A hotel’s rooftop can serve as more than a bar. Here’s a look a few creative things hotels are doing with rooftop space.
GLOBAL REPORT—Some hotels offer up drinks on a rooftop bar with great views while others house unique options such as bees, solar panels and dog parks.
At the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, the hotel had a soft opening for its Wooftop Park in July. The rooftop space is a play area for guests and locals to take their dogs, said Eyal Goldberger, GM at the Hyatt Centric.
The hotel came up with the idea for the park because Hyatt Centric properties are dog-friendly, and Goldberger said he recognizes that pets are an extension of the family.
“We had a space that was underutilized and figured, “Why not create that into a rooftop park where the customers can come hang out in the sun, relax and also have their pets enjoy their vacation with them instead of going out on the hot asphalt streets of Miami Beach?’” he said.
The rooftop dog park is the first of its kind in the South Beach area, Goldberger said, adding that the property will promote a brunch for locals and guests to bring their pets in the coming weeks.
“We make it fun,” he said. “Every guest that checks into the hotel we (give) a little swag bag of pet goodies they can take home with them afterwards, and also we have toys and treats (on the Wooftop Park).”
On the ninth floor of the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile sits the hotel’s garden, bees and solar panels, said Adam Korchek, director of sales and marketing at the Magnificent Mile hotel.
The garden is home to 18 herbs and 10 varieties of vegetables, and the solar panels fuel the hotel’s fitness center.
The Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile partners with Brickstone Brewery to create a honey IPA using honey from the hotel’s rooftop bees. (Photo: Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile)
The Chicago Marriott has a unique culinary program in which 95% of the food is made from scratch, Korchek said. Everything on-property is made fresh from food sourced from the hotel’s garden and bees as well as through local partnerships with farms and a brewery.
Honey from the bees is used in granola and dressings at the hotel, and the hotel also has a partnership with Brickstone Brewery to create a honey IPA from honey produced by the hotel’s bees.
The sustainable rooftop benefits the community by allowing the hotel to make foods using quality ingredients, Korchek said, adding that another return on investment from the rooftop is giving associates the chance to “grow, learn and experience food in a different way.”
More on bees
Similar to the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile, the Hotel William Gray in Montreal also has a rooftop that houses honeybees.
Alexandre Cossette, CMO of restaurants at Antonopoulos Group, which owns Hotel William Gray, said via an email interview that the property’s restaurant Maggie Oakes decided to produce its own honey at the beginning of the year.
“This is the first time Maggie Oakes restaurant and the William Gray hotel has housed something of this kind on the rooftop,” he said. “The top floor of our hotel is also home to our rooftop outdoor restaurant, Terrasse William Gray.”
Hotel William Gray in Montreal has honeybees on its rooftop that produce 450 jars of honey a year. (Photo: Hotel William Gray)
The hotel doesn’t face many operational challenges with having honeybees on the rooftop, Cossette said.
“The only requirement is to ensure the hives were at a distance of at least 10 meters from our guests,” he said.
The honeybees produce approximately 450 jars of honey a year, Cossette said, which is used in the Maggie Oakes’ kitchen. He said another benefit of the bees is they “help to push away wasps from our terraces creating a more enjoyable atmosphere for guests who choose to enjoy our rooftop restaurant.”
Marc DeSantis, partner at Dallas-based Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects, said in an email interview that “hotel rooftops are becoming more exuberant, and that trend is going to continue.”
“Hotels have essentially just discovered rooftop spaces and figured out they can add revenue and a new lifestyle feel to their building, but they are just learning how to capture that space and make it interesting,” he said. “At first, rooftop bars were fine, but now every hotel is trying to outdo one another. Every hotel NMDA is working on, even the business hotels, is looking (for) a way to make their rooftop spaces interesting.”
Some interesting rooftop spaces DeSantis has seen include open-air movie showings, speakeasies, beer gardens and igloos, he said.
“Loopy Doopy in the (Conrad New York) serves prosecco popsicles while you play a full mini golf course with your friends. The Magic Hour at the Moxy hotel in Manhattan has a rooftop that is carnival-themed and has put mini golf in as a social activity,” he said.
DeSantis added that rooftops are now an extra amenity at hotels.
“Rooftops have become an added amenity, not just for the hotel, but for the community at large,” he said. “It is a way for a whole city to gather and look down upon what is going on around them. Hotels have started to capture that space, and it has become revenue builders for people outside the hotel.”