Saab lovers to GM: don’t shut Saab down

Saab enthusiasts in North America are heading to Detroit in hopes of urging the company’s US-owner General Motors to sell the struggling Swedish automaker instead of shutting it down as Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker puts the finishing touches to a final bid.

“We hope the event will help send a message to GM to get serious about selling Saab,” Ryan Emge, editor of, an independent website about Saab, told The Local.

Emge hatched the idea of getting dedicated Saab owners to show their support for the Swedish automaker after learning of similar efforts being planned by Saab clubs in Europe.

The Saab meet-up in Detroit is set to take place less than 48 hours before the expiration of GM’s extended January 7th deadline for offers to buy Saab.

“We want to let people and GM know that we’re here to save Saab. It’s the right time and the right place,” said Emge.

“Maybe we can step in and take the initiative and cut through a lot of the mixed messages from GM.”

On Monday, Spyker CEO Victor Muller said his company was in the process of revising a final bid and plans to submit the offer by January 7th.

“We have gotten time for a final offer. Nothing has been rejected,” Muller told the Reuters news agency on Monday.

A group including US-based Merbanco investment firm, as well as a unnamed investors from Sweden, is also rumoured to be among the remaining bidders, although GM declined to name any bidders besides Spyker.

A statement from Emge on, instructs Saab loyalists from the US and Canada to descend on GM headquarters in Detroit at 1pm local time on Tuesday to show their “unwavering Saab spirit” for the company.

“If there are enough Saab owners and enthusiasts parked outside of the GM Renaissance center in Detroit, perhaps we could really show them how serious we are in wanting Saab Automobile to have a bright future and be sold,” Emge said.

In addition, another independent Saab enthusiast website,, is urging Saab owners to write to their elected representatives to emphasize the importance of Saab dealerships to local economies.

Saab car owners, many of whom remain passionate about the troubled Swedish brand, are hoping that their display of citizen action will help sway GM management toward finding a buyer for Saab.

Emge emphasized that the event was “not a demonstration” but a “gathering” intended to “show our Saab spirit in support of Saab being sold”.

Plans for the “Save Saab” campaign were drawn up in the days following a decision by Saab lovers in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium to travel to Saab Automobile’s headquarters in Tröllhatten in western Sweden on January 17th in another show of support for the loss-making car maker.

“I thought, what can we do in the US, and gathering near GM’s Renaissance Centre in Detroit seemed like the perfect backdrop,” Emge told The Local.

Saab, which has barely turned a profit in two decades under GM management, employs about 3,400 people in Sweden, although media reports suggest more than 8,000 jobs, many among subcontractors, would be lost if the automaker shut down.

Despite Saab’s dwindling sales, Emge remained optimistic about the brand’s future, blaming much of the sales slump on the economic crisis and GM’s lack of effort to market and promote Saab.

“You can’t use recent sales figures as a gauge for Saab’s popularity,” he said.

Emge added that GM would have a lot to gain by selling Saab rather than simply winding the company down, as any new owner would likely work closely with GM for several years to come.

“GM stands to earn a lot of money if they can find the right buyer to help bring Saab back to where it should be,” he said.

Emge had no estimates on how many Saab lovers may turn up in Detroit on Tuesday, noting it is a workday and the rally was organized on rather short notice.

“It’s sort of last minute, but it’s important,” he said.

“We would hate for GM to think that no one really cares about Saab and that it’s therefore OK to shut it down.”

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Madrid’s best rooftop bars

There is no better place to be at sunset than sipping a cocktail on one of Madrid's ultra-chic roof bars. Here's our pick of the very best.

Madrid's best rooftop bars
View of the Gran Via from the WXYZ rooftop bar.

Some boast open air pools, others are perfectly designed to capture the elusive summer breeze on stifling hot nights in the capital. There's only one place to be tat sundown, and it's high above the city streets.

Sky Bar and Terraza 360º Riu Hotel Plaza España 

Where: Plaza España

Vibe: The long awaited Riu Hotel opened in September 2019 and has long queues snaking out the door. But the 360º views from the 26th floor make the wait absolutely worth it. With a nightclub on the 26th floor and lounge style roof terrace a floor above, this place is the coolest venue in Madrid right now.  The tallest building in Europe when it was opened in the 1950s it came to exemply the architecture of the Franco dictatorship.

 Views: Hands down the best views in the city in any direction, across Malasaña rooftops to Madrid's iconic skyscrapers in one direction to the Royal Palace and Casa de Campo in the other, it even as a glass sky bridge for those who aren't crippled by vertigo. 

WXYZ rooftop bar, Aloft Madrid Gran Via

Where: Calle Jacometrezo, 4

The terrace on the 11th floor of the Aloft Madrid hotel, is just off the Gran Via by Santo Domingo metro.

Vibe: A casual urban vibe popular with young travellers and Madrileños sipping cocktails and grooving to live music. There's a small rooftop pool open in summer and year round sofas for lounging. 

