Some people rave about room service, others travel for fabulous pools: now we're spotlighting the best hotels for having a drink—or simply enjoying the bar scene. So whether you're celebrating the festive season or planning your end of year escape, these are the places that deserve a visit.
THE CLASSY CLASSIC
Bemelman's at The Carlyle Hotel
New York, New York
The vibe: A New York institution! Not only does Woody Allen play jazz on Mondays, murals by famed illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans (he did the Madeline books) feature playful scenes from Central Park. Plus, the bar nuts are delicious and celebrity sightings abound.
The drink: The Red Velvet is their signature. It’s a spicy take on a whisky sour and makes a nice accompaniment to the classic piano playing in the background.
The vibe: Three words: Lost in Translation. Even before its cameo in Sofia Coppola’s cult movie, the New York Bar was defined by every guidebook as a MUST-do. Towering 52 stories above Toyko, it requires the glamour found with heels and fabulous jewels.
The drink: Order the 66 Sunset. Made with gin, sweet plum and chili syrup, this female-friendly cocktail goes down notoriously easily.
The vibe: Borderline cheesy, but go with it. If the offering of 15 types of caviar and 35 different vodkas sounds overwhelming, just ask the on-hand vodka sommelier for guidance. He’s the only one in Russia (and probably the world).
The drink: Polugar vodka, a historical alcohol dating back to the 1700s. Note: this is the first time it’s been available in over 120 years.
The vibe: “Swim up” has never been chicer—everyone leaves saying it’s the most beautiful place they’ve ever been. Not least because of the breathtaking panoramic view over the Andaman Sea (at its best at sunset) and the 360-degree infinity pool.
The drink: The Lycheetini. You can’t go wrong with this refreshing tropical classic.
The vibe: Middle Eastern chill—relaxed couches, easy music and a gentle rooftop breeze. Tick off your tourist checklist without actually having to go anywhere: Hagia Sofia, The Blue Mosque, and the Bosphorous are all within sight.
The drink: Give the Lohusa Sherbert a try. It’s a daring mix of sherbet (obviously), gin, prosecco, Jagermeister and fresh lime juice.