Where there’s an extra-extravagant hotel, there’s typically an over-the-top lounge that’s not too far behind. Given that we’re suckers for uber-unique places here at HAP, we’ve rounded up the USA’s most inordinate hotel bars worth visiting for both knockout drinks and a sumptuous ambiance.
Connie Cocktail Lounge at TWA Hotel (New York City, New York)
Preserving famed architect Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York City, the Connie Cocktail Lounge at TWA Hotel is an experiential sipping space. An old-fashioned airstair leads guests to the 116-foot-long authentically designed aircraft and vintage cockpit: custom upholstery swathed in red is reminiscent of the original aircraft seating of yesteryear (when flying was hyper-glamorous). The bar sits in the back of the plane and serves classic libations with playful names, from the Mile High Margarita to the Vodka is My Co-Pilot, and Terminal 5B).
The Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans is exactly as you picture it: a 25-seat Merry-Go Round serving circus-like craft cocktails. Overlooking the landmark Royal Street, a ride at the Carousel Bar guarantees some of the best people-watching in the French Quarter, optimally experienced with one of their signature drinks in hand. We wouldn’t be receiving the whole New Orleans experience if we didn’t order the Sazerac, containing Sazerac Rye whiskey, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s bitters, and a splash of simple syrup.
The Bleu Room at Nemacolin (Farmington, Pennsylvania)
As the Nemacolin’s best-kept secret, The Bleu Room is a museum-worthy monochromatic hideaway nestled in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains. Inspired by Marie Antoinette’s secret le cabinet de la Mèridienne in the palace of Versailles, the ultra-exclusive lounge is styled with the utmost elegance: plush floral printed couches, hand-painted ceilings, and marble tiled floors all dressed in blue hues add a whimsical aura to the space. The tailored culinary menu is a work of art in its own right, serving unique concoctions such as a wintry mule comprising lime, cranberry, and ginger beer tinted and small bites all accented with blue, of course.
The Archive at The National, Autograph Collection (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Set in The National, Autograph Collection — formerly Oklahoma City’s First National Bank that dates back to the 1930s — The Archive is an extension to the swanky underground cocktail experience, Library of Distilled Spirits. Taking inspiration from American Journalist Charles H. Baker Jr.’s book, The Gentleman’s Companion, Volume II: An Exotic Drinking Book, the curated collection of just 13 cocktails connects to the author’s 1931 odyssey in search of the world’s finest food and drink. (Order the Bertita’s Special comprising Elijah Craig “LDS Barrel”, Don Pancho 8 Yr. Elemakule Tiki Bitters, piloncillo, and copal resin.)
Camellias at Hotel Bennett (Charleston, South Carolina)
Housed in the luxurious Hotel Bennett on Charleston’s charming King Street, Camellias is the city’s dazzling champagne lounge. Elegant design befits the sophisticated egg-shaped sipping spot: blush pink walls, marble flooring, and glittering strings of crystal cascading from an etched mirror ceiling emulate a Faberge jewelry box. Guests can indulge in by-the-glass or bottle offerings paired with a decadent selection of caviar, charcuterie, and local seafood.
Gold Room at Lotte New York Palace (New York City, New York)
Located within the historic Villard Mansion, the Gold Room at Lotte New York Palace is an ode to New York City’s Gilded Age era. The cocktail bar boasts a dramatic gilt ceiling and breathtaking Renaissance-style design: Baroque murals, intricate ornate detailings, and refined leather upholstery elegantly dress the space. With its upscale cocktail menu and caviar-only pairings — try the Filthy Rich, comprising Chopin Family Reserve Extra Rare Vodka, Dolin’s dry vermouth, olive juice, and olives — guests are transported back through time in more ways than one.
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