Not all the best nightlife spots are outside your hotel lobby doors, you could have a world class bar steps away from your room. Once the go-to for travelers on business trips and known for a somewhat stale atmosphere, many hotel bars have now become must-visit spots. With menus full of hard-to-find liquors and wines, fine art adorning their walls, and live music performances in intimate settings, the new hotel bar scene is anything but stale.
We’ve compiled a list of the coolest hotel bars around the world for you to visit. So go ahead, pour out your night cap and start planning your next trip to one of these 21 spots.
Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, New York
If you are looking for an old school New York bar, you will find it at Bemelmans. With tuxedo’d waiters and a top-shelf bar, this 75-year-old bar is the place where you will rub shoulders with New York’s high society and Hollywood celebrities. Drink martinis with live jazz crooning in the background and murals from well-known artist Ludwig Bemelman for your Instagram backdrop.
O2 Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Get one of the best views of Moscow at this rooftop lounge and bar. The O2 Lounge overlooks the capital’s Red Square with direct views of the Kremlin. And best of all, a glass enclosure ensures that visitors can still have access to the rooftop’s views without having to endure the harsh Moscow winter.
Alvear Roof Bar at Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires
Guests can of course drink at the Alvear Palace’s lobby bar (where the business crowd and celebrities have been holding meetings since the 1930s), but the cool, younger bar-goers are more likely to be found on the newly renovated roof at Alvear Roof Bar.
Rock Bar at Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali, Indonesia
To even reach the Ayana Resort’s Rock Bar, guests have to ride a cable car down a cliff face. Once they’ve arrived at the bar — perched 46 feet above the Indian Ocean — guests can sip cocktails while watching the sunset or dance to music echoing from the DJ booth carved into stone.
Sky Bar at Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
This Bangkok bar is world-famous for good reason. Perched 820 feet above the ground, the bar is one of the highest in the world. It also has a lengthy, creative cocktail menu, including the Hangovertini, created for the cast of “Hangover II” when they stayed at Lebua to film.
Bar Pendry at Pendry Chicago
Art deco-inspired architecture and refined cocktails go hand-in-hand — and that’s why the luxurious Bar Pendry at Pendry Chicago works perfectly. With deep earth tones and plush seating, it will be your one-and-only stop of the night. We recommend their classic Aviation cocktail; gin, luxardo maraschino, creme violette, and lemon.
The American Bar at The Stafford London
The American Bar is a hotel bar that has been popular with locals and visitors since the 1920s. From classic vintage cocktails to new creations from bar director Benoit Provost, there’s something for every London visitor on this menu. With a new outdoor seating area, The American is well worth a stop next time you’re in Londontown.
The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans
Patrons at The Carousel Bar may have the distinct impression that the room is spinning — even if they haven’t indulged in one of the hotel’s signature sazeracs. The 25-seat bar is a former merry-go-round that has been twirling at the Hotel Monteleone since 1949.
Blue Bar at the Taj Palace, New Delhi
At first, the vibes at the Taj’s Blue Bar may seem cosmopolitan enough to be from any major city in the world. But after ordering a drink, take a step out to the poolside area, and you’ll instantly remember that this iconic bar is in the bustling center of New Delhi.
The Willaston Bar at The Silo, Cape Town
As Cape Town cements its status as a world art destination, the Willaston Bar could be where the artsy crowd start to flock. Located in the Silo Hotel, whose building is also home to Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa). Head to the sixth-floor bar for a post-museum drink overlooking the water. At this time, the bar is only open for hotel guests and for non-guests who make reservations in advance.
Society at Hamilton Hotel Washington, D.C.
A speakeasy hidden on the first floor of Hamilton Hotel is D.C.’s first microbar. Inspired by the intoxicating stories of secret societies and DC think tanks, Society has a carefully crafted cocktail menu with complimentary light bites. The bar only has 14 seats, so be sure to make a reservation before slipping behind the curtain.
Baretto-Londra at Hotel Fasano, Rio de Janeiro
When the girls from Ipanema go walking, there’s a likely chance they end up at this Rio hotspot. Baretto-Londra is consistently named among the world’s most exclusive bars — so those attempting to get in should be sure to dress up and make a reservation well in advance.
L.A. Jackson at Thompson Nashville
This music city rooftop bar not only draws hotel guests out of their rooms but locals out of their homes. The menu focuses on local brews and the small bites menu adds a kick of cool to Southern classics. The bar hosts live DJs every Friday and Saturday night that brings the crowd out for danceable deep cuts. Seating is first come, first served, so don’t be late.
The English Bar at the Country Club Lima Hotel
In their lifetimes, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner frequented The English Bar in Lima for what some consider to be the city’s best Pisco sour (bartenders here use a very specific strain of Pisco for a smooth finish). The bar has kept its old school cool today, hosting chic clientele in its dimly lit space.
The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Considered by some to be the world’s largest chandelier, this multi-level bar is one of the coolest spots in Vegas, if only for its architectural prowess. The lower level of The Chandelier is open 24 hours a day, so the party never has to stop. The bar is also famous for its “secret drink,” the Verbena. It starts as a citrusy margarita then transforms flavor-wise as you eat the edible flower inside the glass.
Bar 228 at Le Meurice, Paris
Located in the heart of Paris, Bar 228 at Le Meurice, part of the Dorchester Collection, is the place to be. One of the few places that serves Dom Perignon by the glass, Bar 228 is cozy but luxurious. The bar recently launched a new menu, by chef Amaury Bouhours, so bar guests can now enjoy South of France-inspired dishes along with the bar’s traditional cocktails such as Le 228 and an extensive list of rare liquors and wines.
The Lodge Bar at Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa
The coolest spot around isn’t necessarily the bar with the most people. In fact, at Singita Ebony Lodge, the opposite is true. Step outside the bar at Singita Ebony Lodge to enjoy stargazing with a glass selected from the lodge’s extensive African wine cellar.
Living Room Bar at W South Beach, Miami
When the art crowd descends to Miami for Art Basel, they’re bound to end up at the Living Room Bar at least once. The lobby bar’s sultry downtown vibes — enhanced with art from Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and George Condo — make it a top destination.
Armani/Bamboo Bar at Armani Hotel Milano
When you’re in one of the most fashionable cities on the planet, having a drink at the ‘it’ hotel is a given. Embodying the iconic luxury fashion brand, Armani Hotel Milano’s Bamboo Bar is a pure oasis for fashion and design lovers. Plus, it’s one of the few rooftop bars in the city center, guaranteeing you some of the best views over Lombardy’s capital.
Amber at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Picture this: an unreal sunset, waves crashing in the background, and a glass of Champagne in your hand. That is the exact scene you’ll find at the Amber Bar located at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. With a menu that is completely devoted to rare and vintage Champagnes, “living the good life” is sure to be your Instagram caption.
The Bar Room at The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, New York
New Age New York is what this modern cocktail bar at The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel brings to its guests. Nestled in the bustling financial district of Manhattan, The Bar Room is beloved by tourists and locals alike. Plush seating and a well-stocked bar is what awaits you — just don’t forget to look up to see the iconic cast-iron railings, a fixture of the hotel.