Skybars are kind of my thing. I love the perspective that they bring and "collecting" them, along with transit passes, is a pretty cheap hobby to have if you are already visiting a place. New York has a number of skybars to choose and a long history of providing cloud top places to wine and dine. One of the first was The Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of 30 Rock. It opened in 1934 and closed in 2009, but recently, the space was approved as a landmark and will be reopening at some point.
For my trip, I decided to try The View and then happened to stumble across a second skybar at the Standard Hotel. The View is in the Marriott Marquis Hotel right on Times Square. It opens up at 5:30pm on most days, except for Tuesday at 5:00pm and for brunch from 10:00am to 1:30pm.
See that up there? That looks interesting. After a bit of poking around, I found my way upstairs to the Top of the Standard. This is the type of skybar that I really like: Great views (better than The View, since you can look at the city instead of being surrounded by it), very cool design, and decent drinks. The downsides? Price and seating. I do believe that this is the most I've ever paid for a drink (although it was a St. Germain Gin & Tonic). It was even more than a mixed drink in the UAE or Sweden.
Of the two, I would recommend checking out the Top of the Standard over The View. It is only on the 18th floor, but because of the slender building and location in the Meatpacking district it actually offers a better view. It is also right above (literally) the Highline which is widely acclaimed.
If those two don't sound interesting, here is my New York Skybar list sorted by height:
The View: Marriott Marquis Hotel, 43rd floor
Asiate: Mandarin Oriental, 35th floor
Skyroom Times Square: Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Times Square, 34th floor
Salon de Ning: The Peninsula Hotel, 23rd floor
Top of the Strand: The Strand, 21st floor
Top of the Standard: The Standard, 18th floor
The Press Lounge: Kimpton, 16th floor
Above 6: Thompson Hotel (6 Columbus Circle), ~14th floor
Ava Lounge: Dream Hotel, 14th floor
A60: Thompson Hotel (60 Thompson), 13th floor