Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Are the Best Hotel Bars?

One of the best ways to enjoy a tropical holiday vacation is to get the most outlandish, umbrella-topped drink out there, sink down into the sand, and start planning for a trip spent in close proximity to cool, clear waters, soft-as-sugar sand, and a well-stocked bar. Don’t forget that, on stays in the city, you should hunt out your hotel’s bar for a tipple or two--they’re often positioned with the best views of whatever metropolis you’re exploring.

Clift Hotel in San Francisco

The Location: This contemporary hotel has a special glamorous glow and happens to be situated near Nob Hill for sightseeing and Union Square for shopping. A particularly eclectic furniture collection will inspire art enthusiasts and invigorate others.

Why This Bar: “The Clift's swank Redwood Room, founded in 1933 (the year Prohibition ended,) is a blend of old and new. Vintage deco lights shine on Starck-designed lounge furniture and plasma TVs displaying digital art hanging on original redwood walls.”

What to Drink: Pick a martini, classic, garnished with two olives, preferably blue-cheese stuffed!

The Carlyle

The Location: The Carlyle opened in 1930 and is considered a New York landmark, located on Madison Avenue, on Manhattan's Upper East Side. 60 residential apartments are also part of this venerable establishment, and the hotel offers 188 rooms for guests.

Why This Bar: “No detail has been left un-fancified: White-jacket waiters, nickel-trimmed glass tables, chocolate-brown leather banquettes and a 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling.”

What to Drink: Order an Old Cuban, a champagne-topped mojito.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

The Location: You might be planning on taking advantage of the Hyatt Regency's many outdoor sports options, but this hotel also has a fine art collection that's worth a browse. Each room at this hotel has a separate sitting room and a lanai, so kicking back after a long day's a true “breeze.”

Why This Bar: “Inside a dim cave enclosed by dual waterfalls, this swim-up bar is an adult refuge in a resort oozing with pool-splashing tikes. With underwater stools and water jets massagers, it's hard to leave.”

What to Drink: Go classic and order a piña colada... after all, you're in Maui!

The Connaught, London

The Location: Sophisticated splendor at the Mayfair is the sort of environment you'd want to experience in London. Modern art is mixed in the faithfully-renovated décor, while luxury shopping spots surrounding the hotel make the Connaught an ideal location for shopping up a storm.

Why This Bar: “The Connaught Bar simply has it all: ultra-stylish decor, impeccable service and some of the most killer cocktails ever shaken (not stirred.) With textured walls in platinum, leather chairs and white marble floors, the parlor, designed by David Collins, is a work of modern luxury.”

What to Drink: Ask for their Mulata Daisy, which is rum, lime juice, and sugar, with chocolate liqueur and fennel.

Pallazzo Sasso

The Location: This award-winning hotel provides a sumptuous European setting and top-of-the-line service to guests, and while it's a 12th century villa, it has only been open as a hotel since 1997. The Pallazzo Sasso overlooks a fishing village and has Michelin-rated dining options for the foodies of the bunch.

Why This Bar: “Located over the Spanish Steps, this terrace bar is a great place to view Rome's dolce vita. The classy watering hole is part of the opulent, Renaissance-era Il Palazzeto palace, home to Rome's International Wine Academy.”

What to Drink: Wine—400+ options await!

After you've tried one of the best drinks made by the house, you should stop at your hotel bar one more time to give a farewell toast to the city you've explored. Whether it's a fine bottle of red you're after or another one of the signature hotel drinks, be sure to mark the memory with a sip and a photo.

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