The Best Hotel Bars around the World

AFAR editors are no strangers to the hotel bar. These are our absolute favorites.

330 E Main St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
When it opened in 1889, the Jerome lured New York City socialites and European aristocrats with its mix of rough-and-tumble mountain swagger and “modern” amenities (plumbing and electricity). In December 2012, the 94-room property emerged from a five-month renovation overseen by designer Todd-Avery Lenahan. The original front desk remains, and the tile floors have patterns inspired by Ute Indian weavings. The new lobby bar, the Living Room, serves craft cocktails amid mounted deer heads, mining artifacts, and a framed antique American flag. The rooms and common spaces feel inspired by a Ralph Lauren men’s collection, with lots of plaid, leather, and rich fabrics. Even the elevators are lined with old leather belts. Minibars are stocked with complimentary snacks such as organic chocolate peanut butter cups, and downstairs, guests can dine in the Living Room, the signature restaurant Prospect, or the legendary J Bar, which once poured pints for 10th Mountain Division soldiers and Hunter S. Thompson. The new Jerome proves that a hotel can step into the future while completely respecting the past. This grande dame remains the epitome of mountain town luxury.
Baie de Saint Jean, Saint Barthélemy 97133, St Barthélemy
Following damage sustained during Hurricane Irma, this property will reopen in November 2019 after a complete renovation.

With its breathtaking setting, the iconic Eden Rock exudes French art de vivre in the heart of the Caribbean. This luxurious resort is built on a rocky promontory surrounded by white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a coral reef. Eden Rock offers 34 highly individual accommodations located on the rock, dotted along the beach, or set within the lush green gardens. No two of the 34 rooms are alike. Cottages and rooms in small stone houses have colonial decor and garden views. In contrast, the beach houses are utterly modern, with stark and simple designs. Suites come in various sizes, and most have their own pools in a range of geometric shapes. Most popular, especially among guests who return year after year, are the original Rock cottages. All accommodations offer easy access to the hotel’s beach.

The resort is renowned for its endlessly accommodating staff, who seem to delight at challenging requests. Its other claim to fame is its restaurant, which is overseen by the famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. For culture, the resort’s gallery offers exhibits featuring a range of international artists. A successful artist-in-residence program includes young artists from the New York Academy of Art.
1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, USA
Set in a historic Beaux-Arts building, The NoMad exudes European sophistication while maintaining a distinct New York edge. Located in the changing north of Madison Square Park neighborhood, this design-centric property opened its doors in 2012. French designer Jacques Garcia was inspired by the Paris apartment of his youth. Rooms are comfortable and timeless, with original artwork. This hotel brings back pleasures of another era, from freestanding claw-foot tubs in the rooms to a bar and restaurant that entice guests to stay under the hotel roof. Start an evening with a drink in the Library (reserved exclusively for hotel guests after 4 p.m.) then dine in the acclaimed NoMad restaurant, where you are certain to rub elbows with New Yorkers—this property has completely won over the locals.
2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
The King Cole Bar is about as legendary as any bar in New York. Located in the St. Regis Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, it has been the place to go for a cocktail since it opened in 1932—Salvador Dalí, John Lennon, and Marilyn Monroe are just a few from a long list of famous names who have dropped in for a drink. The bar sits off the St. Regis New York’s lobby and is presided over by the famous King Cole mural painted by Maxfield Parrish, with John Jacob Astor IV playing the part of the king, jesters to each side of him. Today it is still the ultimate setting to start a celebratory evening, or end one with a nightcap; it cemented its place on most lists of New York’s top bars with an extensive renovation in 2013. While the bartenders can prepare anything you might be in the mood for, you may want to order a Bloody Mary. The King Cole Bar boasts that it was the first spot where the drink (then known as a Red Snapper) was served in the United States (a claim, it should be noted, that is disputed by some other bars).
Level 1, The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Vesper Bar at The Cosmopolitan is our favorite spot for a serious Old Fashioned—or Elderfashioned, the house’s riff, which gets a dose of St. Germain.
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
What was once a pop-up bar, The Broken Shaker is now a permanent fixture at the Freehand Miami. The James Beard Award-nominated bar is located in the high-end hostel on South Beach serving up a selection of handcrafted cocktails. The bar itself is a tiny room by the pool with a 1950s Havana look. You can grab your cocktail—made with elixirs, syrups and infusions using herbs and spices from the onsite garden—and drink it in the bar, or head outside to the pool and nestle into one of the lounge chairs. Away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach, The Broken Shaker offers a more intimate setting than the lavish pools at high-end hotels in the area.
2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
In 2011, one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, Longman & Eagle, expanded into an inn with the creation of six rooms. The owners, two of whom run the music venue Empty Bottle, built and outfitted the whole place. Each of the rooms is different, but all are stylishly simple and feature details such as wood floors, exposed brick, original art work and site-specific installations by local artists, cassette players with mix tapes, well-curated minibars, and Aesop toiletries. For the noise averse, the hotel reminds potential guests that the rooms are located above “an occasionally raucous, whisky-fueled tavern.”
112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA
A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress Avenue, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and ‘70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that rock stars smash guitars and throw ragers here (unless they rent out all 14 rooms, of course); unlike at its nearby sister properties, Hotel San José and Austin Motel, only guests and club members are welcome at the lounge, a laid-back affair with a Parisian-café–style patio, chesterfield sofas and a fireplace indoors, and craft cocktails and gourmet small plates. Between the 1888 Victorian main house—originally inhabited by a descendent of Davy Crockett—and verdant grounds that hide private porches and a serene pool, the hotel feels more like an impossibly stylish artists’ retreat than a celebrity getaway.

Each distinctively decorated room is larger than many an apartment, and seems ripped from the pages of a fashion magazine photoshoot. Every detail has been thought through, from the refreshing Grown Alchemist body care products to the Swedish Hästens mattresses (the hotel is the only one in North America with them in all rooms) to the impressive library of LPs to borrow. Everyone’s a rock star, here.
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