Published March 07, 2014
A good hotel is made great by an even better hotel bar. But you don’t have to check in to enjoy the drinks downstairs.
We rounded up seven of the coolest hotel bars across America where having a cocktail equates to a special night out.
New York City is home to some of the finest hotels in the U.S., so it's not surprising to find some of the best bars. Head to Manhattan's Flatiron District and the Library Bar at the NoMad Hotel. Cozy up to its 24-foot-long mahogany bar, where you can sip cocktails surrounded by two floors decorated with books and architectural features from France. And don't forget to eat. The kitchen is run by chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, from the acclaimed Eleven Madison Park restaurant.
Another great hotel bar is Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. Named for illustrator Ludwig Bemelman, the artist behind the popular "Madeline" children's books, his murals of Central Park scenes cover the walls. Go for a post-dinner drink and catch famous musicians, like Emmy winning composer and pianist Earl Rose tickling the ivories.
Also worth checking out is Minus 5 Ice Bar, located at the New York Hilton Midtown. The entire bar is made of ice: that means ice seats, tables and glasses --and of course, in your glass. And don't worry, you can leave your fur at home. The bar has cozy coats and hats to keep you warm. There are two other Minus 5 Ice Bar locations in Las Vegas.
Speaking of Sin City, the list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The three-level bar takes its name from the massive chandelier centerpiece, which is made from two million beaded crystals. Sip on crafted cocktails made with muddled flowers and herbs, while lounging on plush velvet chairs and couches.
Head to the West Coast for a true tiki experience at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. The bar has been serving up Mai Tai’s in coconut shells since 1945 and features a stage set smack in the middle of an indoor lagoon, making it the oldest swimming pool in San Francisco in existence.
Prefer something outdoors instead? At the Delano Beach Club at the Delano Hotel in Miami, you can lounge in a poolside cabana and sip something frozen. Decorated in the Art Deco style, it has all the glitz, glamour that epitomizes South Beach. Inside the hotel, check out the Rose Bar, where you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two.
For something completely different, head to Boston's Clink at the Liberty Hotel. The hotel was formerly a jail where the city locked up its most notorious prisoners, which included the Boston Strangler and Malcom X. Now you can take shots in the jail’s former drunk tank or order smoked lobster while looking through original bars from cell doors.