Thursday, April 11, 2024

Rooftop Revelry

Take in the view of Texas sunsets on rooftop spaces across the state

By Amy Durham

Cowboys have been kicking back and watching the stars for as long as Texas has been a state. Now, eventgoers can enjoy the night sky with a cocktail and nibbles from a rooftop space with stellar views. An outdoor meeting in Texas—or the gathering after the meeting—is elevated in more than one way with the style of a rooftop bar or the luxury of a rooftop terrace. 

Attendees can enjoy the view of a downtown skyline or a coastal beach, inspiring a relaxed mood for networking. Food served at these venues is usually bite-size or on a plate shared among a select few. Add wine, a festive cocktail inspired by local flavors, or a fruity mixed mocktail, and you have a party on an enviable patio.

An event at Zanzibar rooftop terrace at Austin Marriott Downtown || Courtesy of Zanzibar

Let the Party Begin

The Hotel Lucine in Galveston celebrated its grand opening in November. This 61-room boutique hotel features an elegant setting for meetings. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston is a resort city and port town renowned for its distinct architecture and a creative, unconventional culture. Reflective of the artistic side of the city’s personality, the Hotel Lucine is housed in a reimagined motor court from the 1960s, offering cozy spaces, on-site dining, and a rooftop bar. 

Enjoy the stunning 180-degree views of the Gulf of Mexico from the 3,500-square-foot rooftop, now the largest beachfront rooftop bar in Galveston, offering both sheltered and open bar sections. Attendees can choose from wines, cocktails, and a selection of mocktails at the dedicated rooftop bar, along with light bites from the hotel’s menu, a fusion of Gulf seafood and French cuisine. Live entertainment and an additional 550 square feet of year-round indoor space are available. 

Stay near the party at Zanzibar rooftop terrace, a tropical oasis on the seventh floor of the Austin Marriott Downtown just a few blocks from Sixth Street. The open-air terrace and covered event deck offer shade from the sun or shelter from inclement weather, while lush greenery and patio seating invite attendees to sit back and enjoy the sips and bites. Seasonal tiki cocktails like the classic mai tai pair well with barbecue pork wontons or grilled pineapple salsa. 

Zanzibar rooftop terrace || Courtesy of Zanzibar

Dive Right In

Situated on the 19th floor of The Statler Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton, Waterproof offers panoramic vistas of downtown. This stylish rooftop pool and bar seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor areas, creating an exclusive urban sanctuary. Daytime lounging or evening networking awaits with six private cabanas, accommodating up to 10 people each; cocktail tables; and plush lounge chairs. Attendees can enjoy DJ entertainment, personalized bottle service, and delightful bites. The menu features innovative cocktails like the Mangonada, blending mango, lime, mezcal, and habanero reduction, as well as the Watermelon Agua Fresca, which delivers a refreshing mixture of watermelon, lime, tequila, and sparkling sake. Culinary options include lobster rolls and melon antipasto. The evening dress code, beginning at 5 p.m., ensures an upscale vibe.

Waterproof rooftop at The Statler Dallas || Courtesy of The Statler Dallas

In winter months, Waterproof becomes Winterproof, replacing lounge chairs and poolside cabanas with life-size snow globes and the Northern Lights lounge surrounded by heaters.

Winterproof rooftop at The Statler Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton || Courtesy of The Statler Dallas

Space to Spare

For larger gatherings, Bar 9 Rooftop Lounge on the ninth floor of the Hilton Houston Medical Center has 5,755 square feet for an escape from the city. With views of downtown Houston and Rice University campus, Bar 9 is a long rectangular space with a pool at one end and a spacious terrace at the other that can accommodate up to 450 standing attendees. Seven distinct seating areas encourage conversations under misting fans in the summer or fireside in the colder months.

Attendees can choose from local craft beers and wine, and specialty cocktails like the Peach Gin Mule made with ginger beer and the Jack Berry Smash that combines Jack Daniels with blueberry puree and lemon sour. Small plates deliver favorites like the Chicharron Basket, a serving of fried pork rinds and house-made roasted pepper sauce, or the H-Town Street Tacos with Cajun crawfish, pico de gallo, guacamole, and more.

If a blank canvas with rooftop views is on the agenda, Skyline in San Antonio offers space for up to 300 attendees in a warehouse-chic atmosphere. The sleek, modern venue offers ample indoor space with a full kitchen, two-story ceilings, and lots of windows. The understated outdoor terrace is open to customization, ideal for meetings requiring their own branding. Rentals include tables and chairs.