphere, then clubbing downstairs at Raven. Connections and reservations are essential to enter the club, though people are known to queue with no complaints on weekends. The PHP800 door charge is waived on Wednesdays for the ladies.
Best for: If you want to show off or party like a rock star.
What to order: The Nest’s food menu is still evolving, but for bar chow we like the pork yakitori (three for PHP275) and wasabi chicken lollipop (PHP385). Draft beer sets you back PHP184, cocktails drinks from PHP180. Happy hour from 5pm-9pm gets you 50-off. Pair that with flavored shisha. At Raven prepare to spring for bottle service or nurse a bottle of beer (PHP150). VIP booths access requires a minimum PHP8,000 spend, depending on the demand.

ALABANG


THE NEST 
31/F Vivere Hotel, 5102 Bridgeway Avenue, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa; www.facebook.com/viveverehotel, +63 2 7717777. Daily 5:30pm-12am. 

We have to applaud the interior designer’s clever use of every available space. He was able to make this penthouse area seem more spacious than it truly is, and create small nooks here and there for guests to carve out their own private space whether indoor or out in the patio pool area. By the time the sun sets, guests get to enjoy live music from a jazz trio. Stunning views of Laguna de Bay, Filinvest City, Alabang and the South Luzon Expressway.
Best for: Dates, family outing or time out for yourself.
What to order: They have a wide range of drinks on offer and the best part is it goes for half price during happy hour (5pm to 8pm). After that beers on tap cost PHP125 while cocktails start at PHP235. Bar chows include buffalo wings (PHP380) and chicken fingers (PHP270). They also have an extensive a la carte menu with dishes such as pan grilled chicken and garlic steak (PHP380) and Japanese bento box (PHP580) shining among the rest.

VUE BAR
22/F The Bellevue Manila, North Bridgeway, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa; www.facebook.com/thebellevuemanila, +63 2 7718181. Mon-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri & Sat 5pm-2am.

This rooftop bar seems to be popular with many corporate folks working in the area. The interior design is smart and understated, allowing you to appreciate the views of Filinvest City and Alabang. Unlike other rooftop bars, there is no balcony or open air space. So smokers are seated at the tables next to the windows. There is live music every night starting at 8:30pm, with bands playing ’70s-’90s tunes. If all the reminiscing gets you moving, you can show off your talent on the small dance floor in front of the stage.
Best for: High school or college reunions.
What to order: From 5pm-8pm, local beers and a selection of cocktails are half-priced. On regular hours San Mig Pale Pilsen costs PHP130, cocktails from PHP300. A selection of non-alcoholic drinks are also available. Accompanying these drinks are bar chows like buffalo wings (PHP380) and Korean fried chicken (PHP250). Entrées we love include fish and chips (PHP380) and beef caldereta (PHP400).

QUEZON CITY


100 REVOLVING
33/F MDC 100 Building, C5 cor Eastwood Drive, Libis, Quezon City; www.facebook.com/100revolvingrestaurant, +63 2 9625654. Daily 11am-11pm.

Revolving restaurants are not new to Manila as there used to be several during the 1970s. These days, we recommend this fine-dining restaurant with a view of Eastwood City, Marikina and Quezon City. For once the traffic along C5 seems to serve a higher purpose as it sparkles for your viewing pleasure. It takes an hour for the restaurant to make a complete revolution.
Best for: Date night, blind dates, family time, small business meeting.
What to order: Even if it is not technically a bar, their selection of local and imported alcoholic beverage is still quite extensive. Try the signature MDC 100 Revolver cocktail (PHP400), beer (PHP120) or a shot of scotch whiskey (PHP180). Mocktails such as a Virgin Mojito (PHP150) are on the menu. Since Chef Jessie Sincioco manages this restaurant, the textbook-thick menu features most of her best-known dishes, such as pan-fried goose liver, seared scallops and grilled mushrooms salad (PHP995) Grilled tenderloin steak (PHP1,600) and her famous dessert soufflé (PHP250 for medium size).

MANILA

VATEL MANILA
Hotel Benilde Maison de La Salle, Arellano Ave co. Estrada St, Malate, Manila; +63 2 2305100. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-5pm. Closed during semestral breaks.

​Operated by the College of St. Benilde, the restaurant is in partnership with the Vatel International Hospitality School in France. Since it is more of a training lab than an actual restaurant, it closes early.
Best for: If you are just happen to be in the neighborhood or you want to try something new
What to order: Since it is run by a school, don’t expect a lot in terms of drinks. The only alcoholic drinks  on offer are beer (PHP70) and wine (PHP280). Thankfully the food is much better than what you used to get in a cafeteria: beef bourguignon (PHP395) and fisherman tangine (PHP395).
 


PACIFIC LOUNGE
21/F Pan Pacific Hotel, M Adriatico cor Gen Malvar Sts, Malate, Manila; www.facebook.com/panpacificmanila, +63 2 3180788. Daily 6am-11pm.

Depending on your mood, there are three areas inside the Pacific Lounge where you can hang out. It you want to be outdoor, there’s a small landscaped garden complete with fountains and pavilions. If you are with friends who want to relax in comfy sofas and arm chairs, there is a spacious ‘living room’ area complete with a piano and some board games. But if you are here for a meeting and you want to sit down for meal, there is a dining room are.
Best for: Business Meetings, relaxing after visiting nearby tourist spots, meeting point with friends before a night out in Malate.
What to order: If you drop by during happy hour (6pm-8pm) you can avail of the special cocktail buffet — for PHP750 you have unlimited sodas, local beer, wines and a selection of cocktails. They even throw in a free snacks buffet. After 8pm, beers go back to PHP175 per bottle while rum and other spirits are PHP200 per shot. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, they have a selection of mocktails for PHP200. Drop by from Thursday to Saturday for the PHP1100 dinner buffet.

Photos: Anson Yu

This story first appeared on Coconuts Manila

 

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