Here at B&R, we’re known for our meticulous attention to detail (and our love of a good spot to unwind at day’s end). We asked our travel experts, trip planners, guides, and assorted bons vivants to share some of their favourite hotel bars around the world. Having conducted countless hours of ‘research’, here are a handful of our favourites: tried, tested, and true!
The American Bar at the Savoy, London
Feel like royalty at this classic cocktail bar, frequented by the Queen herself. Settle in with one of their renowned drinks such as the White Lady, a softened gin sour by legendary bartender Harry Craddock, while the sound of American Jazz by their in-house pianist permeates the room.
The Artesian at the Langham Hotel, London
No one takes the business of curating a cocktail menu more seriously than the team at the Artesian, who craft their drinks by examining the root of each ingredient—true masters of mixology. The results are worth the effort, with drinks sure to entice like their martini with vodka, passionfruit kombucha, and champagne.
Connaught Bar at Connaught Hotel, London
Feel like a ‘20s flapper as you step into a modern-day speakeasy with silver-leafed walls lit by candlelight at the stylish Connaught Bar. Order their famous martini for a real show: it’s meticulously prepared tableside on a trolley armed with all the fixings.
Champagne Bar at Kettners Townhouse, London
This fashionable bar has modernized its look since the days of being frequented by Oscar Wilde. Bartenders sport white tuxedos and have come up with innovative ways of presenting champagne (as seen in their signature Champagne Martini). Its Jazz Age glory still shines through with a swanky walnut and marble bar and original mosaic floor.
The Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s, London
The Fumoir Bar has been welcoming thirsty patrons since 1929, serving up signature cocktails such as the Claridge’s Julep: Calvados, champagne and raspberry preserve with fresh mint. The sultry Art Deco interior and purple velvet benches exude 1930s Hollywood glamour, as portraits by William Klein keep watch of the buzzing activity.
The Night Beach at Le Grand Hotel, Bordeaux
Bright and airy, this rooftop bar invites guests to unwind with an apéro and take in the panoramic views over Bordeaux, offering a taste of the coast in the heart of the city.
Le Bar at La Reserve, Paris
Rich red fabrics, roomy armchairs and golden accents make for the perfect balance of cozy and luxury in this library bar. While cocktails are on offer, the thoughtfully selected wine list is what really shines—this is France, after all.
Le Bar at the Plaza Athénée, Paris
Super-chic and sleek, this sparkling, elegant bar features nightly DJs, and extra-stylish cocktails, from classic to creative and modern. (Black mojito, anyone?)
Rooftop bar at the Peninsula, Paris
Skip the journey up the Eiffel Tower for a view of Paris and take it in instead from the sophisticated rooftop of the Peninsula, where a panoramic lookout over the City of Lights serves a backdrop to this polished terrasse.
Wine Bar at Hotel de Tourrel, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
This sleek and minimalist bar focuses all the attention on wines from the region, pouring some of the rarest bottles in the Côtes de Provence—from crisp rosés to bold Châteauneuf-du-Papes.
ITALY & PORTUGAL
American Bar at Forum Hotel, Rome
Sip on an Aperol spritz or an espresso from this rooftop garden overlooking ancient Rome. Trelissed walls and homey wicker chairs feel as though you’re in your chic Italian friend’s backyard, but the Roman ruins catching the corner of your eye remind you otherwise.
The Palm Court at the Hassler, Rome
Encircled by stone walls and weaving vines of ivy, relaxing is made easy in this charming outdoor garden bistro. Enjoy one of the best cocktails in Rome while noshing on traditional Italian dishes by Chef Francesco Apreda, like fresh buffalo mozzarella or a salmon fillet with Sorrento lemon.
Franco’s Bar at Le Sirenuse, Amalfi Coast
Rich blues, yellows and whites paired with seaside views and a sweeping wall of multicoloured buildings douse this bar with pure Amalfi Coast attitude, setting the scene for an aperitivo or post-swim refreshment.
Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia
This Moroccan-style terrace looks out over the Puglia countryside and onto the sea, contrasting its bright white walls with the inky blues of the Adriatic. Come nightfall, sink into a comfy cushion and soak up the day’s final rays with an unparalleled view of the setting sun.
Cavour Hotel, Florence
You can never go wrong with a rooftop bar, and the showstopper here is the Santa Maria Del Fiore Cathedral, seemingly within reach from this modern, open-air terrace. The American-style bar mixes creative cocktails and pours fine wines with a view.
