Many hotels have on-site bars, even if they’re merely situated in the glorified outskirts of the lobby, where guests can grab standard drinks after a day of sight-seeing. But these days, some of the best hotels across the country are making sure they step up their scene by providing not only comfy rooms and high-end services, but hotspot bars that attract locals as well as guests. We’ve traveled across the country and have found the 12 trendiest hotel bars in the U.S. So check ‘em out, and maybe offer your friends a round at one of these hip locales.
With its butterfly-covered ceiling, stuffed peacock in the corner, and plush banquettes, this 1930s Vietnam-inspired bar is one of the best places in Hollywood to share a drink with a starlet in hiding. Beyond the celebrity factor, the Chateau’s comfortable bar is a wonderful place to enjoy the fantastic food. The “damn good burger,” we can assure you, lives up to the name.
The Rose Bar, a velvet-heavy lounge filled with celebs and beautiful people, is still one of the coolest scenes in town — a testament to the staying power of this super-trendy Ian Schrager-Julian Schnabel project. When our reporter stopped in for a drink, he ran into Sting. Original paintings by Andy Warhol, a massive fireplace, and a pool table all add to the ultra-chic vibe.
Alibi is located in the “drunk tank” of the former Charles Street Prison, where those arrested for public intoxication were kept overnight — a unique place to relive a little Boston history (hopefully on better terms). Thick brick walls with cell doors and windows, original stone floors from the jail, mugshots of celebrities such as Sinatra, Morrison, and Nolte hanging on the walls, and jail-themed cocktails like “Doin’ Thyme” “Jailbait,” and “Ryekers Island,” are unsubtle reminders of the bar’s theme. But leather couches, dark wood tables, and candelight make the experience much pleasanter today than it was for its former visitors.
The iconic Tonga Room, a Polynesian-themed restaurant and tiki bar, attracts locals and hotel guests alike. Dating back to 1945, the Tonga Room features faux straw huts, a floating band, and what it claims is the best mai tai in the city (served in a fake coconut, natch). Where it presumably took itself seriously half a century ago, the Tonga Room now revels in its kitschiness, and has become a city institution despite — or maybe because of — its anachronistic placement within the Fairmont.
The W’s brand of trendy nightspots have varying success from town to town, but whenPOV opened on the W’s rooftop in July 2009 it became an immediate hit in Washington’s rather sparse downtown bar scene — in no small part due to its incredible views of the White House and the Washington Monument. Dim lighting, comfortable couches, and well-crafted cocktails prepared with fresh fruit or vegetable juice set the scene at this swanky spot.
An aptly-named, three-level hotspot, Chandelier is bedecked with hanging crystals and is a popular spot on the Strip to grab a drink or spend the entire evening. Even those who aren’t staying at this Vegas newbie, are sure to make a stop at the bar, if only for the people-watching and to see the reported two million beaded crystals. Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z, and Beyonce have all been spotted here.
Whiskey Park, located in an always-hip W hotel, also has a penchant for chandeliers, as well as the fun, funky style that the W brand is known for. Open till 2:30 a.m., Whiskey Park is located on the third floor and features an outdoor terrace with nice city views. The bar also features guest DJs.
On the second-floor of the elegant and chic-chic Waldorf-Astoria, Bernard’s bar successfully blends sophisticated (dark wood, velvet, and suede accents) with rustic charm (some cocktails are served in Ball canning jars). The bar menu includes numerous cocktails as well as lengthy wine, champagne, brandy, and even absinthe menus, as well as small bites such as oysters, cheese boards, and olives.
Float is a must-visit in San Diego’s hip Gaslamp Quarter. It has been ranked as the city’s best rooftop bar numerous times and for good reason; with fire pits, live DJs, and cabanas, it’s a popular spot – particularly in the summers when it hosts Intervention Sundays parties at the adjacent pool. Guests of the hotel are granted VIP access until 10 p.m.
Known for its quirky touches, the Kimpton brand delivers with this Seattle location. The on-site Bookstore Bar is a popular spot among guests and locals, and it really is a two-in-one stop; guests can peruse the selection of books for sale (all for $5) while they sip on wine and cocktails (the bar is known for its whiskey selection). Patrons can also indulge in breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the bar.
Recently reopened with a new vibe, the Cocktail Bar aims to draw in more than just hotel guests with highlights such as live jazz four nights a week, craft cocktails, and an elegant space, often frequented during happy hour. Aside from an extensive cocktail menu, the bar offers made-to-order cocktails created by mixologists who simply ask patrons what kind of liquor they prefer, and then prepare a drink suited for them.
Located just off of the lobby of the Delano, Rose Bar is a hip spot in a hip hotel, and has been known to be frequented by numerous celebs, such as players on the Miami Heat. It may be difficult to get a drink with the crowds, and they certainly don’t come cheap, but many feel that the cool factor more than makes up for it. Patrons can also order light bites.
- All the dish on hotel bars and restaurants
- The best hotel rooftop bars across the U.S.
- More foodie stories on the Oyster blog