A good hotel bar can be a perfect oasis in a traveler’s life, a place to kick back on vacation or unwind at the end of a busy day. In the March/April 2019 issue, we highlight more than 50 hotel bars around the world worth checking into, and here we’re sharing an abbreviated version of our flight path. For more great hotel bars to visit, pick up a copy of the magazine.
The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London
Hotel bars have long been integral to London’s cocktail pedigree. The Savoy hotel has a cocktail history stretching back more than a century, and the American Bar at The Savoy (now headed by Philippa Guy, the first female senior bartender at the hotel since Ada Coleman took that role in 1903) continues to earn accolades as among the world’s best. White-jacketed bartenders dip into The Savoy’s cocktail history while also serving adventurous originals, such as the Life and Times, a combination of rum, umeshu, white port, rosemary honey water and tonic.
Cadier Bar at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm
The Grand Hôtel has been a facet of central Stockholm since 1874, even hosting the first Nobel Prize banquet. The ornate Cadier Bar—named in honor of the hotel’s founder, French chef Régis Cadier—takes a modern approach to cocktails (incorporating traditional Nordic ingredients like sour cloudberries), making this historic hotel comfortably at home in the 21st century.
Clyde Common at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon
For more than a decade, travelers and locals have been flocking to Clyde Common in Portland’s downtown Ace Hotel. Opened in 2007 and helmed by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the award-winning bar offered barrel-aged and bottled cocktails before the storm, and it continues to weather trends with original creations like the Bourbon Renewal and The Long Goodbye. Downstairs at the subterranean Pépé Le Moko, Morgenthaler highlights kitchy classics like the Blue Hawaii and Grasshopper.
Cocktail Bar at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast
Savvy guests know to make a beeline for the simply titled Cocktail Bar upon arrival at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast. An opulent atmosphere and impressive selection of rare booze and vintage bubbly sets the program apart, and with alumni like Dead Rabbit owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, it’s easy to see why the bar continues to hold a place among the world’s best.
Death & Co at the Ramble Hotel in Denver
This new outpost of the acclaimed New York cocktail bar is the stylistic opposite of the original. Spanning the main lobby of the boutique Ramble Hotel and outfitted with elegant furnishings bathed in natural light, Death & Co Denver opened in summer of 2018 serving memorable cocktails like the Wipeout and Highwayman. In addition to the main bar, the team orchestrates café DC/AM, The Garden and Suite 6A in the hotel, keeping the excellence level high from morning coffee to the evening’s final nightcap.
Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City
Bartenders aim for the stars at Fifty Mils in Mexico City, where guests can expect the unexpected in cocktails like the Ant Man, which blends magic and whimsy via a mix of mezcal, avocado-ant mix, egg white, bitters, lemongrass and soda water, delivered in a glass prism. It’s not all smoke and mirrors, though—others keep it simpler while still tapping into local ingredients as a nod to the region.
The Lounge at Aman Tokyo in Tokyo
Occupying the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower in Tokyo’s financial district, Aman Tokyo offers a calming, natural light–filled sanctuary. Detached from the 98-foot-ceiling lobby, The Lounge serves signature drinks influenced by regional flavors. The space offers an exceptional afternoon tea service, pairing small bites like a kumquat and yuzu tart with a tea collection from The Ronnefeldt Company and views stretching to the summit of Mount Fuji.
Pool Bar at the Hotel San Cristóbal in Baja California Sur, Mexico
If the region’s growing wine scene wasn’t reason enough to get to Baja California Peninsula, here’s another—the stunning Pacific-rimmed boutique Hotel San Cristóbal, where both natural and man-made beauty abounds and the bar slants toward laid-back poolside drinking. A small menu of cocktails hits all the proper notes, from mezcal and cilantro to hibiscus-infused gin, while beers from Mexican craft brewers like Los Cuentos are served alongside cooling bottles of Pacifico.
Pultizer’s Bar at the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam
Located within the hotel’s 25 interconnected historic row houses that line the canal, Pulitzer’s Bar embodies classic glamour and modern sensibility. The current Hemingway-inspired menu offers contemporary twists on classics, like the Cuba Libre Fizz (a velvety interpretation served up) and the Expat Sazerac (pistachio-infused scotch, cachaça, salted caramel syrup and absinthe).
Sable Kitchen & Bar at the Kimpton Palomar in Chicago
One of the cornerstones of Chicago’s cocktail scene since opening in 2010, Sable remains a timeless hotel bar, and alumni like Mike Ryan (now director of bars for Kimpton Hotels) have gone on to run notable bar programs around the United States. Explore the geography of the bar’s extensive whiskey selection or order a seasonal cocktail (like the Bo & Luke, Lucky Negroni or Strawberries and Old Tom G&T) to get a taste of the true mettle the Windy City’s best and brightest have to offer.
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