In addition to the magic of a well-made drink, there is something truly special about hotel bars, especially the ones that stand the test of time and offer something unique or transporting, like the Four Seasons in New York. Here are five other iconic bars around the world that come to mind.
This is the place that introduced American-style cocktails to Europe, as far back as 1903. Though cocktails became popular in London throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the American Bar made the most impact. Many cocktails, such as The White Lady, were invented here, and this is also where the dry martini rose to prominence. There’s even a book that came out of this bar, The Savoy Cocktail Book, which many bartenders regard as the ultimate cocktail resource.
New York City
Anyone who’s anyone has passed through this legendary Upper East Side bar in The Carlyle Hotel. The famous Bemelman mural covers the walls, the ceilings are coated with 24-karat gold leafing and leather banquettes welcome you to sink in with a well-made cocktail to watch the nightly jazz (Woody Allen plays every Monday).
Made famous by the movie Lost in Translation, this is an incredible venue in and of itself. The view of Tokyo goes on for miles and in the evening you can see all of the city’s lights. There’s live jazz every night, and though it’s a bit out of the way from central Tokyo, this is a place worth making a night of it.
Legend has it that the beautiful, long bar here was carved from a single redwood tree (hence the name). Though it’s been restored and reimagined throughout the years, this glitzy bar in the Clift Hotel has been a hub since the 1930’s for both locals and visitors alike.
One of the few hotel bars in town where you’ll find as many Parisians as tourists. It’s super luxe, with plush red armchairs, cognac-colored walls and chandeliers lending a clubby feel to the Belle Epoch interiors. Even through updates and renovations, this iconic old world hotel bar remains delightfully unchanged.