There’s nothing like bellying up to a hotel bar: a good one can make you feel at home, even though you’re far from it, while at the same time a particularly beautiful one can also make you feel like you’re somewhere special and stunning. These hotel bars are opulent, over-the-top, swanky, and stylish, and will have you making excuses to order more drinks—not that you need any!
The Bar, Baccarat Hotel (New York City, NY)
The famous crystal company’s flagship hotel in Midtown Manhattan boasts a lavish bar inspired by great American long bars of decades past (it’s 60 feet long), glamorous French ballrooms, and the royal stables at Versailles with distinctive barrel vaulting. Other plush design details include red velvet and merlot-colored walls dotted with fine art, cushy leather seats, checkerboard floors, and glittering Baccarat chandeliers. And of course, all drinks are poured into splendid pieces of Baccarat crystal, while the Alsatian-inspired bar snacks come from two Michelin-starred chef Gabriel Kreuther.
Connaught Bar, The Connaught Hotel (London, UK)
Competition for extravagant hotel bars is fierce in London, but the bar at the Connaught Hotel is on another level. Designed by David Collins Studio, the elegant bar is backed by textured walls in platinum silver leaf and painted walls that evoke UK Cubist art of the 1920s. Aside from the design though, touches like a swanky martini trolley, their own house-distilled gin, a thoughtful selection of one-of-a-kind cocktails in the Impressions menu, and above-and-beyond service make this a bar (No. 8 on the World’s 50 Best Bars 2022) worth visiting again and again.
Silver Lyan, Riggs D.C., (Washington, D.C.)
While Lyaness in London is perhaps better known, this bar by visionary Ryan Chetiyawardana (“Mr. Lyan”) inside the hotel’s historic bank vault in the basement, is just as fabulous, if not more so. Hidden behind the massive vault door of what was once the Riggs National Bank is a ritzy, velvet-enrobed space highlighted with mirrors, marble, and gold accents. The book-like menu is full of surprises, and the creative, showstopping drinks can’t help but delight.
Sunken Harbor Club, Cambridge Beaches, (Bermuda)
Some might know the Sunken Harbor Club from its first location in Brooklyn, inside the historic Gage & Tollner restaurant. But while the one in Brooklyn is modeled to look like the inside of a sunken ship, the second location at Cambridge Beaches resort in Bermuda, which opened this summer, is in many ways more impressive than the original. Its wood-paneled walls are decorated with actual treasures found in surrounding shipwrecks by Bermudian diving legend Teddy Tucker, whose adjacent home is visible from the outside deck of the bar, as is the glittering Mangrove Bay. The cocktail menu by award-winning mixologist St. John Frizell complements the shipwrecked feel, with island classics like a swizzle, Dark ‘n Stormy, mai tai, and daiquiri, along with original creations that fall into one of three menu categories: In the Shallows, The Twilight Zone, and The Abyss.
Geode Bar, Daxton Hotel (Birmingham, Michigan)
This art-focused hotel in a wealthy suburb of Detroit has more than 400 Saatchi-curated artworks in it, and the largest one surrounds the bar in the lobby. Called Geode, the lighted metal geodesic-style dome was custom-made locally by Michigan-based master welder, Andy Dafski for the hotel and adds unforgettable flair to the intimate bar. Peep the geode-shaped water glasses, which cheekily pay homage to the unique bar.
Don’t Worry Bar, Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)
The number of gorgeous drinking and dining spaces inside this legendary Amalfi Coast hotel are numerous, but we’re partial to the “if you know you know” Don’t Worry Bar, hidden in a discreet corner of the suite of living rooms at the heart of the hotel. The hotel’s original bar, the bar itself is made of antique walnut, brass and precious onyx, with a gold leaf backdrop the literally glows. Just across, above the brighter, more modern seating area hangs British artist Martin Creed’s iconic neon Don’t Worry sign.
Bar Les Ambassadeurs, Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel (Paris, France)
If you’re looking for a bar that could double as a palace, this is it. Opulent in every sense of the word, the Bar Les Ambassadeurs features massive marble walls, a glorious fresco-painted ceiling, gilded moldings, and windows draped with rich curtains facing Place de la Concorde. Designer Chahan Minassian brought the legendary bar into the 21st century with modern (yet still lavish) furnishings like crushed velvet chairs, precious metal and crystal-inlaid tables, and adding metal chains to the four original chandeliers. Guests enjoy live music and carefully crafted cocktails, along with memorable people-watching.
The Rope Bar, The Shore Club (Turks & Caicos)
Even though you might be relaxing in paradise, that’s no reason to forgo a stunning bar. Thankfully, this designer bar at the exclusive Shore Club delivers. The artistic rope chandelier made of hundreds of strands of white rope that sways in the gentle island breeze as light filters through is a magnificent centerpiece, while the natural wood and neutral tones further highlight the cerulean blue waters just outside.
Murray Lane, The Murray, A Niccolo Hotel (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong is chock-full of five-star hotels and the requisite accompanying lavish bar, but there’s something about the modern luxury of the Murray and its gorgeous lobby bar that stands out. Featuring a glittering mirrored ceiling and bar, marble walls, shiny black marble floors, dark leather seating accented with gold pillows, and the now-iconic parted gold-lipped photograph that hangs on one wall, the bar design by Foster + Partners is contemporary and edgy, yet still elegant.
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