The Belvedere at Fontanelle Hotel, Tuscany
Accompanied by a smooth glass of Chianti, candlelit tables and the warm breeze of Tuscan air, embrace the romance of Italy on this open-air rooftop affording views over the rolling Sienese countryside.
Atrium Bar at the Cala di Volpe, Sardinia
One of the most exclusive hotels in Italy, you may find yourself savouring your martini on its rooftop next to the VIPs that are known to frequent the Costa Smeralda. After taking in the colours of the setting sun, admire the flickering lights of yachts in the bay as the sound of piano lingers in the background.
Cocktail Bar at Memmo at Principe Real, Lisbon
Affording some of the best and most breathtaking views over Lisbon, this rooftop bar serves up world-class cocktails with a Portuguese flair (think: port tonics). Pair their libations with tapas on offer, such as smoked Portuguese sausage or a fresh codfish salad.
New York Grill at the Park Hyatt Tokyo
Marvel at the views over the twinkling city lights of Tokyo from this American-style bar on the 52nd floor, a scene famous from its cameo in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Pair the Chef’s Japanese Wagyu beef with a wine from their cellar, featuring more than 1,800 bottles.
The Lounge at Aman Tokyo
Refined and sleek, this penthouse bar adds a cosmopolitan touch to traditional Japanese design. Ask the bartender about their selection of fine Japanese whiskeys or treat yourself to a cigar from a selection of 50 in their humidor.
Cocktail bar at the Amankila, Bali, Indonesia
Refresh with a homemade ginger beer, mangosteen cocktail or classic Pina Colada and watch the sun drop behind the Bali sea alongside the dreamy three-tiered pool. As our guide Stefano puts it: “I almost cried from how beautiful it was.”
Ombak Lounge at Nihi Sumba, Sumba Island, Indonesia
Embrace the island life in this open-air lounge at the Nihiwatu, a resort named ‘Best in the World’ by Travel + Leisure Magazine 2017. A convivial setting with sandy floors and a deck perched over the ocean, it hosts weekly dining experiences like beachside BBQs or private gatherings in “The Nest”, an intimate table that hovers over the sea.
Sofitel Metropole Bamboo Bar, Hanoi, Vietnam
A poolside rooftop with a thatched roof, rattan fans and warm wood furnishings, the Bamboo Bar provides sweet refuge from the Southeast Asian heat. Refresh with icy cocktails or their historic drink, the Graham Greene: a classic Dry Martini with a hint of Crème de Cassis.
The Atrium on 35 at the Sofitel Melbourne, Australia
A stylish masterpiece of modern design, its mirrored canopy looms overhead, reflecting light in a soft, glistening way over the metal bar below. While in trendy Melbourne, sample local craft beers or a flight of Australian wines with your choice of sparkling, red or white.
SIP at the W Resort, Maldives
The seaside sunset bar in addition to its poolside bar and club at the exclusive W resort serve as an oasis in a country where alcohol is prohibited, creating an electrifying atmosphere with live DJs and leaving you to wonder if you’ve left the island for a major city.
West Beach Bar at North Island, Seychelles
The famed shades of the Seychelles sunset provide inspiration to this beach hut bar, featuring pops of red, orange and yellow among pure white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. Stretch out in a hammock with a North Island Passionfruit Mojito or gather with friends around the beach bonfire.
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
The Silo Rooftop at the Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
With a cool and relaxed environment, The Silo Rooftop is a welcome respite from the city bustle and a prime spot to watch the sunset over Cape Town. Sip on a glass of bubbly to complement their selection of fresh oysters and nibble on snacks from their tempura bar.
The Fish-Eagle Bar at Belmond Eagle Island, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Sip on a sundowner in this open-air hut-style lounge and watch the fiery blaze of the African sun drop off behind the acacia trees. As the night cools down, gather around the outdoor campfire and keep an ear out for the sounds of wildlife off in the delta.
The Churchill Bar at La Mamounia, Marrakech
Dim the lights. Cue the sound of mellow jazz. Let your eyes take in the opulent Fifties with accents like leopard skin carpet, red leather and black velvet armchairs. The cigar hanging from your lip is optional; an elegant dress code is mandatory!
Club Bar at Soho House Istanbul
Set in a 19thC palazzo, the Club Bar resembles a boho-chic, Florentine manor with frescoed walls, warm tones, rich textured fabrics and soft lighting. Choose from blended, single malt, American or Irish on their extensive whisky menu or a specialty cocktail featuring ingredients such as house-made ginger and coffee-infused raki.