You can judge the evolution of a city by its rooftop bars. This elevated style of watering hole is a native breed of the busy metropolis, a necessary hideaway that rises above the fray with views that remind us of the beauty to be found in a concrete jungle. Because as you sit on top of a building, cocktail in hand, watching the sun fall below an urban skyline, you know that you are part of something bigger than yourself, something truly cosmopolitan, and the city feels full of potential again.
So, it is with great excitement that we unveil Auckland’s newest rooftop bar, Sunset, a sleek, elegant space nestled on the top floor of the Sudima Hotel, and the latest in a raft of rooftop hospitality taking happy hour to new heights.
Inspired by rooftop bars around the world and created with a desire to celebrate the unique beauty of Auckland’s metropolis, Sunset was designed as a place to which us city-dwellers could escape after a long day. Here, satiating drinks and tasty food collide in a sumptuous setting designed by the renowned team at CTRL Space, who paired inviting pastel shades and tactile touches of timber, tiles and stone with curved ceiling details and banquettes — a nod to the 1970s although with a distinctly contemporary feel. And despite it being divided into various indoor seating zones and a sweeping outdoor terrace, Sunset offers unobstructed views across Westhaven and the Waitematā to Ponsonby and the Waitākere ranges, from wherever you decide to park up.
Beyond its spectacular good-looks, Sunset has some serious culinary grunt behind it, too, driven by a team of industry-leading creatives helmed by creative consultant, Andrew Glenn (founder of The Oyster Inn). “Sunset is a 21st-century version of a ‘literary salon’ of sorts,” Glenn tells us, “it is a chic place to meet, mingle, exchange and enjoy, with a fantastic backdrop of the city’s glittering lights after dark… stylish but not pretentious, contemporary yet comfortable.”
The unique bar offering has been designed by Dana Johnston (founder of iconic bars like 1885, 46 & York and Pineapple on Parnell) and Mikey Ball (globally sought-after consultant and former head bartender of award-winning London bars Milk & Honey and Dandelyan) and comprises a seasonal menu of exceptionally-delicious bespoke cocktails alongside a comprehensive and eclectic wine list (directed by Simon Kelly) with vintages that span New Zealand, South Africa, Lebanon, France and more.
The menu is also the result of a collaboration, seeing Executive Chef Harmeet Singh Nanda (also behind the Sudima’s ground-floor restaurant, East) team up with Maximus Perry and Samson Stewart (the duo behind Christchurch restaurant, 5th Street), to create dishes inspired by the Mumbai street food of the chef’s childhood, reimagined with more global flavours. (Think sliders with potato hash, plum chutney, feta and coriander, or lamb skewers with Clevedon buffalo curd or koftas with whipped garlic toum, white onion and parsley salad.)
And if all this wasn’t enticing enough, DJ Cam Robertson (founder of Paris is Burning) has come on board to create the ultimate sundowner soundtrack — drawing on his vast international experience to curate mood-enhancing music and offer DJ Sunset Sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. (Don’t miss the legendary Nathan Haines and Jaimie Webster-Haines as they takeover Sunset Sessions on the 30th of July and the 6th of August.)
Open now, the timely arrival of Sunset points to the ways in which Auckland is growing up. A highly-considered offering befitting of the bustling, international metropolis this city is becoming, Sunset is the perfect inner-city spot to escape to at the end of a long week, and is exactly where you’ll find us this weekend.
Thursday – Saturday, 4pm until late.
10th floor, Sudima Auckland City Hotel
63-67 Nelson Street