Chic enclaves, historic rooms and elegant nooks provide a plush setting for artisanal and classic cocktails in properties around the world.
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The Bar, Aman
Lord Byron lived an adventurous life in Venice, and The Bar at the Aman has been created as an homage to the English poet. This quiet space with views of the Grand Canal and a secret garden is celebrated for bespoke cocktails and the largest selection of gin in Italy’s most romantic city.
Bemelmans Bar, The Carlyle
New York City
Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford hung out at Bemelmans, the legendary bar that opened at The Carlyle in 1947. Today Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney might be spotted at a corner table to enjoy the jazz combo in the center of the room, which famously features murals by its namesake, Ludwig Bemelmans, writer and illustrator of the Madeline children’s books.
Candy Bar, Siren Hotel
Downtown Detroit’s stylish Siren Hotel includes this jewel box of a lounge, which opened in 2018 and features plush banquettes and an oversized crystal chandelier. The intimate space doesn’t take reservations and accommodates parties no larger than six people, all the better to enjoy this luxe, romantic room and its equally dazzling cocktails.
The Coral Room, The Bloomsbury
Soho’s Bloomsbury Hotel is close to Covent Garden and the British Museum, which makes The Coral Room a perfect spot for afternoon tea or cocktails. An art deco-style bar by interior designer Martin Brudnizki is surrounded by seating options, while the menu offers bespoke cocktails with playful names like Voyage for Madmen and The Full Bloomer.
Elysian Bar, Hotel Peter & Paul
This hotel bar in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans is set in a 150-year-old rectory, with design details like ornate furnishings, fireplaces and trompe l’oeil paintings. Signature cocktails and a healthy wine selection have been paired with a small-plate menu in this casual-chic Big Easy hotspot.
The Fumoir, Claridge’s
Open since 1929 at London’s legendary Claridge’s hotel, The Fumoir is where Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh might have met for discreet martinis before they were married, while Alfred Hitchcock also was known to stop in for a libation. Today Lalique crystal panels and William Klein portraits adorn this polished, intimate room.
Quill, The Jefferson
Named for America’s third President, The Jefferson is routinely selected as one of the best hotels in Washington, D.C., and its wood-paneled bar likewise hits luxurious heights. Quill’s mix of classic and signature cocktails is enhanced by a menu of shared plates and entrées, while in-house pianist Peter Robinson is also a big draw.
Rum Bar, Cooper Island Beach Club
British Virgin Islands
This eco-resort is reached only by boat, but the trek is worth it to experience the laid-back Rum Bar, which offers the largest selection of the Caribbean spirit in the British Virgin Islands. More than 280 rums are available and can be enjoyed in your favorite cocktail or as a sampler flight.
Talon Club, The Cosmopolitan
For those seeking upscale gaming experiences, The Cosmopolitan’s Talon Club is a high-limit retreat with the feel of a Vegas-style gentlemen’s club. You’ll need a $500,000 credit line to book a private table, but games in the public area can be accessed for a $500 minimum. Rare whiskies like Glenlivet 70 or Balvenie 50 can be enjoyed here.
The Tower Bar, Sunset Tower Hotel
West Hollywood, California
For discreet celebrity spotting, reserve a table at The Tower Bar, the posh restaurant and lounge that was once frequented by Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe. But put your phones away; both calls and photographs are verboten. Instead, just sit back with an Aperol spritz or a cucumber mojito and enjoy the scenery.