View: Great vistas across to the west with the best views of the Opera House, Royal Palace and Almudeña Cathedral.


Where: Calle Imperial 9, Madrid (Sol/La Latina)

Vibe: Don´t let the fact it is on top of a hostel put you off, HAT is the hippest rooftop bar in Madrid, where the waiters are tattooed and your cocktails come in jam jars. Nestled on a side street just off the Plaza Mayor, the roof terrace is beautifully designed and has a good choice of tapas and cocktails. It's one of the smaller terraces on our list which actually adds to its charm, making it cosy and intimate. 

View: More enclosed than some of the other rooftops, one side of the terrace looks out over La Latina, home to Madrid’s best tapas bars and the famous tapas street, Cava Baja, as well as the impressive domes of the barrio's churches. 

Mercardo San Antón

Where: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24 (Chueca)

Vibe: This roof terrace has the added bonus of being located on the top floor of one of Madrid’s best gourmet indoor markets, so you can enjoy some delicious bites before kicking back with a drink on the roof. With a mix of low, comfy chairs and sofas and high tables and stools, this roof terrace has a chilled vibe that is perfect for an afternoon tipple or an early evening drink. Plus the drinks are reasonable. Win-win!

View: The narrow streets of Chueca, one of Madrid’s coolest neighbourhoods and home to the city’s thriving gay scene.

The Roof at ME

Where: Plaza de Santa Ana 14 (Sol/Las Letras)

Vibe: One of Madrid’s most exclusive terraces, The Roof is achingly hip with low lighting, waitresses who resemble supermodels and a strict door policy. If you want to feel a cut above the rest, see and be seen and sample some of the capital’s most expensive cocktails, The Roof is the place for you.

View: The hotel is on Plaza Santa Ana, one of Madrid’s most beautiful squares, opposite the Teatro Real, or Royal Theatre.

Tartan Roof on top of the Circulo de Bellas Artes

Where: Alcalá 42/Marqués de Casa Riera, 2  (Banco de España)

Vibe: It costs €3 to go up to this cultural institution’s rooftop bar to take in the view, so why not hang around and enjoy a drink while stepping back in time as you gaze out over surely one of Madrid’s most breathtaking views.

View: One of the most iconic views in Madrid, gaze over Madrid’s Gran Vía, it’s famous Metropolis sign and the beautiful Beaux Arts and Art Deco rooftops, this is our pick for the rooftop bar view in Madrid. 

Hotel NH Collection Madrid Suecia

Where: Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera 4 (Banco de España)

Vibe: This hidden away gem is for where those in the know head when the queues for the neighbouring terrace at Bellas Artes are stretching out the door and down the street. No entrance fee and far less crowded, the view may not be as impressive as those next door, but the likelihood of finding a corner to snuggle in as the sun goes down more than makes up for it.

View: True, you can't see much of the Gran Via and it's iconic skyline from here but instead enjoy wide vistas of the Palacio Cibeles and the green of the Retiro park beyond and the jumble of the picturesque terracotta rooftops of the Barrio de las Letras stretching to the south.

The Mint Roof

Where: The Vincci Hotel Mint, Gran Via, 10

Vibe: This intimate rooftop on the Gran Via has a chilled out beach vibe where cocktails are served from a vintage-style food truck.

View: It doesn't have sweeping views but it does provide glimpses of the iconic architecture of the Gran Via.

Ático 11

Where: Just across the Gran Via at number 11 is the rooftop bar and terrace atop the Iberostar Las Letras Hotel.

Vibe: Wood panelling, designer chairs, this is a place filled with beautiful people drinking elegant cocktails to cool sounds. The restaurant has a good lunch option as well as a great place for sunset drinks and a light supper.

VIews: It's not as high as the Bellas Artes but provides views of Gran Via rooftops and vistas towards Cibeles and beyond.

Terraza at Hotel Principal, Gran Via

Where: Calle Marqués de Valdeiglesias, 1

Vibe: Yet another terrace bar on a Gran Via hotel, this one exudes elegance with Parisian style street café tables and potted olive trees and a cocktail menu to die for.

View: It doesn't have the elevation of Bellas Artes opposite but it does give unparalleled views of the iconic rooftops on the Gran Via including the gorgegous glided Metropolis building.

Hotel Emperador, Gran Via
Where: Yet another hotel with a rooftop on the Gran Via, the Emperador can be found just near Santa Domingo metro at Calle Gran Vía, 53

Vibe: The tenth floor of this hotel on the Gran Via boast a spectacular swimming pool open May to September that is free for hotel guests and to the public, for a fee. There's also the cocktail Sky bar that's open until 2am at weekends.

Views: Views stretching to down the Gran Via and out to the west 

Dear Hotel's Nice to Meet you

Where: Gran Via 80 next to Plaza España

Vibe: An urban garden laid out over a large terrace with views across the city, this place attracts couples looking for a romantic dinner to groups of stylish partygoers. A resident DJ and  cocktails makes it an equally good place to start or end a Madrid evening.

