Drink with a View

Level 7 is generating a lot of buzz and there’s a reason for it. The rooftop lounge perched at the top of the AC Hotel in North Hills is a gamechanger
for Raleigh nightlife. So far, outdoor venues of this caliber and view have eluded the city. Several rooftop spaces do exist but most are privately accessed or at a much smaller and less luxurious scale. Plus, the central location in midtown makes Level 7 accessible to those inside and outside the beltline.

The DLR Group is the architectural firm behind the urban chic design of the space that delivers a sophisticated European experience. “One of the key visions for the design of the hotel has always been to introduce a hot, rooftop venue,” says Staci Patton, hospitality leader and principal at the DLR Group. “A dynamic architectural overhang engages guests from the entry, vertically along a glass elevator, and out to the covered roof deck.”

The interior lounge offers plenty of seating in rich furnishings, including silver quilted armchairs, chocolate-leather stools and modular sofas. The groupings accommodate large and small parties alike. A series of glass doors lead onto the rooftop deck that presents a chic summer vibe with white cushioned lounge chairs, whimsical heat lamps that almost appear to be wearing lampshades, and clear railings that offer uninterrupted views of the surrounding area.

Inside, Patton turned to local artists to produce works of art for the various hotel spaces. “We worked with Art Source, local to the North Hills, and their studio is steps from the AC Hotel,” she says.  “We worked with their fantastic team to curate a collection of local artists in mediums that celebrate high-end modern art found in every AC Hotel experience.”

One of the key design elements of the space, however, is an outdoor express glass elevator that takes guests directly from the street level to Level 7. “It’s a direct connection, no layovers,” jokes Level 7’s Beverage and Food Manager Anthony Zinani.

“With being open to the public we wanted to design separation for rooftop guests and guests arriving for their hotel stay,” says Patton, adding, “it draws the eye up to a unique social rooftop destination in North Hills.”

Indeed the lounge is bound to attract locals interested in grabbing a drink with a view and corporate clients who want to use the expansive space for events. “Our lounge is larger than in other AC Hotels, which is unique to North Hills,” says Zarina Khan, Director of Sales and Marketing at the AC Hotel, of the space that offers endless possibilities from live music to cooking classes to corporate retreats. “We’re going to see how creative we can get because there is so much potential.”

In the meantime, the bar will serve tapas plates in the evening alongside a craft cocktail menu, full bar, wine and beer. “The bartenders are true urban spirits who will share the unique buzz of the North Hills and all it has to offer,” says Patton. “It’s an experience that has been designed to give you the essentials.”

Alexandra Drosu
Alexandra Drosu

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