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Hotel Bar Hop - Best Hotel Bars in the World

Few places host such a medley of patrons as a hotel bar. In one corner, the executive top brass can be seen wheeling and dealing over a scotch; in the other, a gaggle of socialites primp and preen for their selfies; while in between the two might be a bushed business traveler simply unwinding in a makeshift living room after a long day.

When done right, the phrase “hotel bar” can transcend the image of an uninspired lobby-adjacent watering hole and become a real selling point towards booking a room at the property in the first place. Thankfully, plenty of lodgings around the world realize this and are amping up efforts to make their bars destinations in and of themselves. Read on to find out which ones are doing it the best.

Sage Tapas Bar at Makati Shangri-La
Makati, Philippines
Just opened in February, the latest addition to the Shangri-La universe seems inspired by a concept not unlike that of a well-tailored suit: neither too much flash nor too little style; immune to gimmicky trends; and, above all, a surefire asset when trying to impress clients. The masculine details include custom designs in supple leather, as well as tweed, pinstripe and herringbone patterns that further evoke an exceptional Saville Row specimen.

The upper floor is reserved for tapas-style dining, but you’ll want to sit near the small stage on the main level to better enjoy the live music performances. While the Philippines is a country renowned for superlative service, this savvy new bar surpasses even the highest expectations.

Best Night
Thursdays and Fridays

What to Order
For a sense of place, sample the Manila Sunshine: Tanduay dark rum (made in the Philippines), lambanog (a coconut-based spirit, similar to sake), triple sec and pineapple juice.

If the Bar Were a Song
“Shangri-La,” by The Kinks

Riviera 31 at the Sofitel L.A.

Los Angeles, United States
Formerly known as Stone Rose, this newly imagined cocktail den has garnered plenty of buzz since it debuted last year, boasting a strong rotating lineup of acts (including a feisty burlesque show on Saturdays), not to mention some of L.A.’s most sought-after DJs.

But for all its contemporary cachet, Riviera 31 feels more like a classic 1950s or ’60s film shot along the French seaside, with vintage stills of Brigitte Bardot and the like adorning the interior walls to encourage the French connection. Meanwhile, stylish outdoor cabanas allow the clientele to take advantage of one of L.A.’s most charming attributes: the weather.

While there’s no cover, the velvet-rope treatment is still in effect. Plan ahead by signing up for the weekly online newsletter, so that you’ll know when to RSVP for events (email to do so) and cut the line like the hotshot you are.

Best Night
Monday night’s Jazz Eclectic delivers the underground cool, with a crowd of “in-the-know” musicians and their friends. The band sets up in the middle of the room, making everyone part of the act.

What to Order
Go appropriately light and easy in this diet-obsessed town, with the Byblos on the rocks: Plymouth gin, lime juice, agave and muddled arugula.

If the Bar Were a Song

“La Vie en Rose,” by Edith Piaf

The Ides at the Wythe Hotel
New York, United States
It’s fitting that the city that never sleeps offers so many hotel bars to aid in your all-night adventures, from the rumpus rooms at the Dream Downtown or the Jane Hotel to the sublime cavern of cool found at the Tribeca Grand or the Gatsby-esque grandeur of the Plaza.

If this all proves to be too dizzying, take a step back and enjoy Manhattan at a calm distance. From its vantage point on the other side of the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Ides turns the Manhattan skyline into the perfect mural, displaying the sweep of the city through floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Best Night
While weeknights are preferable to weekends, I’d recommend coming to this rooftop bar on a sunny weekend afternoon. Grab a lounger, dab on the sunscreen and stay to watch the sun set behind the city spires.

What to Order
Brooklyn East India Pale Ale is an apt choice—the brewery is just across the street!

If the Bar Were a Song
“New York Groove,” by Kiss

Monkey Bar at 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin
Berlin, Germany
When Madonna asks you to take her daughter out for a night on the town, you know you’ve earned the right to call yourself a professional “cool hunter.” Of course, Henrik Tidefjärd also gives regular, fun-loving visitors who aren’t necessarily pop royalty a look at Berlin’s nightlife through his lifestyle tour agency Berlinagenten, which is why I couldn’t think of any better source to tap for info about the nightlife in Berlin 25 years after reunification.

“The international influence was very limited for a long time, due to the wall, and it’s taken many years to catch up,” observed the ten-year resident. “It wasn’t until the beginning of the 2000s that the glossy scene really took off. Especially in the last five or six years, we’ve seen a very big improvement in quality, international influences, stylish designs and creative ideas.”

