Increasingly luxurious amenities, warm service and privacy are all very covetable traits for top-notch hotels, but an equally important feature — and perhaps my favorite — is a great lobby bar.
As a favored venue for social or business meetings alike, a hotel bar can make or break the atmosphere of the entire establishment: too chaotic and you feel like you're waiting at the airport during holiday season; too empty and you wonder if there’s been some sort of pandemic. I love timeless classics that have stuck the perfect balance, creating a destination within the hotel itself.
The quintessential Singaporean watering hole is the Long Bar at The Raffles Hotel. Every fixture and fitting oozes decadent colonial glamour, from the mahogany counter to straw fans and wicker chairs. Birthplace of the Singapore Sling, this is the ideal venue to savor the iconic cocktail, especially whilst that tropical rain shower outside intensifies the evening humidity.
Plush armchairs, padded walls and seductive lighting mixed with sultry jazz are some of the features that make La Mamounia’s infamous Churchill Bar the place to unwind. A long list of rambunctious celebrities have sauntered through its doors, no doubt appreciating the intimacy and discretion provided.
Nestled in what is perhaps one of the most picturesque inner city gardens, not quite a terrace and not quite a courtyard, the Stravinskij Bar of Rome’s Hotel de Russie is where the capital’s fabulous come for their aperitivo. Long summers mean you can enjoy the most of this hidden jewel accompanied by a crisp glass of Chianti and some delicate nibbles.
One feature alone is enough to make the New York Bar at The Park Hyatt Tokyo completely worth it, and that would be its unbeatable view. But unlike other hotels perched on vertiginous floors that have turned their bars into blinged-out viewing decks for curious tourists, the New York Bar, which was immortalized in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, remains a hushed affair with impeccable service.