New Sydney Rooftop: The Grove

One of my favourite ways to discover a new city is to chill on one of its rooftop bars. With skyscrapers and views galore, a Sydney rooftop is an easy sell, which is why I was curious to try the Novotel Sydney Central‘s new Grove Rooftop Bar.

Open until 31 March 2017, the Grove occupies the hotel’s eighth floor within Novotel’s outdoor garden, in what seems to be miles away from the chaos of the busy Central and Chinatown areas.

Relaxing in the pop-up bar feels homey, like you’ve just stepped into your backyard eight floors above the pavement. The bar’s decor features recycled timber furniture matched with raw iron as well as high tables and director chairs, to create a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Fairy lights, festoon lighting and various cute plant arrangements add to the no-bullshit, familiar feeling.

If you’re looking for an excuse to disappear from this chaotic part of town after a shopping trip, the Grove’s relaxed vibe will be just what you need. However, Frank’s Café in London’s Peckham it ain’t. The Grove is an urban rooftop bar: it’s away from the Eastern Suburbs or from the Harbour, so you won’t get to see much other than concrete and buildings – so it’s more of an inner Brooklyn type thing than a Sydney style venue.

The menu offering isn’t as varied as I would have hoped: four different options of loaded fries are all the finger food the venue serves. We tried the loaded fries topped with bacon, melted cheese and chipotle mayo, and the nacho style hot chips loaded with spicy ground beef, melted mozzarella, jalapeño and sour cream and had to stop before going on a carb overload. The drinks menu, too, was quite limited, offering just four beers served in cans and a few watery cocktails.

The venue is however still worth visiting, not only for its chilled out vibe but also because, in an Australian bar first, the Grove Rooftop is powered by UE Boom’s Mega Boom Bluetooth speakers. These weather and shock-proof speakers pump out 360-degree sound for you to hear the bar’s music wherever you are within the venue.



  • Opening hours (for both Novotel Sydney Central guests and external visitors): Wednesday-Sunday from 5:30pm until 10pm
  • Open until: 31 March 2017
  • For more information about the Grove Rooftop Bar visit or call +61 2 9281-6888  

Pictures: Novotel Sydney Central, Carolina Are

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