Tidefjärd revealed that, at the moment, Berliners are in the midst of a love affair with the aptly named Monkey Bar, which, from its tenth-story perch beside the city zoo, gives party animals a glimpse of the monkeys, giraffes, elephants and flamingos in nearby enclosures. According to Tidefjärd, the crowd at this remarkably tasteful jungle-themed bar is equally as mixed: “Young to old—they don’t let people in, based on one look or style, which makes this place unique.”

Best Night
Any day early in the week is a good bet if you’d rather avoid the throngs; regardless, it’s recommended to arrive before 9 p.m. to skip the wait.

What to Order
You can’t go wrong with any of the tiki drinks—they’re all crafted using homemade syrups, fresh herbs and infused spirits. But for something more subtle, take a cue from the Ginspiration menu, which details gin-and-tonics with a twist, like the Apple and Pepper Gin Tonic, made from green apple gin, red pepper and tonic.

If the Bar Were a Song
“Don’t Bring Me Down,” by The Animals

Artesian at The Langham
London, United Kingdom
The golden light and pastel hues of this elegant drinkery beg for a glass of Champagne upon arrival—accompanied by oysters or caviar, of course. While these are certainly on the menu, you’d be missing out on the element that sets this swanky establishment apart from the rest if you don’t order a drink chilled with the bar’s high-density, extra-cold ice. The team here is “very passionate about everything that goes into your glass,” which means that extra attention is given even to the garnishes.

But for a truly over-the-top experience, look to the Butterfly Menu, a selection of interactive concoctions that are categorized not merely by their base (rum, whisky, gin… yawn), but by their essence: Woody and Deep, Oriental and Floral, Fresh and Sexy, Rich and Aromatic, Fruity and Refreshing or Delicate and Delicious.

Best Night
If you’re not one for crowds, the earlier in the week, the better.
What to Order
Get down to brass tacks with the Unfinished Business: Woodford Reserve bourbon, Martini Rosso bitters and galangal, all surrounding a perfect sphere of ultra-cold ice.

If the Bar Were a Song
“Ice Ice Baby,” by Vanilla Ice

Churchill Bar at LA Mamounia Marrakech
Marrakech, Morocco
While not in the eponymous city, exactly, this bar evokes the classic romance of Casablanca, all the same, albeit with a much darker palette. Named for Winston Churchill, a former patron, the space still has many of its original wood details, but avoids looking as stiff as the drinks being slung, thanks to ample splashes of leopard print. Leave the jeans and sneakers at home for this one—go ahead and channel a little old-school glamour.

Best Night
Come any night other than Sunday, which is when the piano player and accompanying singer are off duty.

What to Order
Put on your best Bogart impression and order a bourbon.
If the Bar Were a Song
“As Time Goes By,” by Dooley Wilson

El Cabaret and the Library Lounge at the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina
The tiny tables cocooned in a sultry haze (don’t worry, it’s an artificial touch in this smoke-free space) set the right tone for the intimate nightly performances of Argentina’s most famous export (the tango) at El Cabaret.

After the show, stroll over to the Library Lounge for a respite from the syncopated rhythm of the dramatic dance. While still evocative of the Belle Époque in décor, this bar attracts a stylish set of locals in creative industries, hip travelers and jetsetting divas like Beyoncé.

Best Night
Come on a Thursday and enjoy mingling with the locals amiably anticipating the coming weekend.

What to Order
A glass of Mendoza malbec will go perfectly with the red rose clamped between your teeth.

If the Bar Were a Song
“La Cumparsita,” by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez

Rock Bar at Ayana Resort
Bali, Indonesia
Made using local fruits, herbs and spices (including organic pineapple grown at Ayana’s on-site farm), the drinks at this 45-foot-high cliff-top bar are as refreshing as the ocean breezes that accompany them.

A charming, open-air inclinator lifts patrons to the bar entrance, with Ayana and Rimba Resort guests enjoying priority access (nonresidents looking to skip the sometimes lengthy lines may opt for the stairs).

Best Night
Any. We’re talking about a cliff-top bar in Bali, here. Just arrive at 4 p.m. if you want to snag a seat for sunset—and you do.

What to Order
Try the signature creation Rock My World: vodka, Grand Marnier, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice and fresh orange.

If the Bar Were a Song
“Higher and Higher,” by Jackie Wilson

Courtesy      :    Premier Traveler
Author           :    Ally Miola

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