Views: Located on the 14th floor of a building on the Plaza España end of the Gran Via, this is a great place for sunset watchers, offering unparalleled views across the Casa de Campo and a 360 degree panorama over the city.

El Jardín de Salvador Bachiller

Where: Calle Montera 37 (Between Sol and Gran Via metro)

Vibe: This secret roof garden reached through a designer leatherware store just footsteps away from Sol is a real hidden gem and a great place for brunch or to recharge your batteries between some retail therapy.

Views: It doesn’t have spectacular views but is a calm leafy oasis above the busy shopping streets below 

Hotel Oscar

Photo: TurismoMadrid/Flickr

Where: Plaza Vázquez de Mella, 12 (Chueca)

Vibe: If you’re looking for luxury then Hotel Oscar, with its white floor cushions and Bauhaus style, is most definitely for you. Recline among some of Madrid’s most fashionable by the rooftop pool in this urban oasis, right in the heart of the city. 

Views: Excellent views over the rooftops of Gran Vía, including the iconic Telefonica building, which when it was built, in 1929 was one of Europe’s first skyscrapers. 

El Viajero

Where: Plaza de la Cebada, 11 (La Latina)

Vibe: El Viajero is the perfect place to enjoy a few nibbles and one of their specialities: a mojito among the laid back atmosphere and very green (the place is covered in plants) background.

View: The rooftops of La Latina are some of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful, from El Viajero you can watch the sun go down over the domes of the churches of San Francisco and San Andreas, definitely one of our top picks for the best rooftop views in the city. 

SkyNight Bar, Avenida de America

Where: Located at Avenida de America, 41 on the top of the Hotel Puerta America, the design hotel where each floor has been done by a different architect.

Vibe: This roof terrace is Jean Nouvel-designed and has a modern stylish look with live DJs and a dancefloor and the backdrop of the Madrid skyline. The muted lighting adds to the club vibe. It doesn't open until 9pm and closes at 4am at weekends.

View: The covered dancefloor means it feels more like a balcony with panoramic views that a rooftop.

Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini

Where: Cuesta San Vicente 16 (Opera)

Vibe: A secret rooftop overlooking some of Madrid’s most famous sites and named after the famous Sabatini gardens. Sit back and relax on the terrace’s oval sofas and enjoy some tapas and drinks as you take in the incredible view.

View: Gaze out over the Royal Palace, the Sabatini gardens and the stunning Egyptian Debod Temple. 

La Terraza del Urban in the Hotel Urban

Where: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34 (Sol/Las Letras)

Vibe: Located at the top of the five star, art deco-inspired Hotel Urban, the roof terrace is elegant and the perfect option for a stylish summer evening cocktail.

View: Located right at the centre of the city, close to the Spanish parliament and a stone’s throw from Sol, soak up the views of Madrid’s beating heart. 

Gourmet Experience El Corte Ingles

Photo: David/Flickr 

Where: Plaza Callao, 2. Ninth floor.

The vibe: The Gourmet Experience at the top of El Corte Ingles (one of Spain’s most famous department stores) is a great place to stop for a coffee or drink if you’re hitting the shops on Gran Vía. With a variety of stalls, all selling delicious bites, you are bound to find something to tickle your taste buds.

The view: Marvel at one of Madrid’s most iconic views: the capitol building with its giant Schweppes sign. Located just off the Gran Vía, you get a bird’s eye view of some of the most impressive early 20th century architecture in Spain. 


Where: Calle de la Luna, 2 (Gran Via, Santo Domingo)

The vibe: This rooftop has quickly become one of the hipped to be seen in Madrid. Lounge in the hammocks in the Ibiza-style chillout zone which boasts an infinity pool and cocktail bar atop fake grass.

The view: Stunning views across Madrid with the bustling Gran Via to the south and the winding streets of Chueca and Malasaña stretching out below. There is a restaurant downstairs, as well as a hotel, a shopping area, a gym and a theater.

Mirador Madrid at Centro Centro

Photo: Pablo Andrés Rivero / Flickr

Where: Plaza de Cibeles 1 (Banco de España)

The vibe: Have a drink atop one of Madrid's most iconic buildings. What used to be the Post Office is now the City Hall complete with exhibition space and a “Refugees Welcome” banner boldly hanging across the facade.

The view: This terrace boasts one of the best views of the city, rivalling that of the nearby Bellas Artes. Gaze over a vista stretching up the Castallana to the north taking in the Cibeles fountain below and across to the impressive Banco de España.

Picos Pardos Sky Lounge, Bless Hotel

Where: Calle Velazquez, 62

The vibe: Set on the rooftop of the 5-Star Bless Hotel in Madrid's upmarket Salamanca district, this terrace oozes tropical glamour with Balinese loungers set around an emerald tiled pool.

The view:  Panoramic views from the 8th floor.

This article was update in October 2019

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